A circle - the geometric figure that perhaps allows for the least exceptions. Every irregularity is not only measurable, but also immediately visible to the naked eye. It calls for precision, as, by its definition, all points have to be in equal distance to its center. Similarly, the German word ‘Umkreisen’ (encircling), used as a rhetorical figure, means to narrow things down and precisely capture their central point.
A constantly rotating machine is installed in front of the wall. Its arm ends in a sharp piece of metal, which repeatedly scans, and simultaneously carves, a circular shape on the surface of the wall.
Seemingly improvised, the construct is held together by clamps, tape and zip ties. Equipped with contact microphones and a bass amplifier, it works on its repeated task of drawing with an insistent seriousness. With each full circle the metal end carves deeper into the uneven material and various layers of the wall, acoustically transferring the surface properties of its described radius one point at a time.Like data from a measurement these impulses and the amplified sounds from the machine itself are recorded, as the construct becomes a musical instrument of its own.
A soundscape of cycling rhythms, that changes, almost not perceptible at first, with the sound of every circle. As every orbit, that the piece of metal draws across the wall, also removes substance from its surface, each circle alters and overwrites the previous one. A physical displacement in which the meaning of recording (the sound) and removing (the material) becomes equal.
The act of encircling is now the rotation around a continuously shifting structure, that is altered again and again by the attempt of capturing it. As the machine has no other choice than to perform its function consistently, the process of execution becomes a paradox, in which every attempt of capture causes the very thing to be captured to disappear.
Text: Sandra Hampe
Translation: Henrik Nieratschker
Displacement was kindly supported by Senator für Kultur der Freien Hansestadt Bremen.