Asymmetrische Information

Asymmetrische Information, 2015

Sound Sculpture
300x100x280cm; metal plates/threats/magnets/ needles/motors
Series of thread collages/stitching; various sizes
Video-and foto documentation


During a residency in Chemnitz I investigated the leftovers of the textile industry; after the1990ies the former East German stronghold had an immense industry decline. I was struck by the remoteness of the city, even though it’s not small and well connected. But because it lost its economical heart after the reunification of Germany, there was still a big loss visible that extended far beyond the economic deficiency.

I started to research the remnants of the former stronghold of the textile industry, which are still very much present today and I worked together with former factory employees, the local museum and some small remaining textile companies, to listen to the stories, recalling of the audible memory and recording all the old machines. Each machine could make up to 100dB of noise and many of the workers were hard of hearing or deaf after decades of working on one machine. The change of the acoustic landscape for each person but also throughout town after the abrupt industry decline must have been immense. I was fascinated by the acoustics and incredible beauty of these old machines and decided to (re)create a machine that transforms the heavy hammering of the textile machines into a more subtle repetitive sound, trying to remember and at the same time reimagine the use of the machinery.

The metal plates on the ground are covered with 1000 magnets that keep the 1000 needles, which are hanging on sewing threads from the ceiling slightly above the plate, centered. Repetitively, three motors are pushing the long metal plate slightly up, the needles touch their magnet, create each a clicking sound, and spring back into air when the metal plate straightens out again.

08. January 2017 by Lisa Premke
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