BERG: a soundscape for Berlin

by James Glazebrook

The video that originally inspired the new iPhone app BERG, a sound collage combining elements from classic espionage and Cold War movies laid over a series of panning shots describing the architecture of Teufelsberg listening station:

BERG is a site specific sound art project and a GPS-triggered soundscape for iPhone designed for Teufelsberg, a man-made hill and an abandoned National Security Agency listening station in Grunewald forest, in the former West Berlin. The app contains an archive of manipulated audio samples. As the user walks through Grunewald, the iPhone’s GPS activates a series of overlapping tracks, radio broadcasts, spoken word, manipulated field recordings, inspired by Cold War espionage, short wave frequencies and classic cinema. While the user moves in and out of the “sound clouds” – marked on the map by circular graphic elements – the tracks are overlaid and mixed according to his location, as detected by the GPS. The user’s perception of an architectural relic, with a mysterious history and surrounding landscape, is mediated by a semi-fictional, cinematic soundtrack mixed in real time. 

Through the localization of an audio path, the application plunges the user into an evocative and estranging experience of the urban space.

Get BERG for iPhone here.