Divulging Dishes by Elin Eyborg Lund published on 2020-03-27T16:37:32Z In November 2011, we set off to visit the forgotten Royal Air Force dishes, dumped in Stenigot, on a remote field between Lincoln and Louth, Lincolnshire. The journey was long, and after the last bus ride we finally walked over the plowed field, that led to these immense divulging dishes. We were stopped by Paul, a farmer who in the end gave us permission to access the site. The sound There is an interesting similarity between electromagnetic waves and sound waves. Both depend on a precise geometry. A radio beam will be focused the same way as an acoustic signal. With that in mind, suddenly the properties of the dishes became so much more comprehensive, when we used them as sound devices. Our aim was to conduct an experiment where we wanted to capture the immediate surroundings. We used a portable harmonium as our sound generator and positioned it in the middle of one of the 4 parabolic dishes. In the same parabolic dish we positioned two custom-made, pick-up microphones on each side of the dish as well as a dictaphone that would record with two microphones for a bidirectional recording. With that setup, we were able to capture both the vibrating in the dish as well as the sound coming directly from the instrument, which would bounce back and fourth on the sides of the dish. We improvised an acoustic transmission from the middle of the dish into the surroundings. Reacting on the feedback we got from the contact microphones as well as the landscape. We wanted to capture a sampling of different acoustics: the vibration of the dish, the hollow sound generated by the dish, and the dry acoustic of the field. The harmonium provided a constant droning sound, manipulated by the keys, by the dish itself and by the surrounding landscape. Architecture must be perceived in its entire complexity. It is much more than the vision. Architecture is understood through movement and sound, as well as all our other senses. With our investigation in the parabolic dish we intended to grasp the size of the huge dishes and juxtapose the 1000-kilometer distance with our journey to the site. We travelled 200 kilometers to reach the dishes, 1/5 of the reach of the signal. This project is meant to be a series of investigations of sites, that have lost their original function and meaning, and now stands as sculptures in the landscape and potential instruments. These instruments are not just visual relics in a landscape but can be given a new life as instruments for sound and investigations for new uses.