Grey Line [twilight]

An interventional radio work from elsewhere.


Grey Line [twilight] is an intervention into the all-day public art and radio symposium of LaPublika, that took place on Friday October 29th at the newly opened international cultural centre Tabakalera in Donostia, northern Spain.

During that day, Mike Brookes and I attempted to track the twilight edge of the shifting shadow of night, as it slowly moved across the surface of the planet – following the progress of one day’s sunset, and its passage, over a scattering of disparate and diverse locations across the earth, towards and over the public event site of Tabakalera. As this thin line of twilight slowly and relentlessly traveled around the world – from the Pacific, across Asia and the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa, to the Atlantic – we opened a series of short live audio connections to people stood out on the earth’s surface.

By giving us temporary access to the microphones of their mobile phones, these individuals allowed us to eavesdrop onto whatever may or may not be audible around them, as daytime passed into night where they stood – in Nagoya, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kathmandu, Kuwait, Hebron, Athens, Donostia and Bamako – as they stepped out into their own landscape to watch the shadow’s edge reach them.

As a propositional intervention into the radio programme as a whole – and as an attempt to expand and context the gathering of the event in Donostia across a wider geography and social space – these provisional live audio connections opened moments of access out onto the relentless journey of one day’s perpetual sunset, and onto one of the planet’s inevitable rotations… carrying familiar sounds of other public spaces… or only fragments of recognisable sound… or simply offering a reflective minute of somewhere else’s silence…

This interventional new public art work for radio, that Mike Brookes and I have been developing since spring, has turned out to be simultaneously one of our smallest and largest scale works so far.


Commissioned by Consonni for LaPublika, a project produced by Tabakalera [International Centre for Contemporary Culture] and Donostia / San Sebastian’s European Cultural Capital 2016.

This work was only possible thanks to the generous participation of Maki Nishida, 韩璐 / HAN Lu, Cauvery Chu (PARA-SITE), Alison Simon, Kaori ImaiFatima Shamoon (EBCG), Fawaz abu Aisheh, Ira Spagadorou, Olaia Miranda (Consonni) and Ana I. de Lara.