Attention is an audio journal for architectural culture that uses the medium of sound and spoken word to capture a dimension of architecture otherwise lost in print. By precluding visual media, Attention strikes a distance between the distraction economy of much online media, creating an intimate and reflective space for the in-depth development of ideas and issues. Through interviews, roundtable debates, oral histories, field recordings, the exploration of archival recordings, experimental music and soundscapes, reportage and audio essays, Attention investigates issues of concern to contemporary architectural culture, theory and practice.
7D. Playing the Detective
In this episode, Megan Eardley interviews the artist, puzzle-maker, and escape room designer Laura E. Hall about the design of escape rooms for the public, building community, and the politics of play. Together, they reflect on the popular appeal of detective work in an era of corporate dragnet surveillance.
7E. Bypass Codes
In this episode, Megan Eardley interviews the investigative journalist and veteran beat reporter Caryn Dolley about the use of biometric and building surveillance devices in organized crime networks. With reference to her journalism and research for her book “The Enforcers” (2019), Dolley describes the movement of illicit and counterfeit goods through night clubs and the duplication of the state security apparatus in post-Apartheid South Africa.
In this episode, Megan Eardley introduces Issue 7 by relating contemporary spatial practices to the literary detective story and present day political realities of surveillance, state violence, and justice work.
7B. On the Threshold of Detectability
Like proof, evidence typically refers to things, traces, marks, or signs, that can be studied to establish relevant facts and evaluate competing theories. But while proof has been associated with tests and verification procedures since the thirteenth century, evidence (or the Latin evidentia) refers to something that is “manifest to the senses” and “obvious”– there in a way that is not subject to dispute. To examine evidence is thus to contend with the politics of presence, practices of display, and conditions of access. In this episode, Megan Eardley discusses these concerns with Eyal Weizman, who is a critical proponent for forensic research in architecture today.
7C. Invisibility As Form
In this episode, Megan Eardley invites listeners to reflect on the way that detective work operates between form and event. She interviews the artist Janice Kerbel about the use of detective work in pieces such as “Bank Job” (1999), “Doug” (2014), and “Sink” (2018). They discuss how detection can be built into form, Kerbel’s experiments using plans to foreclose events, her relationship to language and writing, and how she seeks to reclaim small spaces within which we can act freely.
7F. The Sound Of Secrecy
In this episode, Megan Eardley interviews the writer and artist Bryan Finoki. He describes how he came to study the security industry and reflects on his process of harvesting his own field recordings, synthesized sounds, and files scraped off the web, to make Dark Freqs, an original sound composition produced for Attention and this issue on Detective Work.