LEGOLAND (2012) Documenta 13, Kassel

performance with various old portable spy gear, battery powered radio transmission, radio scanning and writing

Other minds pavilion – dokumenta 13, Kassel, Germany
Performance date 26 July 2012

DSCN8181a Nagra SN was used in the performance playing the artists own recordings from contemporary spy stations on the shortwave band from various activities from the recent years. Some spy station recordings were only 2 weeks old.

Sound collage with own recordings of various number and clandestine radio transmissions plays at radio transmission through common portable radios during performance:

Concrete privacy in the public space
The work Legoland uses radio as its medium, also the work focuses on various aspects of numbers and communication methods within clandestine operations such as number stations or secret intelligence services the name is taken from the nickname of MI6 building in London. The audio material for the performance has been collected from various radio receivers around Europe, North America, and Asia.


Broadcasting secret messages into air is a peculiar activity, since it’s indeed shared in a public space. Hence everyone could in practice tune in the actual frequency and listen to it. However, there is only one kind of listener that could decrypt the message (for i.e. special number stations) due to a simple but efficient and unbreakable method using only a paper and a pen.


The benefits of still using radio today has the advantage of the impossibility to trace the listener in contrast to the use of computers where everything has traces of IP numbers, logs and hard-drives. Radio waves are difficult to stop and in every moment of time waves are passing borders and through people. The history of these broadcasts are to be traced back to the beginning of the radio medium itself making them the first public broadcast ever transmitted. The transmissions are unregistered and hence illegal to the FCC. Even though these type of transmissions had its peak in the cold war, they can still be heard. Some has changed its behavior to digital mode (which still is made up of numbers).