“Postcards from London” explores the experience of visiting places as an outsider or tourist. When going to see landmarks and museums in a new city, we must reconcile the physical space with how we always imagined it. We construct this imagined space from what we have seen in movies, from descriptions found in guidebooks, and from stories told to us by tour guides and travelers. Buildings and alleys become symbols of national identity and memory. As with the front of a postcard, we are given “official images” that differ from the phenomenological experience of navigating a place.
The audio portion of this piece is comprised of found sounds from an online database, freesounds.org. These audio clips were identified by site members as being “typical” of the sounds at these particular locations, along with recordings of tour guides who use specific language and performances to give meaning to a place.
The photographs are snapshots taken during our discovery of the physical space of two London museums: the Tate Modern and the Science Museum. Like the experiences people write about on the back of a postcard, they are about our impression of and interaction with the physical environment.
Sound art by Anna Waterman and Nadège Giraudet
Photography by Nadège Giraudet