My new sound installation Autapia is playing in Milton Keynes Gallery Project Space until 27th November as part of the current exhibition on new towns, Community Without Propinquity. Commissioned by Claire Louise Staunton of Inheritance Projects, Autapia is a sound portrait of the new town of Milton Keynes. Comprising field recordings interwoven with thoughts, ideas and experiences, all the archive material comes from old tape cassettes found in public and private archives, including the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre. The installation is diffused through speakers I modified that are more commonly associated with large public address systems such as those found in supermarkets.

Autapia, Caroline Devine 2011

Documenting Bletchley Park

I am collaborating with photographer, Rachael Marshall and installation artist, Maya Ramsay, on the documentation of buildings at Bletchley Park that are to be renovated. Our new blog is here.

We have been granted access to make work in Blocks C and D, previously inaccessible to the public due to their state of repair. Rachael has been photographing the buildings in their current state and will document the renovation process throughout. Maya makes works by lifting pigment debris and texture from surfaces in the built environment and has been working on surfaces in both blocks. I have been capturing sounds within and outside the buildings. Block C in particular is a really challenging environment – many of the ceilings have collapsed and several of the rooms are inhabited by pigeons who fly towards flashlights and head torches!

It is amazing to be granted access and, in spite of their inhospitable states, both blocks are strangely compelling due to their incredible histories. Block C is chiefly boarded up but a skylight near the back of the building has allowed enough light in combination with the damp environment for a “garden” to form. The pigeons seem to have established their individual territories and one in particular spends most of the day hopping around this garden space.

Photo by Rachael Marshall

Memories of Bletchley Park

Oral History interview

Madeleine McDonald 1942
Madeleine McDonald 1942

Madeleine McDonald worked on the Bombe machines in Hut 11 at Bletchley Park between 1942 and 1945.

All those involved in the intelligence gathering and codebreaking work that took place at Bletchley Park signed the Official Secrets Act and maintained secrecy about their wartime activity for thirty years.

The work carried out at Bletchley Park is credited with shortening the war by two years. In addition, Bletchley Park is now regarded as the birthplace of the world’s first electronic computer.

Recording made on 29th October 2009 in Hadley Wood, Hertfordshire.