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Sound Polaroids

by Scanner + Tonne

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD, still sealed, in mint condition, of this original release from 2002 on Bip-Hop France. Comes with postcard and sticker. Long out of print.

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Milano Mix 07:29
Tokyo Mix 09:20
Montreal Mix 03:43
Tonne Mix 13:08


The city as a symbol for missed meanings and connections.
Soundtrack to an exhibition and live mixes from Milan, Montreal, NYC and Toyko.

"At first the sound which accompanies the installation images seems prosaic – street noises, the chimes of Big Ben. After a bit, other, stranger sounds can be detected, whooshing away like the cliches or 1960s electronic music. It is a very good place to sneak a glimpse into a brave and very strange new world.”

Winners of the Imaginaria ‘99 art show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London with this project, Scanner +Tonne present an adaptation of the work for CD.

Originally an installation, the artists invited people to suggest points of sound interest in the city of London and collated together the eclectic responses, such as:
“Mind the gap, please”
Trafalqar square
“At the 3rd stroke, the time sponsored by Acurist”
A double-decker bus when it’s stopped at a stop light – it “surges” and “heaves”

Both images and sound were recorded at these locations and this data was then processed using software that converts the pixels of an image into sound, giving the user the ability to paint with sound and compose with light. Such a graphical approach suggested the use of digital images taken across the city as photographic sounds, or ‘sound polaroids.’

Using a database of the original source material Scanner+Tonne then actively took the show on the road and created live performances following a similar system. Arriving a few days ahead of the performance they digitally record the city with sound and image, capturing a moment in time from an outsiders viewpoint. This collected data is then transformed, arranged and processed into the final presentation before the public. Every particle of sound and image that is picked up, the signs of the city, is incorporated into the show, projected around the space, generating a new scenery, formulating a new context, imaginary, evocative, yet familiar to the local audience. What they experience is another type of view:the city seen by the artists.

What you hear is only a record of temporary moments. An additional adaptation by New York based sound artist Stephen Vitiello offers an insight into the sounds of Grand Central Station within the frame of this project.


released May 5, 2003

Design, Photography By [All Other] – Scanner, Tonne
Photography By [Cover Image] – Jules Selmes

Track 3 is an interpretation by New York sound artist Stephen Vitiello

Cover image: London ICA installation (detail).

All other design/photography: © Scanner + Tonne 2002


all rights reserved



Scanner London, UK

Robin Rimbaud - Scanner is an artist and composer working in London. Since 1991 he has been intensely active in sonic art, producing concerts, installations and recordings, the albums Mass Observation (1994), Delivery (1997), and The Garden is Full of Metal (1998). His work has been presented throughout the United States, South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. ... more


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