Click here for full information on this project, including podcasts, images and videos detailing the creative process and the final artwork.

soundmirror is a participatory artwork by artist Rob Smith that listens to and reflects the soundscapes of coastal environments through the sites of First World War sound mirrors in the north east today.

The online artwork invites people to examine how ‘listening’ to the contemporary coastal environment can enable the site of the sound mirror to emerge from the intersection of technologies and shared histories.

soundmirror Coastal SoundLabs reimagine our local landscape through sound and technology 

This summer of 2024 events and workshops will explore sound in a changing landscape at venues in Sunderland, Seaham and Hartlepool. Come and take part in guided sound walks, share stories of local history, hear the landscape in new ways and record sounds that can contribute to a crowd sourced digital artwork. 

Sound mirrors were constructed during the first world war to listen out for approaching Zeppelins that bombed the North East coastline. Their large concrete dishes would reflect the sounds of a Zeppelin’s engines, and amplify them so that an operator could hear them coming and give an early warning to people in the towns.  

The soundmirror Coastal SoundLab activities and events invite you to revisit these sound mirror sites. Through collecting environmental sounds, we ask how our environment is changing, what signals can we hear with the technologies we have now, and how these places are still active within the coastal environment of the North East today.