Entry Date:
November 1, 2012

HearSay House

Principal Investigator Gediminas Urbonas

Co-investigator Antonio Muntadas

Project Start Date May 2012

Conceived by Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas in collaboration with MIT, HearSay House is a system of operations that investigate, undermine, and subvert the grand narrative of history. The Höfði House is the location of the 1986 Reykjavik Summit meeting between US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev. The project focuses on the idea of false neutrality and Iceland’s role in ending the Cold War, while at the same time promoting a continued international engagement. Listening to the historic and political environment, the project deploys varied technologies to detect affect, breath, motion, pressure, acoustics, and other senses, which are translated into a series of operations that deconstruct the Höfði House and turn it into the HearSay House: a virtual sweatshop model with agents of Gorbachev and Reagan knitting the new Icelandic identity -- a collective sweater -- while watching a propaganda film archive.

The HearSay House research and exhibition project is produced in collaboration with students in the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) course.