Susan Philipsz’s proposal is an aural clock. The clock will stand as a monument to time: past, present and future. It will comprise of twelve digits like any clock but each of the digits will represent a tone from the twelve tones of the musical scales.
The sounds of Station Clock will be made by the population of Birmingham and be produced in collaboration with the Birmingham Conservatoire. The tones will sound very low overnight and will be fuller sounding during the day, culminating in a large chorus at noon.
Susan, born in Glasgow and now living in Berlin, won the Turner Prize in 2010 for a sound installation that features her singing three versions of a Scottish lament. Station Clock will be her first permanent installation in the UK.
Susan said: “I’m really happy to be selected as the winning artist and can’t wait to get started on it. I wish we could unveil it sooner. We want to involve as many people as possible from across the board, recording children, the elderly and people who don’t have very good voices. It will be a real diversity of voices.”
Gavin Wade, of Eastside Projects, said: “We have chosen the artwork that challenges our ideas of what art is, where it is, when it is, how it has been made and how to imagine art in the future.”
Glyn Pitchford, Chairman of the BBAP, added: “Station Clock will become a destination for lovers of culture and music, embracing Birmingham’s diverse communities, an ideal artwork for a new public square to be developed around the exciting new HS2 terminal in Eastside City Park. Thus Station Clock achieves the aims of the Birmingham Big Art Project, aligning with one of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK.”