Sunday, 10 April 2011

The nerve centre of The British Empire in a quiet little Cornish cove. Who knew?

This is the sign at the bottom of the Minack Theatre hill. I'd never heard of the Telegraph Museum so I was intrigued, and when I'm intrigued I must discover. We'd passed a big white building on the way to the Minack with MUSEUM printed in massive letters on it so I guessed that was it.

After parking up you walk through a garden full of "sci-art" sculptures which were born out of an interesting collaborative project that aims to bridge the age old divide between the art world and the science world by engaging local school children and innovative artists to design pieces of object d'arts that reflect the invisible science behind telegraph technology portrayed though the medium of sculpture, sound and light. I liked this eerie one the best...

This is a telegraph pole connected to a redundant submarine cable that was once used to send telegraph signals between here and Vigo in Spain. Since the cable no longer transmits telegraphs the signals it now picks up are the earth's faint electrical charges which are then processed and sounded out through the speaker on top. It emits live changes in the electrical signals under the sea, so in effect what you're listening to is the cumulative sound of the earth's magnetic field, radio waves, lightening and man-made electromagnetic charges (among other things) and hearing it makes you feel like you've been shot straight into an episode of Doctor Who. It was all creepy and scary and I love that.