The Hummingbird Clock
Lawrence Abu Hamdan
The Hummingbird Clock, 2016
commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and Liverpool BID Company for the 2016 Liverpool Biennial
Lawrence Abu Hamdan, courtesy Maureen Paley, London
We fabricated, built & designed the electronics for The Hummingbird Clock for artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan as part of The Liverpool Biennial in 2016 .
Opposite Liverpool's law courts, Abu Hamdan's Hummingbird Clock, a tree of binoculars resembling CCTV cameras, keeps watch over the Town Hall's clock. It was designed as a tool for investigations into civil and human rights violations and state corruption: recording the second by second variations in the buzz made by the electrical grid as a means of counter surveillance. For over 10 years, the UK government has been using this humming sound as a surveillance tool. Nearly all recordings made within earshot of this almost-silent humming can be forensically analysed to determine time and date, and whether the recording has been edited or altered.