Teufelsberg is a well-known man-made hill in the outskirts of Berlin. It was built by the American Allies with the rubble of a city destroyed by World War 2, in the 20 years that followed its end. Created from debris on Grunewald’s plateau, Teufelsberg became the highest viewing point in Berlin and a favorable location for military observation of the city. Prior to establishing the first permanent buildings on site in the very late 1950s, American Mobile Allied listening units used to drive to various other locales throughout West Berlin hoping to gain the best vantage point for listening to Soviet, East German, and other Warsaw Pact nations military traffic. Due to the evident vantage point it could offer, a permanent listening station was then built on Teufelsberg, to be run by the National Security Agency until the fall of the Berlin wall.
BERG investigates a historical site through an alternate shift between documentary and fictional representation. A soundscape produced from samples from a series of mainstream Spy Movies overlaps a carefully edited selection of classic shots, inspired by the most repetitive cinematic clichés that are to be found in the espionage genre. If visuals and sound have a linear continuity in certain sections of the film, as the video unfolds, it becomes clearer that the voiceover belongs to a less recognizable past – more or less fictional - whilst the location, Teufelsberg, is depicted in its contemporary condition.
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