damping chamber

The Cloud Chamber (Damping Chamber)





On the 6th August 1880 from his home on Lake Coniston, artist and critic John Ruskin identified what he believed to be an entirely new and ominous form of cloud. He wrote of it in his diary that day – “prismatic, palpitating, ragged and icy with long locks and tresses, as of hair at its edge, overlying the range of hills like an Hesperides Dragon – ending northwards in a clear sky against a black monster cloud. I believe these clouds to appear only between storms. They are assuredly new in heaven so far as my life reaches.” It was in the same year and into Ruskin’s polluted industrial world – a world in which the sky appeared to be dying – that the architect Giles Gilbert Scott was born. And it was between the two storms of the First and Second World Wars that the bell tower of his most famous commission, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, was completed, rising majestically above the urban pollutants of Britain’s most important Atlantic seaport.

The bells in the tower are ordained to communicate directly with the citizens of Liverpool, and taking as its themes this notion of 'broadcast' the partnership installed a one watt radio transmitter in the tower that broadcast an evocative, specially commissioned programme, for twenty eight days on a restricted service licence. In its Centenary year, when its history had been articulated by others, Trans Mittere allowed the building to speak for itself.