Lawrence English repurposes Los Angeles Civil Defence System for Seirá

The artist’s first main solo sound paintings makes use of six of the remaining defence sirens throughout the better Los Angeles space. 

Room40 label head Lawrence English will debut his first main solo sound paintings, Seirá, on the AxS Festival from Friday, November 2, to Sunday, November 11.

The work will include a 12-minute sound composition by English that will likely be broadcast concurrently throughout six of the remaining sirens that made up the now decommissioned Los Angeles Civil Defence System. The broadcast will happen day-after-day at nightfall.

The Los Angeles Civil Defence System, which was put in throughout the Second World War and tremendously expanded throughout the Cold War, included greater than 200 civil defence sirens and was final sounded in January 1985.

Seirá, which derives its identify from the Greek phrase for wire or rope, goals to discover the psychogeography of the system, “as a method of contemplating sound’s evolving function within the public sphere”, says a press launch.

According to English, the work “explores a recent studying of the siren as a sonic agent that binds and articulates area”, and  “is anxious with the shifting function sound performs in modern city settings.”

The artist’s choice to make the most of the Los Angeles Civil Defence System additionally speaks to his ongoing preoccupation with the weaponization of sound, particularly in a civil context. With Seirá, English goals to interrogate this use of sound and critique the rising use of units such because the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD).

“LRAD’s elevated use by legislation enforcement, non-public safety, and different teams as a method of exerting management and energy has considerably shifted understandings of how the siren features; its function has shifted from that of civil protection to civil assault”, English says.

Seirá takes place day-after-day at nightfall in six places within the better Los Angeles space. See beneath for the total schedule and places of the piece, and discover extra particulars on the AxS Festival web site.


Nov 2 – 5:59 pm PDT
Nov three – 5:58 pm PDT
Nov four – four:57 pm PDT
Nov 5 – four:56 pm PDT
Nov 6 – four:55 pm PDT
Nov 7 – four:54 pm PDT
Nov eight – four:54 pm PDT
Nov 9 – four:53 pm PDT
Nov 10 – four:52 pm PDT
Nov 11 – four:51 pm PDT


125 S. Olive St.
N. Spring St. & W. Temple St.
E. eighth St. & S. Los Angeles St.
E. 14th St. & Santee St.
Marathon St. & N. Vermont Ave.
Valley Blvd. & Ronda Dr.

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