con-crete : a tender topography of Dilston Grove Gallery is an attempt to cultivate intimate listening environments in which the stories of Dilston Grove can be sounded. To approach the testimony of a person is to recognise them not only as an individual but also as an assemblage. Our stories are woven through the intra-actional relationships we have with the things, beings and processes that make us. Dilston Grove (originally the Church of Epiphany) is the first example of poured concrete in the UK, over 110 years old it has been used as a church, an art gallery and at one point a home only to pigeons. Its testimonies are entangled with the mushrooms that one day might repair the cracks in its concrete walls and the beach that once homed the sand in its cement. Con-crete explores the testimonies of the more-than-human but also asks how we can approach these testimonies with the intent to listen, to listen not just to the stories but to the subject that tells them. The act of picking up a phone brings the quiet anticipation of a voice, of someone at the other end of the line. By using old dial phones, their original speakers, microphones and ring, the medium of listening becomes part of the testimony itself, as do the listeners.
A group of rotary dial phones sit on a circular table. The listener is invited to pick up the telephone receivers and listen to the more-than-human assemblages entangled in Dilston Grove. Each phone has a corresponding chapter in the re-directory, an accompanying phonebook in which the listener can read about the stories behind each sound. The re-directory is available on its own as a sound map of the area with Dilston Grove at its centre.