My City is a Hungry Ghost is a dense collage of language, sound and video, which oscillates between moments of introspection and political articulation. It is designed as a four channel video loop including a Mini FM radio transmitter. In an installation comprised of video screens and hundreds of tiny loud speakers, Jan will be broadcasting and receiving his own radio transmission from within the gallery.

My City is a Hungry Ghost is based on found excerpts from a variety of literary sources revolving around the issue communication at the nexus of media, politics and subjectivity.

The content of the video is based on a montage of four voices each represented by one actor standing or sitting in an empty room with one chair. Each actor is brought to light when her or his voice is heard or otherwise stays in the dark and is only lit by the light of passing cars falling through venetian blinds. While remaining silent for themselves, they let us tune into their thoughts and inner monologues. And as the four monologues expand, a larger conversation unfolds investigating poetics and politics contemporary urban life.

Italo Calvino’s “The Invisible Cities” served as first inspiration for My City is a Hungry Ghost. Calvino’s description of the City of Melania was of particular fascination. Melania is reported to be the place for an ever continuing dialogue among generations of denizens. Although through its course the participants may die and new participants are born and take their place in one role or another. Re-contextualising Calvino’s Melania, ‘My City is a Hungry Ghost‘ is an re-enactment of found excerpts from a variety of literary sources* revolving around the issue communication in the making at the nexus of media, politics and subjectivity.

Watch the full length video as a four-in-one screen adapted version:
Use the embedded video player at the top or alternatively use the direct vimeo link (27’22”).

Listen to the soundtrack of the installation (27’22”)

Text References / Sources of Inspiration

  • Invisible Committee, The Coming Insurrection, 2007
  • Barbara O’Brien, Operators and Things, 1958
  • Piotr Czerski, We, the Web Kids; 2012
  • Anthony G. Banet, Jr.; Interview with Wilfred R. Bion; Los Angles, April 1976

unrelated relatedness

My City is a Hungry Ghost is together with planet ocean and Nature in the Dark part of the unrelated relatedness series. Each work brings into play the different elements, tactics or technologies that we employ in our search to unify the inner and outer worlds that we inhabit.

This series is part of Jan’s creative Ph.D in Media Arts at the Centre for Creative Arts, La Trobe University, in which he is investigating the phenomena of contemporary sound and communication practice and environmental aesthetics.
Ph.D title: From Sound to Waves to Territories, supervisors: Norie Neumark, Hugh Davies.


This is a production 2012/3.

Concept / Direction: Jan Hendrik Brüggemeier
Sound design: Jan Bartholomaeus
Director of Photography: Scott Lewis, Zoopatrol / Melbourne
Multimedia programming: Zsolt Barat, Softmonsters / Berlin
Post-Production / Compositing: Curtis Moyes, Green Brain Media / Melbourne
Installation design: Silvana Iannello / Melbourne


Female Voice 1: Tracey Callander
Male Voice 1: Garth Ernstzen
Female Voice 2: Marita May Dyson
Male Voice 1: Jez P.A. Speelman


Tetsuo Kogawa and Antonia Goodfellow for their help with the building of the radio transmitter.
Silvana Iannello for her help designing the exhibition.

Photo credit

Antonia Goodfellow / Jan Hendrik Brüggemeier
Installation view: Visual Arts Centre, Bendigo 2013 & Library Artspace, Melbourne 2012

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