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Signalling History


This is a collection of stories and research about colonial trading and packet ship lineage and history of Falmouth docks. It was played in the Maritime Museum watch tower for the audience to listen to while watching us perform along the pier through binoculars.

“Signaling History" is a performance created by Falmouth University students and based at the Maritime Museum watch tower in Falmouth. After visiting the Maritime Museum we became fascinated by the stories that uncover the history of how Falmouth has established itself as an important dock not just in the United Kingdom but throughout the world. We looked at the historical context of shipping and more importantly the ways in which smuggling and signaling have contributed to the history and intrigue of Falmouth docks. We invited an audience of about 5 people to witness one of the oldest ways of communication to help ships navigate the narrow shores of Falmouth. The audience was guided to the watch tower where a sea inspired soundscape was be playing, ready to immerse the audience in the performance upon stepping out of the lift. There was recorded text interspersed in the soundscape that told a story about the colonial import/export history of Falmouth and contextualised the performances witnessed by the audience. Whilst this was going on the audience would be asked to use binoculars to view different locations along the pier to experience happenings that are relevant to the recordings. These happenings were be solo performances from a distance that the audience can bare witness to. The aim of Signaling History was to educate and share with people the ways in which signaling and smuggling has played a huge part in the historical stories of Falmouth Docks. Each performance/installation lasted about 10-15 minutes, and had an audience size that was complimentary to the maritime museum’s funtions. 

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