Part academic lecture, part science-fiction story, Thin Air by artist Paul Rooney, excavates real and imagined histories trapped inside Leeds Metropolitan University’s H Building as it faced demolition.

Throughout the 1970s, Smithson undertook an extensive sonic study of H Building claiming that the recordings of distant voices he had made in its empty rooms were the remnants of the radical, eventful and tragic episodes that had taken place there. Drawing on Smithson’s recordings and diaries, Dr Annette Gomperts reveals how his findings correlate with specific historical moments in the life of individual students, the site of the building, and the wider world.

Commissioned by Sound and Music, 2009. Softback, 24 pp., 210 × 148 mm.