A sounds of football installation by @ Jumpers for Goalpoasts

Whatever else you see while watching Checkendon Exiles v Wheatley King and Queen in the Upper Thames Valley Sunday League or Algeria v Senegal in the African Cup of Nations Final, you will definitely notice the corner flags. They have been an essential part of the material culture of football, from the grassroots to the professional game for over a hundred years, giving the referee a fighting chance of identifying whether the ball has gone off for a throw-in or a corner.

With the recent decline in goals scored direct from corner-kicks, our attention this summer has often been on the corner flag as a useful prop as teams seek to run down the clock and frustrate their opponents - as expertly demonstrated by the USA at the FIFA Women’s World Cup - but we shouldn’t let this distract us from the potential joy of the corner flag illustrated by Klass Van Huntelaar’s high kicking celebrations; the role they played in Italia ‘90 as a partner for Cameroon’s dancing Roger Milla; as the punch-bag for Australia’s shadow-boxing Tim Cahill; and as a key site of innovation and invention illustrated by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s famous Champions League semi-final corner for Liverpool v Barcelona - using the corner as a site of deception, of sleight of foot as he set up Origi for Liverpool’s crucial fourth goal.

At Jumpers for Goalposts we have embedded the sounds of grassroots football in our corner-flags. To listen to the sound of matches on local parks, parish recreation grounds, playing fields and village greens is to listen to a rich sounding culture. The rituals of marking out the pitch, cutting the grass, fixing nets to goalposts with cable ties and driving the corner flags into the earth. Then the distinctive on-pitch communication - get rid!, stick it in the mixer, man on, put him under; the whistle; the sound of football boot on ball, of the ball as it lands; the struck crack of the crossbar; studs compressing the soil, brushing the grass, slicing through the turf.

Paul Whitty


Design and Production
Grace Crannis

Sound Recording
Paul Whitty with support from the Sound Diaries project at Oxford Brookes University

In Situ

With support from the Tate Exchange