Locative Sounds

Locative Sounds

“Trabalho da artista alemã Christina Kubisch explora a relação dos sons com as cidades a partir de diversas performances e instalações. O último trabalho chama-se Five Electrical Walks, culminando obras que ela tem realizado desde 2003. Nesse trabalho os usuários podem ouvir sons que emergem das ondas eletromagnéticas dos mais diversos equipamentos no espaço urbano. Um trabalho que utiliza a potência locativa, sensores, e a antiga arte da deriva como forma de leitura e interação do/com o espaço urbano.

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“Christina Kubisch is a first generation sound artist of the highest order. Kubisch has been working with electrical induction since the late seventies and in 2003 she began her Electrical Walk installations. Listeners wear specially built headphones that reveal electro-magnetic radiation eminating from the technological world around us. 5 Electrical Walks is her first collection of compositions untilizing material recorded during Electrical Walks.

Invisible/Inaudible: FIVE ELECTRICAL WALKS
Electromagnetic Investigations in the City

‘Electrical Walks is a public walk with custom-made sensitive wireless headphones by which aboveground and underground electromagnetic fields are detected, amplified and made audible.

The transmission of sound is accomplished by a built-in set of induction coils which respond to the electromagnetic waves in our environment. The palette of these noises, their timbre and volume vary from site to site and from country to country. They have one thing in common: they are ubiquitous, even where one would not expect them. Light systems, wireless communication systems, radar systems, anti-theft security devices, surveillance cameras, cell phones, computers, streetcar cables, antennae, navigation systems, automated teller machines, wireless internet, neon advertising, public transportation networks, etc. create electrical fields that are as if hidden under cloaks of invisibility, but of incredible presence.

The sounds are much more musical than one could expect. There are complex layers of high and low frequencies, loops of rhythmic sequences, groups of tiny signals, long drones and many things which change constantly and are hard to describe. Some sounds are ‘global players’, they sound much alike all over the world. Others are specific for a city or country and cannot be found anywhere else.

Electrical Walks is an an invitation to a special kind of investigation of city centres (or other locations). With the magnetic headphone and a map of the environs, upon which the possible routes and especially interesting electrical fields are marked, the visitor can set off on his own or in a group. The perception of everyday reality changes when one listens to the electromagnetic fields; what is accustomed appears in a different context. Sound can transport you to different time areas, sound can transport you through your knowledge of space. Your brain is trying to get together what you hear and see in new ways. Nothing looks the way it sounds. And nothing sounds the way it looks.

The five compositions on the CD are based on numerous live recordings of electromagnetic fields, made between 2003 and 2007 in the cities of Birmingham, Chicago, Taipei, Paris, Bremen, Riga, Tokyo, Madrid, London, New York, Berlin and others. The sounds have not been altered electronically or by other means.”

– Christina Kubisch, July 2007