Electromagnetic Investigations in the City
Work in Progress
The electricalwalks.org website is an actual development of the electromagnetic sound world discovered by the German sound artist and composer Christina Kubisch.
Since the end of the 1970s Christina Kubisch has been working with the system of electromagnetic induction, which she has developed from a basic technique of transferring magnetic fields to an individual artistic tool. In 2003 she started the series “Electrical Walks” which provides a new experience of the hidden electromagnetic phenomena in our surroundings.
Armed with special sensitive wireless headphones, which make the electromagnetic fields around us audible, and a map with indicated magnetic landmarks, the visitors embark on an auditory adventure that changes their perception of everyday reality. The transmission of sound is made by built-in coils which respond to the electromagnetic waves in our environment. The palette of these sounds, their timbre, and volume, vary from site to site and from country to country. They have one thing in common: they are everywhere, even in places you would not expect. them Lighting systems, wireless communications, radar, anti-theft security devices, surveillance cameras, cellphones, computers, antennae, navigation systems, ATMs, Wi-Fi routers, neon signs, public transportation networks, etc, all generate electrical fields – hidden as if under cloaks of invisibility, but with incredible presence.
The sounds are much more varied and musical than you might expect. There are complex layers of high and low frequencies, loops of rhythmic sequences, groups of tiny signals, complex layers of pitches, long drones and many elements which change constantly and are hard to describe. Some sounds are much alike all over the world. Others are specific to a city or country and cannot be found anywhere else.
On this website you can find:
- List of Electrical Walks since 2004 with a short description of each walk, maps and images.
- Virtual walks:
- Sound archive
- Sound mixer (still to come)
- “Press kit” (still to come)
With the support of the Goethe-Institut and the Norwegian Arts Council, the electricalwalks.org website has been developed by the Ultima Festival and Christina Kubisch in collaboration with the Berlin webdesign company A & B ants and butterflies.