Electrical Walks – Samples of Raw Sounds

Written by Thomas Büsch on . Posted in Future Archive, Seen Beyond

2000_London_1ELECTRICAL WALKS by Christina Kubisch is an invitation to a very special kind of stroll in cities (or elsewhere) With a special 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 electrical fields; what is accustomed appears in a different context. Nothing looks the way it sounds. And nothing sounds the way it looks.

The magnetic headphones with their built-in coils respond to electrical fields in the environment. At first Kubisch tried to filter the soft hum of the electrical wires out of the headphones. Then, in 2003, the constant increase and spread of “unwanted” electrically-produced sounds triggered a new cycle of works: Electrical Walks. With special, sensitive headphones, the acoustic perceptibility of aboveground and underground electrical currents is thereby not suppressed, but rather amplified.

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, transformers, anti-theft security devices, surveillance cameras, cell phones, computers, elevators, streetcar cables, antennae, navigation systmes, automated teller machines, neon advertising, electric devices, etc. create electrical fields that are as if hidden under cloaks of invisibility, but of incredible presence.

All tracks copyright Christina Kubisch

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