[spectre] (in)visible sounds, exhibition and seminar

Marieke Istha istha at montevideo.nl
Wed May 16 13:58:47 CEST 2007

(in)visible sounds

June 2 through July 14, 2007
Opening June 1, 5:00 p.m.

Erich Berger, David Haines & Joyce Hinterding, Usman Haque & Rob Davis, 
Informationlab (Ursula Lavrencic & Auke Touwslager), Olga Kisseleva, 
Brandon LaBelle & James Watts, Semiconductor, Theodore Watson

Exhibition is in cooperation with the 5 days off festival www.5daysoff.nl

The omnipresence of computers and mobile communications apparatus has 
led to digital technology increasingly becoming a part of our 
environment. Invisible wireless networks have altered our ways of 
communicating, working, learning and playing. They have even taken on an 
important role in the creation of our identity and our relationships 
with others. In the course of this development, interest in the 
apparatus has increasingly shifted from the technology itself to the 
role it plays in shaping our experience. The artists in this exhibition 
investigate the invisible world of sound waves and frequencies and 
electromagnetic fields. In all cases they touch on issues concerning the 
radiation that is ever-present, but imperceptible to our senses. They 
make use of technologies that are present around us, but invisible, and 
by playing with electromagnetic waves and different frequencies their 
works surprise us with an abundance of information and possibilities.

In his work Tempest (2004) Erich Berger(Sweden) makes use of the basic 
principles of Van Eck Phreaking, a technology through which the content 
van a computer screen can be reconstructed at a distance by picking up 
the electromagnetic field surrounding that screen. In Tempest pure 
generative graphic forms are transformed into a dense and intense 
composition of sound, noise and light. The graphic forms that appear on 
the screen produce radio waves, which are then picked up by several 
transistor radios. These are tuned to various AM frequencies and 
ultimately produce the distinct and lively sounds that go together with 
the images. David Haines and Joyce Hinterding (Australia) use the live 
data stream from televisions to precipitate avalanches. In their work 
Purple Rain (2004) Haines and Hinterding draw an overwhelming connection 
between the mystic forces of nature and the presence of the thousands of 
watts that are stirred up by the frequencies of the electromagnetic 
field. In the installation Evolving Sonic Environment (2005-2007) Usman 
Haque and Rob Davis (UK) investigate to what degree the presence of 
people in a space influences the audio composition created, without the 
intervention of sensors. Several audio speakers hang form the ceiling, 
each generating a sound with a different frequency. Intercommunication 
between these units balances the sounds and maintains the sensitive 
sonic ecosystem, which is only disrupted by visitors. The consequences 
these interventions have on the brain of the space can be observed, live 
on the internet..

The visitors also play an important role in the installation AudioSpace 
(2005-2007) by Theodore Watson (US). In the 3D augmented aural space 
visitors can leave messages for others in the form of sound. By means of 
a special headset with a microphone, texts can be spoken into the space, 
and at the same time, messages left earlier can be retrieved. The space 
is filled with invisible messages from previous visitors. On the other 
hand, Brandon LaBelle and James Watts (US) let one hear the mystic 
sounds of the building. In the site-specific installation Radio Flirt 
(2007) visitors with small portable radios walk through the space in 
search of characteristic noises and the secrets of the building.

Olga Kisseleva (Russia) lets us see the flows of energy and magnetic 
pollution that surround us. In Landstreams (2006) she creates a new type 
of abstract landscape art. The paintings are based on various data flows 
that have been analyzed by a computer. In the film Earth Moves (2006) by 
Semiconductor (UK) the visualization of unseen forces is also central. 
Earth Moves reveals an unstable world that is always in flux. The 
contours and forms of everything around us are being altered by the 
invisible force of acoustic waves. This process is imperceptible to the 
naked eye. By combining digital photos of various places with sound from 
the same locations, new acoustic landscapes are created. Finally, in a 
humorous way Informationlab (Ursula Lavrencic, SLO and Auke Touwslager, 
Netherlands) reveal the invisible aura of the mobile telephone. Cell 
Phone Disco (2006) is an installation made out of LED-lamps that respond 
to the electromagnetic field of mobile telephones. As visitors walk 
through the installation while making calls, the telephone signal 
activates the LEDs, so that a trail of flickering LEDs follow them 
through the space. The unseen body of the mobile telephone becomes 

In addition to the works in the exhibition a selection of video works 
from the Institute’s own collection can be viewed on monitors. These 
afford insight into an important historic tradition.

(in)visible technology
Saturday, June 2, 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.
The consequences of invisible technology are to be further examined in a 
brief seminar. It is becoming increasingly difficult to recognize the 
effects of these technologies, because once technologies become 
invisible they also disappear from our consciousness. The environment is 
no longer experienced as constructed, and people become even more remote 
from the technology and its influence on their everyday life, actions 
and thought. In order to break out of this cycle we need to have 
examples that throw a new light on existing networks and structures. A 
number of speakers will be casting light into the darkness. The 
conversation will be based around examples which introduce other ways of 
accessing invisible networks.
With: Usman Haque & Rob Davis, David Haines & Joyce Hinterding and Olga 
Commentator: Rob van Kranenburg.
Live stream: www.montevideo.nl
Language: English
Admission 5,- (students 3,-).
Reservations: info at montevideo.nl

5 days off takes place from July 4 through 8 in Paradiso, Melkweg, the 
Netherlands Media Arts Institute and the Heineken Music Hall. Check for 
updates: www.5daysoff.nl

Exhibition open: Tuesday through Saturday, 1:00 – 6:00 p.m., also open 
the first Sunday of the month. Admision 2,50 (1,50 with discount). 
During 5 days off, free admission with any sort of 5 days off ticket.

With thanks to:
Fund for Podium Programming and Marketing, Mondriaan Foundation, Prince 
Bernhard Cultural Fund, VSB Fund, Australian Council, Maison Descartes, 
BeamSystems and Steim

Netherlands Media Art Institute
Montevideo / Time Based Arts
Keizersgracht 264
1016 EV Amsterdam
The Netherlands
T +31 (0)20 6237101
F +31 (0)20 6244423

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