FREE Event, (Walk-ins are welcome, but you will be limited to one hour on your own with headphones, credit cards will be kept on file to ensure safe return of devices.)
FREE Guided Tours with Christina Kubisch (reservations required) except on August 17 and 18 for a maximum of 10 participants per group
Daily Guided Tour Times (except August 17 & 18):
Since the end of the 1970s Christina Kubisch has worked with the system of electromagnetic induction, which she developed from a basic technique into an individual artistic tool. In 2003 she started researching a new series of works in public spaces, which trace the electromagnetic fields of urban environments in the form of city walks. The first Electrical Walk took place in Cologne in 2004.
Electrical Walks is a work in progress. It is a public walk with special, sensitive wireless headphones through which the acoustic qualities of aboveground and underground electromagnetic fields become amplified and audible. The transmission of sound is achieved by built-in coils which respond to the electromagnetic waves in our environment. The palette of these noises, their timbre and volume, varies 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 signs, and public transportation networks, among others, create electrical fields that are as if hidden under cloaks of invisibility, but of incredible presence.
The sounds are much more musical than one might expect. There are complex layers of high and low frequencies, loops of rhythmic sequences, groups of tiny signals, long drones, and many sounds that 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. Electrical Walks is an invitation to a special kind of investigation of city centers (or elsewhere). With the magnetic headphone and a map of the environs, on which the possible routes and especially interesting electrical fields are marked, the participant 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. Nothing looks the way it sounds. And nothing sounds the way it looks.