The Process of my graduation year
the Map of the Unheard Unseen
Waves+Hidden details = Unheard Unseen.
A n(on)-l(inear) timeline:
As an artist I have always wanted to highlight overseen details of everyday life (mostly).
My main artistic pillars are nature, the senses and science.
This was resembled as a core of many of my works throughout my study.
I am very convinced that the art lies in the eye of the beholder.
Therefore it is especially important to leave room for the process inside beholders.
Waves and why I started researching them:
Since early teenage years I have been interested in senses and phenomena like synesthesia (the connection of two of more senses). My long term goal is to research ways to translate senses. In the beginning of my graduation year at iArts I had found waves.
Why you should care about waves and why you do:
Maybe you are not that interested in graphs describing abstract theories, you hate surfing and you always where bad at maths. Still your primary senses almost entirely depend on waves.
Seeing depends on electromagnetic waves picked up by your eyes.
Hearing depends on acoustic waves through the ear picked up by your ears.
Physical sense of touch depends on the waves which occur when we touch any material.
Without waves everything would be pitch black, you would have no sense of space, as you would not feel anything nor hear anything. Life would not have flourished on the earth as no light would have reached from the sun. You would not even exist and most likely the universe would not exist as well.
For more research background <--- click here
Why I had to go to Berlin:
My long therm goal, as stated above, relates to the field of audiovisual art and research. When I got the chance to choose a location to pursue this research from the beginning of the final year, it had to be Berlin. Berlin as the city where audiovisual art originated now 100 years ago (even earlier than 1920) through artist such as Vikking Egeling, Walter Ruttman and others. Furthermore Berlin as the city with the most active audiovisual scene. Most commonly known might be the nightlife ( Berlin-reductionism in popular music) and its use of audiovisual media but there are more sophisticated art/research based institutions and scenes like "echtzeitmusik.de". For all of these reasons it is the best city for me to start my professional career from.
Electromagnetic waves to the unseen hidden world:
what we can
The electromagnetic spectrum you see here gives an overview of the most fundamental waves. As you see in the middle, we humans can just perceive a tiny fraction of this spectrum. To our perception it seems that these outside parts do not exist but we have measured them countless times and we use them already for more than a century for different appliances. The most relevant contemporary appliance might be our global network- the internet and the countless antennas we have build to transmit data with electromagnetic waves.
Through my research I became more and more interested in the un-perceivable parts of the electromagnetic spectrum and wanted to investigate them further. They appeared to me as hidden details of everyday life. I wanted to find a way to translate an un-perceivable part to sound and image.
The tools that I used to research:
SOMA Ether & electromagnetism:
When looking for ways to find out more about electromagnetism I got to know about the SOMA Ether. A device which functions like a somehow opposite radio. To explain briefly; a radio receives broad waves from the electromagnetic spectrum, then it filters a very small amount to receive a clear signal. Most of you will remember the crackle and noise from an old radio, this is when the radio does not focus properly. The Ether works in the opposite way: it does not filter just a specific point of the spectrum but allows most received frequencies to pass through. This is what inspired "unheard" as the sounds you can hear with the Ether are truly unheard of.
Ernst Chladni and the "Chladni-Plate":
When I investigated the history and methods of audiovisualisation I found out about Ernst Chladni, a physicist who played a big part in the research into accoustics. Chladni made experiments with a glass plate, sand and a violin bow. He placed the sand on the glass plate and used to bow to vibrate the glass, which resulted in the sand forming geometric patterns according to the frequency that could be heard. I became very inspired by this and wanted to replicate and expand upon the experiments: playing music, not just single sounds.
I got a scientific wave generator which i could use for this experiment. After a while I found it to be a little to small and then researched how to build my own. My own wave driver made form a very big guitar-amplifier, which has a big electromangetical coil delivering a lot of vibrational power. Instead of glass I used metal plates with a frame so i could also experiment with water. This is what inspired "unseen" as the shapes that arise from electro-magnetic sounds are truly unseen.
More information about tools and materials <---
The Ringbahn as material and symbol:
The Ringbahn as an area of electromagnetism and a common place to everyone:
In my artistic practice I mostly try to find overlooked details of daily live and then highlight them. So when I went out through Berlin with the ether searching for special electromagnetic places, i found the area around the Ringbahn to be especially interesting. As of the abundance of electric devices around the train tracks and through the trains, it is a great area to find lots of electromagnetic waves.
For those who do not know the Ringbahn: its is a very if not the essential train track looping around the inner city centre. Over half a million people use it every day for all different kinds of purposes. The Ringbahn is looping 24/7 every day, a full loop takes 60 minutes, this reminded me of a clock and time itself. These facts together create a strong symbol of time, space and connection which I incorporated into my concept.
How I recorded my material:
After I decided the Ringbahn to be the location to find my material, I went on to record the electromagnetism and video footage from different stations. To follow the clock like nature of the Ringbahn I choose 12 different train stations along the track to investigate.
I was driving around form station to station, discovering electromagnetic sounds with the ether. After having recorded the different stations I attached the ether and my camera to the window of the Ringbahn and drove several loops clock- and anti-clockwise, where I recorded video and electromagnetic sounds of the track.
A hidden world: increased relevance in times of "Corona"?
I refer to the electromagnetic waves which we can not perceive as "the hidden world". There are several different hidden worlds. Imagine you could see your phones connection to the internet and the electricity moving through the air vividly. Human made electromagnetism has surrounded us daily since 1920 through the invention of the radio but the earths own electromagnetic field has been existing since the creation of the planet.
While I researched this hidden world, another one emerged in front of the public eye: "Corona".
Never before had something which we could not perceive made such a huge impact on the public. The situation has brought a hidden world to the interest of many. Maybe you are now more interested in the other hidden worlds too?
How another hidden world changed my work:
The public perception on the hidden world of "Corona" and the fear towards it in fact had a drastic impact on me and how I could show the hidden world I was dealing with.
The initial idea, a performance:
As my interest in audiovisual art had brought me to Berlin, I wanted to position myself in the very active scene. Therefore the plan was to make a performance from the material. As of the public interpretation and reaction to "Corona" it became impossible to perform at physical venues. An option considered was live streaming, which I quickly decided against as of the loss of quality, which would reduce the immersive feeling even more, that I wanted to provide to the beholder.
The change of plans:
The abrupt change of plans and loss of partners made me perceive another chance:
To create an audiovisual album with a interactive webpage as a very good representation of the concept. In this way I would create PR to fuel the future development of the concept. From there I could then follow up with 3 different branches: Performance, Installation, and the Content behind them.
Another idea which quickly arose together with my „unofficial-partner-coaches“ was to create a „google maps for electromagnetism“ which other people could also contribute to in the future.
An audiovisual album directed by the beholder:
You might initially perceive MUU as a film of 60 minutes. I does not have to be: there is no defined storyline and you can jump around freely and are encouraged so. As most of my works it shall leave room to the beholders reaction.
You can watch MUU like:
a moment to lean back,
to look and listen.
You could play it at twice the speed
Pretend like you are sitting in the Ringbahn
but this time except staring at your phone, actually look out the window.
Explore a specific station to listen from,
jump from one station to another.
Or simply as a 1 hour film...
No matter how you choose - your experience of it will be a hidden world for me. Unless, of course, you decide to leave me a message...
The visual of the train window and the electromagnetic sounds share their origin - in other words audio and visual where taken form the same source: The Ringbahn.
More information about MUU <---
View MUU <---