"The map of the unheard unseen" is an audiovisual album by Ruben Bass, which uses the "hidden world" of electromagnetism in the area around the "Ringbahn" as its primary material.
Questions like " how does a sound look like? How does an image sound?" Have inspired the process.
"During the last century, we humans have created electronic technology for all sorts of appliances. We surround us with these electronic devices every day. With the creation of technology (e.g., trains, computers, routers, lamps, phones, power plants, and more), we have, as a byproduct, created a whole hidden world of electromagnetic-fields. I want to show parts of this world, which, as we can not normally perceive it, almost seems like a parallel dimension."
The audiovisual album takes the audience around the Ringbahn, stopping at 12 different electromagnetic places to explore. Driving clockwise with the Ringbahn, at every stop, a new sound (recorded from electromagnetism) is introduced. The sound of electromagnetism is then altered into a track until you arrive at the next station.
The area around the Ringbahn is an accumulation of electromagnetism as of the many electronic devices, trains, etc. The electromagnetic fields are recorded with a device ("SOMA Ether") to make them audible and, therefore, useable in a musical way. Furthermore, it is a place which we access so often (half a million people every day) that we think we would have seen it all. Whereas, in this case, we are surrounded by it every day without being able to perceive it.
A full circle with the Ringbahn takes 60 min, like a clock. This relates to a fundamental form of composition in electronic music, the loop. Therefore, 12 different places with different electromagnetic characteristics will be introduced to give an insight into the electromagnetic fields that constantly surround us every day.
Waves in their different forms were researched over 6 months as the common factor of human senses (like sight hearing tactile and to an extend smelling and tasting). The research into waves has led to electromagnetism, which behaves similarly to lightwaves but then can not be perceived by normal human perception.
This goes in line with other works by Ruben Bass, who acts as a highlighter of things that tend to be overlooked in everyday life. While showing those details, he also likes to leave room for the audience's own stories and associations. (the poetical meaning of the symbol of the Ringbahn - as the viewers own stories)
As of the current situation, the initial idea of a performance in physical space was not possible. To not go half way - loose quality and clarity - through a stream or similar, he decided to make a mixture of a film and album instead with the material he had collected.
Now and the Future
In the beginning this concept was planned for now to be a audiovisual performance.
As of now MUU will be released as an album. This is the adaptation to the current situation.
In the Future MUU shall be developed to a map of electromagnetism in different cities as well, to share the hidden world of electromagnetism to the public. The change from performance to audiovisual album made work into this direction possible already.
A Future perspective for the concept is also to recreate it as interactive Installations (first around Berlin) which would confront people with electromagnetism directly in their daily life.