Issue 21 Electricity Spring 2006

Electrical Walks: Samples of Raw Sounds

Christina Kubisch

In 2003, Berlin-based sound artist Christina Kubisch began an ongoing project called Electrical Walks. This project employs specially built headphones that receive electromagnetic signals from the environment and convert them into sound. Kubisch maps a given territory, noting hot spots (ATM machines, security systems, electronic cash registers, subway systems, etc.) where the signals are particularly strong or interesting. She then loans the headphones to the public, allowing participants to undertake an auditory dérive through the invisible network of electromagnetic information. To date, Kubisch has undertaken her own personal walks in Germany, England, France, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan, and the United States, and has held public walks in Berlin, Cologne, Karlsruhe, Bremen, Oxford, and London. To accompany the interview with Kubisch in Cabinet no. 21, she has provided us with thirty sound samples gathered by her while walking through various cities.

Click on each track to hear a Real Audio streamed version of the track.

Track 1: Light advertisement in Sendai, Japan
Track 2: Post office in Bremen, Germany; source unknown
Track 3: Subway in Taiwan, China
Track 4: Between two security gates at the entrance of a shop; location unknown
Track 5: Minicomputer at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM), Karlsruhe, Germany
Track 6: Bavaria, Germany; source unknown
Track 7: Tram in Bratislava, Slovakia
Track 8: Electrical transformer at a farm in Bavaria, Germany
Track 9: Tram in Karlsruhe, Germany
Track 10: Thunderstorm in Bavaria, Germany
Track 11: Object (magnetic field) in the Science Museum, London, England
Track 12: Sounds in an underground passage, London, England
Track 13: Security system in Oxford, England
Track 14: Heathrow airport, London, England
Track 15: Light systems in Paris, France
Track 16: Subway in Taipei, China
Track 17: Security gate in Bremen, Germany
Track 18: Religious service heard through an induction system in a small church in Lucerne, Switzerland
Track 19: Security gate, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Track 20: Induction system in a church in London, England
Track 21: Signals at a subway station in Taipei, China
Track 22: Sounds in the exhibition room at the ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
Track 23: Security gate; location unknown
Track 24: Tram in Bratislava, Slovakia
Track 25: Electrical flame (decorative object); location unknown
Track 26: Gare de l'Est, Paris, France
Track 27: Paris, France; source unknown
Track 28: WLAN, London, England
Track 29: Security gate in the Musée de la science, Paris, France
Track 30: Tower, Heathrow Airport, London, England
(All tracks copyright Christina Kubisch)

Cabinet is a non-profit organization supported by the Lambent Foundation, the Orphiflamme Foundation, the New York Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Katchadourian Family Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, the Danielson Foundation, and many generous individuals. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation by visiting here.