Space is today characterized by a perpetual state of conflict; it exists as a sort of spasm in which all those kneaded into it are lacerated or otherwise moved by vibrations as though by a very subtle, long massage. For all that is present, exposed, and all but transparent, sound artist Christina Kubisch here concentrates on the above and underground electromagnetic networks that, without perhaps being the least bit tempered in the extent to which they impinge on the senses in space and in movement, remain for all intents and purposes unknown and inaccessible to the passer-by. As the camera brought us nearer to unconscious optics, then, Kubisch' custom-made sensitive wireless headphones introduces us to the unconscious sonic-events that purse our brow on a daily basis.
True to the notion that behind poetry there is the actual poetry, the cartilaginous tones and dense nest of electromagnetic signals are surprisingly musical. There's nothing congealed about these sound documents. Though mixed, the sounds stand without modification, electronic or otherwise, and the five ensuing works see the sound particles pass through a motley of communications devices, neon advertisements, streetcar cables, and so on, as though through a sieve. And it is indeed a rousing experience to listen to these electrical fields and their dynamic expression in space, to wonder at how and to what extent they cause waves in our psychological swamps and incite us to adopt certain attitudes and actions over others.
The first few pieces, although culled from sources of disparate territories, are much the same, rhythmic, staccato, awash with fragmentary elements that are apparently directionless on a moment by moment basis but unified overall. Others, such as "Security", are noticeably different. The aforementioned work features signals so densely packed, the intervals so close, that they gather into great swarms of sounds that descend and envelop the listener in ways no less dramatic nor overwhelming than the gratuitous guitar scree of a plugged in and amped-up performer. Of a truly bewitching nature, though, is "Atocha". Recorded at the largest train station in Madrid shortly after a terrorist attack captured the lives of hundreds of people, the linear notes see Kubisch reflect on how, during the recording process, the beautiful garden-like area still seemed to teem with a touch of danger and death. To some surprise, the sound also adheres to the aura of this basic setting, the tremulous sound plasma, though betraying an enigmatic creepiness has shades of warmth and ultimately dwells in an oddly human vein. There's something efficacious about such a project — Five Electrical Walks throws a restless yet obscure realm into stark relief.
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