Electromagnetic soundscapes, revealing the hidden environment

Wire Less

All around us the air is filled with silent signals. Our bodies bathe daily in streams of electromagnetic waves connecting hundreds of networks in the growing family of wireless media. Yann Leguay has been working with The GhostLab to establish a protocol for capturing radio frequencies spanning from VLF to UHF, including emissions from mobile phones, radio and television broadcasts, wifi networks, satellite communication and power lines. Systematically charting out the EM landscape Leguay reveals the intensity of a new form of pollution that is sometimes referred to as electrosmog. Many people fear that there may be long-term negative effects on health associated with this phenomenon. In his project Wire_Less Leguay has created a quadraphonic installation that scans the EM spectrum on site and composes a soundscape of modulated tones, bips and shifting drones in real time, transposing the signals traveling through the air into the audible domain. With Louise Drubigny he has devised a special technique to archive and publish the captured information on paper discs. After recording the audio material on a vinyl matrix it is then printed on square sheets of paper with a Gutenberg press. The sheets of white paper appear deceptively blank, but just as with the air around us, they are full of information. Surprisingly enough, they can be played back on a regular turntable. An edition of 250 handmade copies has been released under the title Wire_Less_Archives and is available through phonotopy.org.

Matteo Marangoni