catalog no. 938.02
Christina Kubisch (b. 1948) belongs to the first generation of sound artists and is among the most prominent European artists working in sound installation and electroacoustic composition today. Many of her works involve ephemeral phenomena such as ultraviolet light, solar energy and electromagnetic induction. She transforms them to make them perceivable acoustically and visually, thereby reminding the spectator of their presence while also allowing their aesthetic qualities to crystallize.
Among her most well-known works is a project called "Electrical Walks" which employs specially-built headphones that receive electromagnetic signals from the environment and convert them into sound. She uses these headphones for auditory dérives through any given territory, guided by the sounds that are inaudible to passer-bys, and stopping whereever they seem interesting. Things like light systems, wireless communication systems, ATMs, anti-theft security devices, surveillance cameras, neon advertising, etc., have proven to emit particularly strong signals worth of being explored, often even sounding quite musical. Finally, Kubisch compiles her findings into a map and allows the public to use the headphones themselves to set off for own journeys.
Kubisch has to date realized more than 90 electrical walks around the world. One sound source that has shown to be particularly worthwhile, and surprisingly varied throughout different countries, is public transportation. "Zenger Station" thus focuses on the electromagnetic sound qualities of trams, buses and related infrastructure.
Side A is taken by the "Zenger Station" suite of three single pieces, composed from recordings Kubisch made in Prague in 2021 and 2022 and titled after the transformer station of the same name. The Zenger station now hosts the Kunsthalle Praha but comprises a still active underground substation for trams where the electrical fields were strong enough to cause damage to her recording device. Side B has a piece from 2021 called "A bus meets a tram meets a trolley" including tram, electric bus and trolley bus recordings from Rome, Bangkok and Bratislava, respectively. Christina Kubisch writes about this piece: "I tried to translate the feeling that I get when traveling with my custom-made electromagnetic headphones in different cities while listening to the electromagnetic waves: there is no special destination to reach, the soundscape changes all the time, and something unexpected may occur at any moment."
Edition of 300 with full-color sleeve and 4-sided insert with photos, liner notes and an extensive interview with Christina Kubisch by Christoph Cox.