Alpha, Isis, Eden : Listening event

Coded Geometry :: Robin Hood Gardens - ANTI-GENTRIFICATION GHOST DANCE

Saturday 4 March 2017,
3.30–8pm,
with a prompt start at 4pm

The Showroom
63 Penfold Street
London NW8 8PQ

As part of Laura Oldfield Ford : Alpha, Isis, Eden exhibition at The Showroom Gallery, John Wild will present two sound compositions from the CODED GEOMETRY archive. The first, ‘Drone Planes Over Westfield’, explores the paranoia that surrounded the London Olympics, as anti aircraft missiles were stationed on the top of East London tower blocks. The second, “Robin Hood Gardens – ANTI-GENTRIFICATION GHOST DANCE’ , was produced through field recordings of electro-magnetic emissions recorded on a drift around the estate as compulsory purchase orders were being enforced, slowly clearing the estate. This piece represents a brutalist record of one moment in the ongoing clearances hallucinated as an insurrectionary carnival of resistance.

Robin Hood Gardens compulsory purchase order

Full event text

Laura Oldfield Ford has invited a group of artists, writers, theorists, musicians, activists and other practitioners including Majed Aslam, Janina Lange, Jack Latham, Frances Morgan, Fay Nicolson, Francesca Panetta and John Wild to participate in a collective listening and discussion event that responds to the auditory textures of the city, crossing between the sonic and the spatial. The event will also feature a 2015 audio work by the late cultural theorist Mark Fisher.

By exploring the politics of sound, sound essays, thinking about the liminal, thresholds, conduits and crossings, Oldfield Ford is interested in how people negotiate the psychic terrain of the city. Themes that the event touches upon are forensic architecture; sound as assertion of territory and as a political strategy; and the experiential, including how we experience and move through space. By bringing people from diverse backgrounds together Oldfield Ford aims to offer new perspectives on how we feel and hear the city.

Programme

3.30pm: Arrival
4pm: Introduction by Laura Oldfield Ford and listening contributions
5pm: Break
5.30pm: Listening contributions
6.30pm: Discussion
7–8pm: Drinks and DJ sets by Majed Aslam and Jack Latham

Robin Hood Gardens compulsory purchase order

Mediating Environments – The Network

John Wild - The NetworkNetwork: is a plurality of (organic and artificial) beings, of humans and machines who perform common actions thanks to procedures that make possible their interconnection and interoperation’? (Berardi, 2011)

The network has become central to our experience of the world, its tentacles reaching into every area of life. Linking together machine to machine, people to machines and people to people through giant invisible networks of information; a technical infrastructure of cables that feeds an invisible infrastructure of wireless signals.

As part of the mediating environments exhibition John Wild  will be transforming the gallery space into a dysfunctional network of devices, creating an invisible geography of wireless communications, as devices try and fail to establish contact, calling out to each other through unanswered electromagnetic signals.

This network of electromagnetic communications will be made knowable to visitors to the show through a hand held receiver that makes the invisible geography audible.

On the opening night John Wild will carry out a live electromagnetic audio drift of the gallery. Making use of electromagnetic induction coils and a broad spectrum RF receiver he will allow himself to be guided by the intensities, textures, and ambiances of the site’s electromagnetic transmissions, materialising the invisible architecture of the ‘The Network’.

John Wild - The Network

Mediating Environments

The world beyond the confines of our body is intimately connected to our actions – as much cultural artefact as something wild and other, ‘out there’ – nature and techne vitally expressed through our lives and creations. We continually feed into and are moulded by an interminable flux of co-creative relationships and cycles, reflexive actors who fall in and out of sync with innumerable collectives and circumstances. How we perceive these complex ecologies and the meanings we derive from what we do within them, frames our worldview, subtly affecting how we are subsumed by social fields and evolutionary flows. In this time of accelerating change and spiritual transformation can we come to terms with our uncertain predicament? How to navigate the indescribable, manifold environments in which we are embedded?

Matthew Bourree | Paula Deji | John Wild

Opens Thursday 3rd November 6-9pm with a live performance by John Wild at 7.30pm.

Exhibition continues until Wednesday 23 November
Catalyst Arts Gallery
5 College Court
Belfast BT1 6BS

neurofeedback

CODED GEOMETRY :: Dark Side of the Earth

CODED GEOMETRY will collaborate in an experiment with the Indigo Mind Project.  A brain-computer interface that reads fluctuating electro-encephalograph (EEG) signals and maps them to compose a multilayered soundscape.

CODED GEOMETRY will explore nonlinear neuro-feedback and affective responses through a complex circuit of interchange, both responding to the soundscape being produced by the participants psycho-physiological state but also by affecting the participants psycho-physiological state through the projected images of a live digital drift through the glitchy, militarised and contested space of GIS satellite imaging.

The experiment will take place on Wednesday 23rd March from 6pm -8pm

Emotion lab,
Docklands Campus,
University of East London

Part of: Affect and Social Media Symposium & Sensorium exhibition.

Report from Jonathan Kemp’s : “Telluro-geo-psycho-modulator” workshop and field trip

Loughton Camp
Loughton Camp

The pulsating of blood through my left temple and the musky smell of newly disturbed soil. Five people desperately working to get a bunch of rocks, wrapped with copper wire, to stay attached to my head with two elasticated headbands. A self awareness of looking like a fucking hippy and the sound of three or four camera shutters photographing me. A really unlikely start to an experiment which offered the potential for a paranormal experience. With my brain fully wired to the earth’s electromagnetic fields, the clicking of cameras started to fade and unexpectedly my usually chaotic thoughts started to calm. In only two minutes a profound and intensely pleasant calm came over my mind and my body relaxed, my self consciousness about looking like a knob and any initial anxiety about having electronics mess with my brainwaves seeped away along with any concept of time. I sat peacefully for an unquantifiable period with my eyes shut.  There were no signs of the hallucinogenic dreams or bursts of lysergic colour I had secretly hoped for; just the uncharacteristic calm. I opened my eyes and looked around the clearing. Intense shards of light passing through the foliage, I could see other members of the experiment huddled together in small groups chatting, I momentarily caught someones eye, but felt distant and aloof, closing my eyes again. I sat enjoying the experience; 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, half an hour, who knows? Time seemed to stop until a nagging thought eventually entered my mind, I should let someone else try, 14 people at around 10 minutes each is going to take another couple of hours. I disconnected the headband and removed the rock solenoids from my skull.

The sense of calm and feeling of dislocation persisted. I had the desire to withdraw from the group and went for a walk, tracing the boundary of Loughton Camp. About half way around the perimeter I approached an abandoned bivouac and experienced a sudden overwhelming sense of loss, a welling of sadness forming deep inside. I battled to suppress the melancholic outpouring before it could fill my eyes with tears. Tulta disrupted my insular thoughts with a shout! My 13 year old son, had got himself stuck high up in the branches of one of the tall beech trees and everyone was concerned about him. Both the distant calm and the moment of melancholy were replaced by adrenaline and a sense of responsibility. I helped him down from the tree and returned to the group, helping out with the attachment of the rock solenoids to the heads of the remaining participants.

Telluro-geo-psycho-modulator
Telluro-geo-psycho-modulator

The Telluro-geo-psycho-modulator workshop and field trip was organised by Jonathan Kemp on the 2nd and 3rd May 2015 at furtherfield.

One medium in which all terrestrial beings are immersed is the electromagnetic. This workshop directly tests Persinger’s theory that spiritual and ghostly sensations (“anomalous experiences”) are triggered by the interference patterns constantly played across the brain by the weak magnetic fields that emanate from the earth.

The workshop aims to begin equipping participants with a method to explore such relations between the earth and our psyches through the construction of an experimental interface (developed with Martin Howse).

The brain is electro-chemical, and the existence of fundamental commonalities between all 7 billion human brains by which a similar physical stimulus can affect them is not a new concept – however, this workshop tests the idea that it is the induction from very low electromagnetic fields that disrupt a sense of self through the creation of anomalous experiences, and these experiences can be seen as the effects of such natural weak brain stimulation.

In the workshop particpants will build a simple circuit with which to test this thesis by connecting the earth’s telluric currents (naturally weak electromagnetic fields) directly to our brains. On the second day we will then test the circuits outdoors in Epping Forest.

connecting the earth's telluric currents
connecting the earth’s telluric currents

Documentation and more Impressionistic reports

Invisible Geographies :: East London Drift

Coded Geometry :: Robbinhood Guardens

<< Invisible Geographies :: East London Drift >>

Date :: Sunday 15th April  2015

Time :: 2 pm

Meet :: At the anchor outside Limehouse Sailors Mission (Map)

We will be using electromagnetic induction coils, and broad spectrum RF receivers to make the city’s wireless communications infrastructure audible, allowing the drift to be guided by the intensities, textures, and ambiances of electromagnetic transmissions.

Invisible Geography

CODED GEOMETRY : METADATA

It was only leaving this territory of ghosts, memories, and bitter class clearances, that the digitally expanded city revealed itself, if only partially, within in a coincidental alignment of moments. Heavy vibrations amplified through the riveted panels of an iron bridge, a heady exaggerated perspective of tracks and electricity cables raced towards their vanishing points, a yellow brick post war tenement block topped with transmitters and a collection of satellite dishes pointing to the sky and a man wearing an embroidered white dashiki shirt and trousers with a kufi cap, probably a recent arrival from West African judging from his gestures, tended pink flowers on the balcony below. I tried to take a photograph but the metadata reveals more than the blurred and ill composed image.

I was passing the centre of the bridge that connects platform 1 and 2 of Hackney Central overground station when my attention was grabbed by the heavy low rumbling that reverberated through my feet and deep into my body. The Iron railings had been covered with painted grey chipboard blocking my vision and forcing me to rise up onto my toes to look over the high sides of the bridge. I watched the slow movement of yet another freight train passing below. Containers with strange names and a very particular pallet of colours that have become familiar by the frequency and repetition of their passage through this area heading north from Tilbury docks or London Gateway;

HAMBURG SUD, HAMBURG SUD, MAERSK, MAERSK, EVERGREEN LINE, MAERSK, COSCO, HAPAG-LLOYD, P&O/Nedlloyd, P&O/Nedlloyd, MAERSK SEALAND, COSCO, HAMBURG SUD, P&O/Nedlloyd, COSCO, HAPAG-LLOYD, EVERGREEN LINE, HAMBURG SUD, MAERSK.

Tilbury to Birmingham, Bristol, Coatbridge, Felixstowe, Leeds, Liverpool or Manchester.

London Gateway to Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Coatbridge with an ad-hoc service to Bristol.

The African guy was cleaning his already spotless balcony with sharp whip like movements of a white cloth that seemed to amplify the weight of transmitters only metres above his head and emphasise the oversaturation of his pink flowers which struck me as anachronistically out of place in October. A sudden bright spark illuminated the bridge and burnt a temporarily blind spot onto my retina as the connecting strips of the pantograph arm momentarily disconnected and reconnected the Freightliner engine to the suspended power line. The ionised air and the visceral presence of the usually invisible electricity made me recall a passage from Gilbert Simondon’s On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects in which he meditates on the relationship between a traction engine and its varied geographic environments;

The traction engine doesn’t simply transform electrical energy to mechanical energy; it applies electrical energy to a geographically varied world, translating it technically in response to the profile of the railway track, the varying resistance of the wind, and to the resistance provided by snow which the engine pushes ahead and shoves aside. The traction engine causes a reaction in the line that powers it, a reaction that is a translation of geographical and meteorological structure of the world’.

The freight train continued to rumble below my feet as I contemplated the invisible electrical mapping produced by the train within its connected power line, not just of the physical environment but also rendering social and economic flows. The added weight of commuters at certain times of the day moving in one direction then the other or the alterations in the power line between commuter trains and freight. Either the electrical substation or the train itself must be engineered to counter the effects of these cartographic fluctuations, but if the system could be hacked at that key point a form of rhythm analytics could be extracted revealing the invisible geographies produced in the power lines through the socio-economic and environmental rhythms of the train network.

The endless freight continued to flow below me. The physical length of these trains is impressive but can induce an overwhelming sense of monotony. My mind started to contemplate wider invisible geographies. The African man had disappeared indoors but I’m pretty sure that my mobile phone was secretly communication with the mast that is sited above his flat. My limited knowledge of the mobile phone network informs me that these masts constantly broadcast their system identification code and mobile phones are set to listen and check in, even when they are not in use.

I had a moment of epiphany. The digitally expanded city that I was searching for and had failed to locate is, just like the relationship between the train and its power cable, in part invisible. It is not accessible through the normal human sensors, only disclosing its presence through its absence. Those moments of low signal or lack of wifi connection. As I walk Hackney I have been enmeshed in an invisible geography of machine to machine communication, I have been creating invisible disturbances in a whole host of systems, casting data shadows, a personal trail of involuntary meta-data has accompanied my walk as my phone broadcasts and receives its secret messages, revealing my presences in an unseen cellular network and creating fluctuations within the electro magnetic fields that I pass through. My phone has communicated with satellites in order to log the location and altitude of my photograph and layered wifi zones have been mapped and charted, routers contacted and interrogated. It now becomes clear that the digital devices and interactions that form the tangible aspect of the digitally expanded city atop a vast invisible infrastructure. Where the Industrial revolution had transformed space through the construction of impressive physical structures the digital revolution overlays space with an invisible geography.

sensingsite 2014

Materialising Site

23 April 2014
Lethaby Gallery
Central Saint Martins

Humans are widely assumed not to have a magnetic sense…However, there is consistent evidence of an influence of geomagnetic fields on the light sensitivity of the human visual system. Moreover, it has been proposed recently that light-sensitive magnetic responses are not only used for directional information, but may also aid visual spatial perception in mammals, by providing a spherical coordinate system for integrating spatial position. (Foley, Gegear & Reppert: 21 June 2011)

The ability of humans to sense electromagnetic fields is a disputed territory at a period when a vast infrastructure of communications equipment has been constructed across urban and rural spaces to form the backbone of the im/material economy. These structures are as important as the iron bridges and railways were to the industrial revolution, forming an electro-magnetic architecture of transmission and reception.

Each site creates its own unique electromagnetic geography through its networked devices, WLAN, Cell phone signals, RFID readers, Bluetooth devices, DECT cordless phone base stations, and the internal processors of laptops. Making use of a GSM sniffer, electromagnetic induction coils, and a broad spectrum RF receiver to make this invisible geography audible, John Wild will employ the technique of electromagnetic audio drifting, allowing himself to be guided by the intensities, textures, and ambiances of the site’s electromagnetic transmissions, materializing the invisible architecture of the Lethaby Gallery.

[sensingsite 2014]

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Lauren E. Foley, Robert J. Gegear & Steven M. Reppert. (21 June 2011). Human cryptochrome exhibits light-dependent magnetosensitivity. Nature Communications, 2, 1-10.