About

Sniffer Sounds of the City
– capturing electromagnetic activity as a parallel, “real” sound source of video recordings of Lillehammer, Norway.
11-12 March 2008
Course leader: Amanda Steggell

This workshop is part of the “Dig It” programme – a series of workshops offered as part of the Amandus Festival, a festival that focuses on children and young people who make use of living images as a mode of expression.

Course description

The electromagnetic spectrum is a hotly fought over private, commercial and political territory (E. Berger/M. Howse, Maxwell City 2007), and the increasing use of wireless technology has given rise to concern over environmental and health issues. It has also become the subject of artistic investigation – including experimental film making and cinema.

Every city has its own invisible twin-city – a parallel architecture in flux made up of electromagnetic waves emitted by its numerous electrical facilities, transmitters and receivers. We pass through it and it passes through us everyday – at home, work and play. Yet it is difficult to perceive without some kind of technological intervention. The idea with this workshop is to give young people the opportunity to experience this ghost-like city of Lillehammer, and to attempt to use it as artistic material – to tell a snippet of a story of the meeting of the parallel citys through video media.

Following a short introduction to the topic, the workshop participants will each be given headphones, a video camera and an electromagnetic detecting device, or “sniffer”, which translates electromagnetic activity into an audible signal. The audio output is then plugged directly into the audio input of the camera. As participants move around the city, sniffing out – and making video recordings of electromagnetic “hot spots”, the activity they encounter becomes the soundtrack of their video footage. They will then pick out parts of the footage which they think can best reveal something about the twin cities’ parallel existence – the one expressed through sound, the other through vision. Both captured at the same moment and merged on the same video tape.

Norsk
Ideen bak denne workshopen er at enhver by har sin usynlige tvillingby som er bygd opp av elektromagnetiske bølger skapt av utallige elektriske fasiliteter, sendere og mottakere.Sniffer Sounds of the City skal gi deltakerne muligheten til å oppdage og å oppleve Lillehammers usynlige tvillingby. Det vil bli gitt en innføring i hvordan en elektromagnetisk detektor, en såkalt sniffer, brukes, før deltakerne tar turen ut i Lillehammers gater for å finne elektromagnetiske ”hot spots”. Deltakerne vil på denne turen ha med seg et kamera og en sniffer som omformer elektromagnetisk aktivitet til lydsignaler. Resultatet blir en video av Lillehammers fysiske utforming, med et lydspor som forteller noe om den usynlige, elektromagnetiske strukturen i byen. Fra dette materialet skal deltakerne plukke ut de klippene de mener sier noe om tvillingbyens parallelle eksistens, den ene uttrykt gjennom lyd, den andre visuelt. Disse historiene skal så legges ut på nett

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