Among his eclectic array of projects, Ryuichi Sakamoto has recently made it his main concern to explore audiation, or the process of making audible, of data extracted from the environment. Daito Manabe (b.1976) is a media artist internationally acclaimed for his work, ranging from his experimental work using advanced technology to visualize data received from CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research), to producing visuals for the Japanese electro-pop group, Perfume.
Their first collaborative piece senses, visualizes, and makes audible electromagnetic waves, which are usually undetectable to the human senses. The piece focuses on the background role that electromagnetic waves play in technology that has become integral to modern society, manifested in mobile technology, inseparable from everyday life.
At the Moerenuma Park, visitors will find a large “High Resolution Large Display” (7.2 meters by 3.9 meters) and speakers in a brightly lit space, visualizing and making audible electromagnetic waves between 80MHz-5.2GHz that are captured in realtime by antennas set up in various places in the venue, which collect signals from cellphones, Wi-Fi, digital terrestrial broadcasting, and FM radio.
Additionally, the piece contrasts electromagnetic waves recorded at the Sapporo Ekimae-dori Underground Walkway (aka Chi-Ka-Ho) to show the notable difference time and place makes on the electromagnetic waves. As the audience changes the frequency with a turn of the dial-like interface in front of the screen, various electromagnetic waves will become visible on the screen simultaneously. Furthermore, the usage of cellphones or smartphones in the venue will alter the sound and image, reflecting the changing electromagnetism in the surrounding space.
The flow of electromagnetism is often forgotten, yet composes an indispensable infrastructure in our modern life, and the piece attempts to expose that. The installation also makes visible a kind of ecosystem, created by the active participation of audiences, that is simultaneously bound to a frequency range—a distributed territory—assigned to certain broadcasters or carriers.
At Chi-Ka-Ho, visitors will also be able to see an archived version of the video of the piece, along with one of the antennas used to capture electromagnetic data before the premiere of the installation.