Spektr! is a unique performance in which tactical media workers conduct an audio-visual ‘mapping’ of the electromagnetic spectrum to create sound and video landscapes. The events begin at dusk as the sun sets and often end at dawn as the sun re-emerges. 88 frequency zones will be mapped in real time, structured together with a fifteen-year archive of digital and analogue signals that the artists have been collecting from all over the globe. In Singapore, the team will concentrate on the prolific output of electromagnetism created by the dynamics of world trade, shipping, aviation and controls systems along the Straits of Malacca.
The Spektr! structure is based on the filing of US Patent 2,292,387, which was granted to avant-garde composer George Antheil and Hedy Kiesler Markey/Hedy Lamarr in 1942. This early version of frequency-hopping used a piano roll to change between 88 frequencies, and was intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder for the enemy to detect. The idea was not used until 1962, when it was deployed by US military ships during the Cuban blockade. Today, frequency-hopping serves as the basis for modern spread-spectrum communication technology used in various devices, ranging from cordless telephones to Wi-Fi internet connections.
Presented as part of the International Symposium for Electronic Arts (ISEA) 2008.