RADIORAUM Installation

Emmanuel Madan (CA)

Freitag 21. Juni 2013 | 14.30

The space contains a single electrical light source of constantly varying intensity. Just as for any electrical device, the cable delivering the electricity to the lamp generates a field of electromagnetic energy all around it. Since in this case the amount of electricity is being modulated, it follows that the electromagnetic field is also constantly changing.

The space also contains a very simple audio circuit designed to be receptive to the ambient electromagnetic energy in the room, very much like a primitive radio receiver. The sound produced by this circuit is amplified over loudspeakers situated in the space. As the light brightens or dims, the electromagnetic field changes, and we hear corresponding shifts in the sound.

The presence of people within the room serves to heighten the receptiveness of the sound system to the light source. This is not achieved through digital sensors as is sometimes the case in "interactive" media artwork. Rather, the installation employs some simple conductive materials such as cables and metal to increase its inductive properties. In this way, the bodies of the people in the space become akin to radio antennas.

The components of the work are designed to permit a perceptive and contemplative experience that is simple yet profound. It is not intended to be a mere physical demonstration of the scientific properties of electromagnetism. Rather, it invites a reflection on the idea that our actions are never without consequence. We exist not just as observers but as active participants in complex and constantly evolving fields of energy. Our every gesture, our very presence, necessarily affect and are affected by these fields.

emmanuel madan

Foto: Ron Diamond

Zur Person

Emmanuel Madan is a composer and sound artist. He studied electroacoustic composition under the direction of Francis Dhomont at Université de Montréal. His artistic practice centres around the reclamation and subversion or transformation of found sonic environments and artifacts. In 1998, he co-founded the artistic collaboration [The User] with architect Thomas McIntosh. [The User]’s projects to date include the Symphony for dot matrix printers, Silophone and Coincidence Engines.
Between 1992 and 1996, Madan worked as a community radio broadcaster in Canada. More recently, he has renewed his engagement with the medium of radio through works such as Freedom Highway, which documents and remixes American religious and right-wing political broadcasts (2002-2004), A Series Of Broadcasts Addressing the Limitlessness of Time (2006-2007), the experimental multi-channel transmission work The Joy Channel (co-created with Anna Friz, 2007-2008) and the curatorial project Simulcast (2009-2010) which invited sound and transmission artists to create a series of unchanging radio broadcasts.

Madan is usually based in Montréal, and currently lives and works in Berlin where he is the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec's artist in residence as part of Künstlerhaus Bethanien's International Studio Programme.