Christina Kubisch (b. 1948) is regarded as one of the most significant figures amongst the post-war sound artists in West Germany.
Today, she is predominantly known for her sound installations and ‘Electrical Walks’ for which she uses electromagnetic induction technology.
Her early works show that she had to struggle to gain her place within a particularly male-dominated environment, and how she took it upon herself to challenge its gendered assumptions.
For instance, in A History of Soundcards (1978), Kubisch showed some one hundred portraits of the composers whose legacy had been the basis of her musical training. They were all males. The portraits were depicted on postcards, which made a squeaking noise as Kubisch, and later visitors to the gallery, rubbed them in their hands.
These sounds were recorded and replayed in the same room, creating a cacophony of undignified squawks, diminishing the authoritative position of these composers and drawing attention to the total absence of women amongst their number.
Behind the artist hung a chart of the kind commonly used in Germany in the nineteenth century to map out developments in classical music.
Electrical Walks Oslo
The video gives an impression of what you experience when you move through electromagnetic fields while wearing Christina Kubisch’s custom made special induction headphones.
The video was recorded in May 2019 in Oslo.
Length: 8:29 min
Discovering New Sounds
Sound artist Christina Kubisch describes how she discovered electromagnetic induction, the phenomenon at the core of her work Electrical Walks San Francisco (2017), created for SFMOMA’s exhibition Soundtracks In this participatory piece, museumgoers don hypersensitive headsets that allow them to experience magnetic fields from electrical devices as sound — and in doing so to compose their own live soundtrack as they explore the urban area around the museum.