Sound Screening
Robin Watkin: The Luminiferous Aether

Recorded with handheld ELF/VLF devices, The Luminiferous Aether documents low frequency audio signals which originate from the streams of charged particles that reach the Earth’s atmosphere through the Solar Wind, giving rise to the Aurora Borealis and other magnetic storms. With temperatures dropping to minus 50 centigrades, the field recordings of Solar radiation were made during three consecutive days and nights outside of a small village in the remote Yukon-Koyukuk region (the Arctic Circle, Alaska). For the Projects in Art & Theory sound screening, listeners will collectively experience the work through individual radio headphones and receivers, grouped in front of a central transmitter.

"For many, the Aurora have been seen as a threshold between visible and invisible worlds; the link between Earth and the vast unknown that surrounds it (). Even though obsolete as a concept, The Luminiferous Aether was the name which was given to describe the rarefied and highly elastic substance which was believed to permeate all space, including the interstices between particles of matter, and to be the vessel whose vibrations constituted light and other conjectured radiation beyond the vaults of heaven." (Robin Watkins, Auszüge aus The Luminiferous Aether. Edition Wiens Verlag Berlin, 2009)


Kulturamt Köln

Stiftung Kunstfonds

Goethe-Institut