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Electromagnetic Sound Art – Disinformation and “National Grid”

“Communism equals Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin 1921

Documentation + audio commentary, featuring – Disinformation “National Grid”, remix by Bruce Gilbert 1997; Disinformation “National Grid”, LP version 1996 (CD re-issue 1997); Disinformation “National Grid”, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst (Leipzig) “New Forms” CD 2000; Disinformation, live at the Dom Culture Centre (Moscow) 28 Sept 2000, featuring Mike Walter + Andy Knight; Disinformation + Strange Attractor, live at New Corsica Studios (London) 19 Nov 2004, featuring Mark Pilkington; H.G. Wells “Lord of the Dynamos” (extract) 1894; William F. Temple “Four Sided Triangle” (extract) 1951; Bruno Schulz “Sklepy Cynamonowe” (extract) 1934; Disinformation “Barcelona” (unreleased) remix 2017. Total running time 41:19.

Programme commissioned by the Listening Arts Channel, 19 March 2021 –

Use headphones –

Image: “National Grid” montage from video by Joe Banks + Barry Hale – video installation commissioned by Fabrica, Nov 2001

Electromagnetic Sound Art, 1996 to 2016 **

Disinformation on Resonance 104.4 FM – Wavelength – 4 November 2016 –

Disinformation on BBC Radio 4 – Broadcasting House – 15 June 2008 –

Disinformation on BBC Radio 4 – Broadcasting House – 2 November 2008 –

… all discussing work published 1996 onwards

Happy Xmas to all Rorschach Audio readers!


Trump “Fraud” Witness Believes that Ghosts are Haunting his Family!

“Jesse Morgan became a hero on the (political) right”… +

“Theophany” by Disinformation – the world’s shortest sound installation ****

The Raphael Cartoons at the V&A… Hyōshigi and John Latham… time itself as an artistic medium… a pistol shot in the Louvre… museology & audio convolution…

Waveform [above] + article [see link] © Joe Banks

Magazine feature –

“Theophany” by Disinformation was most recently exhibited in the “Language [as] Meta-Technology” exhibition, Passengers Offsite, Sluice HQ (London) Nov 2018. Previous installations include the Freud Museum (London) June 2015, the Burghley House Sculpture Garden (Lincolnshire) April 2007, Saltburn Artists Projects, Jan 2007, Canolfan Gelf Wrecsam, Oct 2006, The Foundry (London) May 2005, Derby Quad (formerly Q Arts) June 2004, South Hill Park (Bracknell) April 2004, Quay Arts (Isle of Wight) Feb 2004, Fabrica Gallery (Brighton) Nov 2001, and the Raphael Cartoon Room at The V&A (London) 3 Nov 2000.

“Spellbound” video by Disinformation ****

“The face is the mirror of the mind; and eyes, without speaking, confess the secrets of the heart” – Saint Jerome (Letter to Furia, AD 394)

Photomontage [above] + article [see link] © Joe Banks

Magazine feature –

“Spellbound” by Disinformation was most recently exhibited at the Light Sensitive Material conference, University of West London, Nov 2019, at the Moving Image Salon, Film & Video Umbrella (London) 13 Sept 2019, and in the “Language [as] Meta-Technology” exhibition, Passengers Offsite, Sluice HQ (London) Nov 2018. Previous gallery exhibitions include Goldsmiths College (London) Dec 2008, Derby Quad (formerly Q Arts) June 2004, the Huddersfield Art Gallery, Jan 2003, Fabrica Gallery (Brighton) Nov 2001, the Royal Society of Sculptors (London) March 2001, and the Raphael Cartoon Room at The V&A (London) 3 Nov 2000.

Disinformation at Museo Reina Sofía ****

Audiosphere – Sound Experimentation 1980 to 2020 – opens at Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, October 2020, exhibition continues until January 2021. Audiosphere features works by Christoph Cox, Disinformation, Alessandra Eramo, Jez Riley French, Ryoji Ikeda, Caleb Kelly, Jørgen Teller, James Webb, Jana Winderen, plus many others. Audiosphere “looks to cover an historical and cultural void in terms of the recognition, exhibition and analysis of… recent changes… in the artistic conception of sound”, exposing artists “the majority unknown to the contemporary art spectator”.

Audiosphere – Audiosfera [Sound Experimentation 1980 to 2020]
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Calle Santa Isabel, 52
28012 Madrid

Opens 14 Oct 2020 to 15 Feb 2021
Mondays – 10am to 9pm
Tuesdays – closed
Weds to Sat – 10am to 9pm
Sundays – 10am to 2:30pm

Exhibition curated by Francisco López

Sponsored by Audio-Technica

“Theophany” – live in Washington DC ****

“Language [as] Meta-Technology” ****

“A library is a machine for organising knowledge”

“If you want to hear the dead talk, visit a library”

The Disinformation project’s “Language [as] Meta-Technology” exhibition was staged in November 2018, as the first event in the Passen-gers Offsite series, at the Sluice HQ exhibition space in Hackney, East London (see links). The second exhibition, “Uncertain Ruins” by Julie F. Hill, was staged at Swiss Cottage Central Library (the iconic modernist library designed by architect Basil Spence) from October 2019 to January 2020. The events series for “Uncertain Ruins” featured a “Language [as] Meta-Technology” lecture – a short talk, followed by extracts read from “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco and “The Book of Sand” by Jorge Luis Borges – on 5 November 2019. The core ideas from the original installation were discussed in that talk and in the “Uncertain Ruins” publication, launched on 9 January 2020. As documented in that publication, the “Language [as] Meta-Technology” sound installation uses cutting-edge commercial voice synthesis technology to articulate a number of propositions and aphorisms…

1. “The earliest form of sound recording technology was not a machine, but was written language”
2. “Language is meta-technology. Language is the technology that contains all others”
3. “The ultimate form of communications technology is language itself”
4. “Art is not necessarily science, but science is always art”
5. “All literature and poetry are forms of sonic art”
6. “All artworks are psychology experiments”
7. “Words themselves are weapons of sound”
8. “The medium is not the message”
9. “Speech itself is an art form”

Extrapolating the architect and town-planner Le Corbusier’s assertion that “a house is a machine for living”, the article also argues that since “the intersection between architecture and language… manifests in the form of a library”, therefore “a library is a machine for organising knowledge”. Since (as stated) the “earliest form of sound recording technology… was written language”, extrapolating the critique of so-called Electronic Voice Phenomena (ghost voice) recording put forward in the “Rorschach Audio” project, the article also states that “if you want to hear the voices of the deceased, talking to you, personally, then read books” – so “if you want to hear the dead talk, visit a library”. The publication features contributions from artists Joe Banks, Crystal Bennes, Thom Bridge, Libby Heaney, Julie F. Hill, Paula Smolarska, Mark Siebert and Mary Yacoob, from programmer Doug Neal, and from cosmologist and statistician Dr Roberto Trotta. Thanks to everyone who came to the events!

Buy the book –

36pp soft-back with inserts and jacket – ISBN 978-0-9572687-5-3

Disinformation performed at the Bibliotèque Solvay, Brussels, 29 Oct 2000 and a “Rorschach Audio” talk took place at the British Library, London, 28 June 2013.

Artworks + Texts Copyright © Joe Banks

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