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Electromagnetic Sound Art – Disinformation and “National Grid”

March 13, 2021

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

Electronic music producer, researcher and installation artist Joe Banks discusses “National Grid” – the highly influential sound installation, recording and performance concept, which Joe produces under the aegis of the art project Disinformation. “National Grid” is a work of electromagnetic sound art, originally created using VLF-band radio technology, later using direct line noise from live mains electricity. “National Grid” was first performed live and published on LP in 1996, and first exhibited as an art gallery sound installation in 1997. “National Grid” has since been exhibited and performed nearly 40 times, most recently at the Fort Process Festival, Newhaven, in 2018. This presentation discusses technical, musical and symbolic aspects of “National Grid”, in relation to art history, to experimental and classical music, and in relation to literature, featuring short readings from the writers H.G. Wells, William F. Temple and Bruno Schulz.

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 –

https://www.wereallbats.co.uk/event-details/electromagnetic-sound-art

Use headphones – https://player.vimeo.com/video/525853784

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

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