Electrosmog Montreal Reveals The Electromagnetic Soundscape That Underlies The City

<p>Jean-Pierre Aubé paints a portrait of Montreal using its background noise.</p>

Smog, it’s not a very attractive thing, even its name sounds unappealing. But as well as this air pollution that encompasses our cities, hidden from our visual spectrum is vast amounts of “electrosmog”.

This electrosmog is the result of the radio frequency field that our telecommunication infrastructure uses so we can all talk (virtually or otherwise) and text with one another. In an ongoing series that’s incorporated cities across the world, artist Jean-Pierre Aubé has been giving visual form to this electromagnetic field that lurks beneath our networked world. In the video above he highlights the electrosmog of Montréal. How does he find it? Well, with cunning, wit, plus a radio, antenna, and “instrument of his own creation”.

This allows him to create a sound mosaic by taking a snapshot of the reading every ten seconds which he then marries with pics of Montreal “digitally altered by these same measurements” to creats what’s referred to as a “documentary in sound”—which flickers in and out of consciousness, going from static buzz to snippets of snatched conversations.