morast Doing things and making stuff

hertzian tales
Hertzian Tales

Hertzian Tales is an interactive audiovisual installation by intolight and morast.


Since the computer became personal in the 1980s, its presence in our daily lifes is growing bigger and bigger. While the significance of the computer in our daily routine is increasing, the internal operating process itself, hides from our views. The PC becomes a black box for its users, reduced to the relation between input and output. This trend of ubiquitous computing will continue well into the future.

Each and every device is radiating electromagnetic waves, which cannot be perceived by human beings. Electromagnetic fields can be seen as the aura of electronic devices, their unique trails, which confront us with the omnipresence of electronic devices and computers in our everyday life.

This installation is using this electromagnetic aura to make the processes of a computer perceivable through sound. The physical principle of electromagnetic induction is used to pickup the changing electromagnetic fields of a computer. These fields are then transformed into sound.

Depending on the current operating process the timbre of the components is morphing between gentle humming and harsh noise. The result is a shattered soundscape which is based on different computer components and their operating processes. The user can interact with the soundscape using a mouse as a interface to engage different operations inside the computer.

The designer Anthony Dunne proposed a concept called Hertzian Space which was defined by him as the interface or physical interaction between electronic weaves and human experiences. The installation becomes this interface itself, enabling the user to listen to the Hertzian Tales emmited as electromagnetic waves by the computer, translated into an alien whisper, confronting us with the ubiquity of electronic devices and our own entity and participation in Hertzian Space.

Hertzian Tales was exhibited in the following locations:

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