Magnetoception: “a sense which allows an organism to detect a magnetic field to perceive direction, altitude or location.”

Magnetoceptia is a series of performances and installations which centres around self-constructed, wearable antennas that pick up electromagnetic fields from its surroundings and make them perceivable through electronic sound.

The project is an investigation on different sonic and material properties of natural environments contrasting urban landscapes,
and a visualization of different physical phenomena. Extensions of our rudimentary animal senses are being developed to make those phenomena perceivable.

During the performances the sound is generated and modulated live. Dependent on the shape, size and dimensions of the antennas they pick up different radio signals, varying from extra-terrestrial abstract tones, layered drones, obscure voices and machine-like rhythmical pulses. The movements of the performers, relating to the space and each other, determine the sound, dismantling traditional concepts of stage and catwalk, musician and instrument.

The performances are sonic explorations of the space, electricity from the air is the main and raw ingredient for the musical composition. Both audience and performers are witness of the tension between the control of the performer and the unpredictability of the material.

The transformations of the antennas influence the reception and frequency range of the received signals and hereby the sounds, that consecutively transit through various stages of external procession and morph into a musical arrangement.


Magnetoceptia is a collaborative project by
Dewi de Vree  and Patrizia Ruthensteiner