Live stream of Øyvind Brandtseggs sound installation situated at the Mapping Authorities'
headquarter in Hønefoss.
"I wanted to make a work that would represent and reflect on the activity performed by the mapping authority. The need for a stable reference is essential in all kinds of map making, and in relating the map to the real world. Parts of our globe moves in relation to each other (continental drift, earth tide), the globe itself spins at a variable speed and its axis of rotation may change. All of this makes it hard to determine a stable reference point on earth itself. As in ancient times, we look to the stars for navigation. Using distant quasar stars and a measurement technique called VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry), we can get this stable reference. This reference is used to calculate earth surface positions in relation to satellites (e.g. for GPS) down to millimeter precision.
What is artistically interesting about this (apart from working with a signal that originated more than a billion years ago) is the fact that the signal from the quasars is extremely noisy. It is buried in cosmic background noise, and furthermore, the signal itself can be characterized as white noise. Looking for a needle in a haystack would be relatively easy… I find it deeply poetic that we as humans have developed techniques to make sense of such a chaos. Perhaps we can also see this as a mirror of our capability to orient ourselves in the rich information flow we are exposed to every day as citizens of a modern society.
The composition and development of musical themes, sound structures and internal features of the sounds are all based on different aspects of the VLBI system as used in observation and calculation."