Tempest by Erich Berger


The audiovisual performance TEMPEST is based on the surveillance technology known as Van Eck Phreaking – computer screen content can be reconstructed remotely by picking up the emitted EM-field of the screen. TEMPEST utilizes this technique to transform purely generative graphic into a tight and intense composition of noise which again is fed back into the image generating process. Several AM receivers are tuned into different frequencies of a screen and plugged into an audio mixer for further sound processing. The graphics on the screen become a means of producing sound and it is only the graphics which determine the different timbres and rhythms. It is a synaesthetic instrument mastered by surfing on the space of possibilities of an autopoietic feedback loop.


Van Eck Phreaking is the name for a surveillance technology which is, that intelligence services are able to reconstruct the content of a computer monitor by picking up the electromagnetic(em)-field of the computer monitor. Over the years, programmers developed methods and algorithms to convert em-fields to screen ghosts to view screen data without using cables or cameras. Van Eck Phreaking is a form of eavesdropping in which special equipment is used to pick up telecommunication signals or data within a computer device by monitoring and picking up the em-fields. The U.S. government has been involved with em-field interpretation for many years under a top-secret program code-named “TEMPEST”.


Erich Berger
Artist / Researcher, lives and works in Oslo / Norway

Erich Berger is a media artist working mostly in collaboration. His interactive and networked environments deal with telerobotics, mobility, generative realtime systems, group biofeedback and autopoiesis. He is exhibiting internationally and performing regularly with his impro duo BERGER or solo.