Artworks perceived using magnetic senses

Image from Avengium
A magscape is a work of art that primarily relies on the perception of manipulated magnetic fields. While very popular among vec clades, magscapes can be perceived and appreciated by by a wide variety of sophonts. Because magnetic sensory equipment has a wide range of sensitivity and operation, these magnetic artworks can appear very different to various observers. And the same piece of art can be seen in a variety of different ways by a single observer according to the interpretation algorithms they choose to employ.

Magscapes are popular among vecs and aioids who use magnetic sensors extensively. But magscapes can also be enjoyed by a wide variety of biont clades, including clades derived from certain Old Earth marine organisms and birds (such as homing pigeons). Some hu-derived clades which have had their vestigial magnetic sense reactivated through genemods can experiment magscapes first-hand. The subjective experience of magscape artworks differs widely among such disparate observers.

For clades that do not have strong innate magnetic senses, artificial sensory input can be used to perceive or enhance these artworks. These perceptions are usually channeled via direct neural interfacing using neoSQuID detectors, though other channels can be used. Some augmentations of this kind interpret the magscapes using colors, shapes, sounds or haptic input. More complex systems use synesthetic modules to combine the input into a combined cross-sensory experience.

Form and Style

Magscapes can take several forms, roughly corresponding to "music", "images", or "video", depending on whether they are a single magnetic source modulated over time to produce complex music-like sounds, a static pattern or an array of magnetic patterns changing shape and location. But often a magscape cannot be interpreted simply as sounds, images or tactile sensations, but can only be appreciated fully as a synesthetic blend between multiple sense impressions. Such pieces are the most varied forms, and may include fields of changing texture, form, wavelength and intensity that can convey strong impressions and emotional content to the recipient. Often the most affecting works of magnetic art are those which recall the natural magnetic fields around gas giants or other celestial bodies, or auroral displays. Other magscapes take more abstract forms, and are often equally engaging or even challenging artworks.

Magscapes have become an increasingly very popular artform, and new magmusic and magvideo works are released in quantities rivaling their visual and auditory counterparts. Overall, magscapes are a unique and intriguing artform, and have been ever since the first interfaces between magnetic sensors and the sophont mind.
Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by Alphadon
additional material by Avengium and Selden Ball
Initially published on 11 July 2017.