June 17th, 2014
On 13. June 2014 I arrived in Gdansk, Poland, for a three-week residency at Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art during their Soundplay Festival and at the nearby Hel Marine Station. While here I’m researching underwater sound and marine mammal communication amidst the ambient (human) noise pollution in the Baltic Sea, with the intention of making some new sound works under the name Submergence, which I will research and develop here and present later in the summer.
But no trip to Gdansk could be complete without some photos of the impressive architecture, both mercantile and industrial…. and I’m developing a little side project about Gdansk’s post-industrial infrastructre. If it’s too rainy to go out on the sea, to the the shipyards, to the rooftops!
June 10th, 2014
In March 2013 I working in Israel/Palestine with Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky of Toronto-based Public Studio on their newest film installation, What Isn’t There. The piece comes from nearly 20 years of photographing and filming on the sites of former Palestinian villages in Israel, an exploration of the politicized landscape in all its beauty, banality, and absurdity. The installation had its premiere in Toronto on May 22, 2013 in a one-night outdoor presentation, and consists of four channel video, accompanied by stereo sound (which visitors listen to on wireless headphones). It’s a powerful piece, which truly immerses visitors due to the design and scale of the screens, the intimate sound, and very formal yet generous presentation of the subject. I’m super pleased to be part of the team, composing and designing the sound.
Public Studio never rests, so we’re busy at our terminals working on a commission for Ryerson University, another audio/visual work called Drone Wedding. Wedding industrial complex meets military industrial complex, war meets the everyday under a familiar sky…. I wish I could say such an idea were a farce, but too often drone strikes abroad have targeted innocent civilian gatherings like weddings and parties. Drone Wedding will be up and running for the fall semester, from September 17-December 19, 2014 on the Ryerson University New Media Wall, in downtown Toronto, Canada.
June 4th, 2014
Back in October 2013, while on residency at Skaftfell Center for Visual Art in Seydisfjördur, Iceland, I crafted a 16:00 minute radio beacon to broadcast on my private transmitter every evening at sundown for a week. Radiotelegraph featured my first formal attempts at performing vocal morse code, laid over a bed of signals and oscillations. It was simulcast on the mighty Radius in Chicago, U.S. as episode 44 in their esteemed catalogue of transmission experiments.
In the last month, Radiotelegraph has made its way around the world in various ways:
-featured in the latest curated playlist of Radius’ PATCH series on WFMU New Jersey and the Free Music Archive (FMA), posted June 1, 2014. This series includes three Radius episodes that reflect on the concept of distance.
-featured as part of radio trickster Gregory Whitehead‘s edition of Radio Yak, heard on the brand new Soundproof program, Radio National of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, aired May 25, 2014.
And finally… tomorrow I’m on my way to give a paper at the Radio As Art conference at the Weserburg Museum Studienzentrum in Bremen, Germany, taking place from 5-8. June 2014. I’ll be talking about “The Wireless Experience of Distance”. The whole conference will be streamed by Mobile Radio here, including some really nice curated overnight programming from the Radia network and ORF Kunstradio.
May 22nd, 2014
This week and next, Konrad Korabiewski and I are taking the twins out for a spin….
Two performance works for multi-channel radio, featuring two vintage Telefunken Bajazzo radio/cassette decks, multiple micro-FM transmitters, and a chorus of supporting radio receivers. We employ lo-fi instruments, spectral monitoring, and intricate feedback systems to craft an expressive and intimate world from the sensuality of signal and noise.
By working with small-scale circuits of transmission in performance, we seek to transform radio away from its everyday role as an apparatus of entertainment or information diffusion; instead proposing radio as instrument, as landscape, and as a poetic space of reverie.
Friday May 23, 2014 Gallery Liebig 12, Liebigstrasse 12, 10247 Berlin DE 20:00 sharp
Friday May 30, 2014 Nomadentappe/Memphis, Untere Donaulände 12, Linz AT 20:00
The concert in Linz will also include an artist talk.
Part of the ongoing activities of Skálar Center for Sound Art and Experimental Music which acts as both an artist collective and a curatorial platform, and produces a nomadic festival and international exchanges.
April 21st, 2014
Some news from the Uhrwald, where cuckoos nest at night: I’m very pleased and honoured to have been awarded second place in the Prix Palma Ars Acoustica 2014 for Collecting Clocks and Losing Time (2013), a feature-length radio art composition created in 5.1 surround sound for ORF Kunstradio, on the Austrian national public radio.
Collecting Clocks and Losing Time is part of a body work I’ve been developing over the past four years of iterative experiments with radio and timekeeping, and includes Studio Time (2013), 5 Times (less a hundred) (2012), Measure the time taken (2011), For the time being (2010), and the ongoing project Zero Hour. This piece has some special emotional resonance for me, as it was composed around recordings of my late father’s cuckoo clocks, one of which was broken in such a way as to eternally cuckoo until the escapement runs out. In addition to the individual eccentricities of these clocks, the work features manipulations of the atomic clock, or coordinated universal time as broadcast globally on shortwave frequencies. It would be fair to say I’ve been obsessed with broadcast time since the mid-1990s, and since making Collecting Clocks and Losing Time, I have continued my focused manipulations of clocks in longer form works for overnight broadcast, particularly the 5-hour work Uncoordinated Universal Time (2014).
April 15th, 2014
That’s right, is time for another episode of NRRF B Radio, broadcast live (87.9FM) from the mighty Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago, and streamed from Wavefarm radio/Transmission Arts in New York state.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014. 11:00-14:00 Central Daylight Savings Time (GMT -5), listen in on WGXC New York on Thursday, April 17, 2014, 0:05-2:20.
The Electric Earth
The Frosty and Frothy NRRF Pirates have found themselves and their trusty schooner locked on a course DUE SOUTH owing to a badly malfunctioning compass. As they approach what appears to be the frozen, southern polar landmass, they suddenly discover that their ship is no longer moving. They are immobilized by the pack ice, so they decide to sing songs while quickly finishing off the rum. In their stupor, the crew encounters one very smelly and dreadfully lost Ijiraq which causes them to vacate the boat and immediately become lost on the ice where they experience many strange sensations and illusions: an unsettling shift in gravity, rings around the sun, a very convincing fata morgana, and several frightening aural hallucinations, all of which confuse them further. As they press forward to nowhere, the ice or permafrost begins to give way under their feet in a glorious thaw. Is the land melting away? Eventually the crew finds magnificent caverns filled with crystalline formations that seem to be connected to a giant electric ray transmitter. What is this strange world? A mirage? Madness? A secret military installation? Or the solution to the world’s fossil fuel addiction? The fearless crew are all frozen in static, and we wonder, what could possibly happen next?!?
NRRF is a collaborative effort to make unlicensed neighborhood radio art. B Radio mashes b-list film and pulp fiction genres with radio art to structure the improvisational nature of the shows. It’s live radio, streamed, with special guests and live audience. The core group consists of Jonny Farrow, Anna Friz, Steve Germana, Jeff Kolar, and Peter Speer.
April 9th, 2014
I’m hurtling across the corn fields of downstate Illinois on the train at the moment, through a decidedly un-spring-like landscape that is just thinking of coming back to life after the long winter here. I’m on my way to do some work with Jay Needham, Associate Professor in the Radio, Television, and Digital Media Department at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale IL. I’ll be giving a lecture in the department tomorrow (10 April) on research creation and transmission art, entitled Radio is not a Container. Jay and I are preparing for our lecture-performance Zero Hour at Art+Communication: Fields in Riga, Latvia, in May this year. And we’ll be firing up the mics for a radio party with some grad students later this weekend. Woot!
Also coming up, a new episode of NRRF: B Radio from 11:00-14:00 (CDST, Chicago time) on 16 April, streaming and broadcasting live from the Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago, and streamed/rebroadcast by WGXC Transmission Arts, NY. The intrepid crew reunites to explore The Electric Earth.
Finally, I’ll be passing through Montreal the last week in April, so stay tuned for another collaboration by Ghost Imbiss.
Yes, that’s a bit of leftover snow on the ground.
March 25th, 2014
I began working with Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky aka Public Studio in 2011, when I composed music and did sound design/installation for their multi-channel film work Road Movie. The piece explores the segregated road system in the West Bank, with perspectives from Israelis and Palestinians. Recently I’ve been working on the sound for Public Studio’s current long-running project What Isn’t There, documenting the Palestinian villages of 1948, from which their Arab inhabitants were displaced and exiled. This latest installment in Public Studio’s 15-year process with the villages is a multi-channel film installation featuring 14 villages.
Up until last week, I had never traveled to Israel/Palestine, and so had been learning about the area through various books, news and editorial media and through immersion in the sound recordings from Public Studio’s location shoots so far. Last week I finally went there myself, to take the Public Studio deluxe tour of the West Bank, record sound at some village sites, and to try to parse the long history of conquests that is writ large on the landscape, from Roman ruins to Marmaluke fortresses to Palestinian olive groves to Bedouin encampments to Israeli army bases, checkpoints, and walled-in settlements.
The current situation is quite literally inscribed on the land, revealing that this is now a battle that is largely being fought by pervasive, insidious construction and control of infrastructure, where the one with the biggest walls, the fastest roads, and control of the checkpoints wins. On the hilltops in Palestine, the radio communications towers are the one of first indications that an illegal Israeli settlement is coming, bringing walls and soldiers and strangely Santa Fe style-suburban homes with them.
Meanwhile, time seems to stand still, in a way, in the hazy hills around Nablus or Ramallah, where lemon trees and olive groves flourish in the terraced hills, drivers are fearless, people are kind and hostly, and the dust blows forward and the dust blows back.
February 27th, 2014
I have the great pleasure of playing together with Maja Osojnik this weekend in Vienna. She’s a vibrant performer and composer who uses a broad palette of instruments electronic and acoustic, including her voice.
Saturday March 1, 2014 20:00, e c h o r a u m Sechshauser Straße 66 Vienna
We’ll be playing solo sets, and a set together, using a pile of electronics, instruments, voices, radio, cassettes, and all. My set will be focused on my current favourite sample, the zero hour….
We played together on Art’s Birthday (January 17, 2014) in a translocal exchange over the interwebs between Vienna-Ljubljana, produced by ORF Kunstradio and radioCONA, which you can listen to here.