Salar: Evaporation


Premiering a new installation work created together with Rodrigo Ríos Zunino: Salar: Evaporation is a multi-channel video and sound work based on recent fieldwork in the Atacama desert.

On view this weekend during the opening festivities of the Graz Kulturjahr, at esc medien kunst labor here in Graz, Austria; the installation continues from February 4-21, 2020 Tues-Fri 14h-19h.

esc medien kunst labor, Bürgergasse 5, 8010 Graz Austria

A significant portion of the world’s lithium is mined in the Salar de Atacama, the salt flats of the high altitude desert in northern Chile. This desert was once the bottom of a sea and still consists of rare geologic and organic systems, though now it is aggressively mined for the ingredients for batteries used in smart phones and electric cars. Salar: Evaporation seeks to de-totalize industrial extractivism in favour of manifesting many worlds from the perspective of temporality, land, and space. This multi-channel video and sound installation takes an experimental rather than purely documentary approach, challenging the deadly hubris of human exploitation in the desert by working with the forces characteristic of the desert itself, such as mirage, perceptual distortion, and the long duration of the geologic present.

The work reflects on landscape, infrastructure, and environmental change, exploring the micro and macro scales of human intervention and activity in relatively remote areas which occupy the space between urban sprawl and wilderness, and investigates the role of people (and artists) as agents in the myth-making and storytelling process which bring critique and create counter-narratives to those of progress and growth that propel unsustainable extractivist corporate and state-sponsored industries. Particularly at this contemporary moment, where the people of Chile are engaged in widespread national resistance and protest to business as usual by the state and corporate forces that have ravaged the country and environment while propagating gross economic and social inequities, such areas of resource extraction like the Atacama desert can hardly be understood as peripheral or as neutral sites of industry. Instead, they are centers of power, exploited to feed the forces of global capital to the benefit of a global elite. The future technological ‘smart’ cities will actually function as the peripheral expressions of this power which is being pillaged from the desert. Instead, we consider how the desert produces power in the form of unique and fragile ecosystems and geological expressions of time, from which we may learn and imagine alternative worlds.

This project is part of a larger series of works based on my research and fieldwork in the Atacama desert in Chile entitled We Build Ruins, and was made possible with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Hellman Fellowship, the Arts Research Institute of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Committee on Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz.



Art’s Birthday 2020


It’s that time of year, when once again we reach into deep pre-history to celebrate Art’s Birthday. It’s been 1,000,057 years to be precise, since someone dropped a sponge into a bucket of water, and so, art was born. Buiding on Robert Filliou’s Fluxus holiday, a loose and changing cooperation of international artists join in networked exchange locally and around the world. Tune in to the hub of activities.

I’m currently in Graz, Austria, hosted by the inimitable esc medien kunst labor . Tonight we are kicking off the year of the urban cyborg with a Cyborg Radiation Day. I’ll be performing a new piece entitled Changes of State, using field recordings from the Atacama desert, together with protest sounds shared by my collaborator Rodrigo Ríos Zunino from the recent popular uprisings in Chile in response to aggravated social and economic inequality.

While the Chilean uprising was sparked by a hike in public transportation prices, the real issue lies in a massive inequity between social welfare and corporate welfare, where Chile’s extraction economy serves the very wealthy while pillaging the environment and forcing more and more people to fall into poverty. International companies and consortia are deeply implicated in this mess, with Canadian mining companies and investors at the helm. Our ongoing project on mining and its associated infrastructure in the high altitude deserts of Chile is the focus of my time here in Graz, both for Art’s Birthday and with the multi-screen and multi-channel sound installation Salar: Evaporation which will open next week on January 24, 2020 at esc.

Tune in via Radio Helsinki , the free radio here in Graz, and here’s the full line up for tonight from esc!

18.00 Uhr:URBAN CYBORGS, Opening and greeting words by Reni Hofmüller and Ilse Weber, presentation of the project URBAN CYBORGS and start of radio transmission including Radio Cyborg Transmitter RCT

18.30 Uhr: Presents to art, Onlinearchive Ö1 Kunstradio, Moderation: Reni Hofmüller

20.00 Uhr:Solar Radio, Absolute Value of Noise, live from Vancouver, Canada

19.00 Uhr: Salar: Evaporation, Lecture by Anna Friz

20.30 Uhr: Spark Gap, Raviv Ganchrow, Preproduction Deutschlandfunk

21.15 Uhr:The sound of artspace, Seppo Gründler live in Graz, then: Presents to art, Onlinearchive Ö1 Kunstradio, Moderation: Reni Hofmüller

21.40 Uhr:Changes of State, Anna Friz, Radioperformance, live from Graz

22.00 Uhr:Die Loslösung des Plans, Lale Rodgarkia-Dara, live from Graz

22.30 Uhr:Embodied Radio Device, Absolute Value of Noise and Anna Friz

22.50 Uhr: 30 Minutes of SDR, Enrique Tomas, live from Linz, in collaboration with Dorf TV Linz

23.20 Uhr: denn jede Variable stellt eine konstante Form dar, Adina Camhy, Bettina Landl & Peter Venus; Presents to art, Onlinearchive RADIA, Moderation: Reni Hofmüller



Sounds travel


Summer for the lightly fried professor means release from the teaching schedule and back to some R n’ R n’ R n’ R, or research, recording, writing, and relaxing. Probably in the reverse order, to be honest. And a little travel to bring the noise across the water and catch up with long time collaborators.

First up, I’ll be heading for RE:SOUND 2019, the Media Art Histories conference held in August 2019 in Aalborg, Danmark. I’ll be performing Radiation Day (with a re-edit of the video and recomposed sounds) at Musikken’s Hus on Tuesday August 21, 2019, and giving a paper on August 23 at Aalborg University on fieldwork intended for multi-sensory media art production centered upon disciplines of listening. Really looking forward to a stellar week, which has a great lineup including academic talks and evening performances of all sorts. Og jeg glæder mig til at sludrer lidt på Dansk!

Radiation Day is the first of a series of works generated from fieldwork in the northern Chilean deserts, created with collaboration from Rodrigo Ríos Zunino. More about our fieldwork and Radiation Day in a special feature on Earlid.

On August 24, 2019, my solo composition Two Sleeps, originally commissioned by Radio Arts UK, will be presented as part of the Lange Nacht der Hörkunst, an overnight concert of experimental audio arts and radio pieces serving as a kind of coda to the Leipziger Hörspiel Sommer Festival 17, in Leipzig, Germany. Kanal 30, Leipzig-Plagwitz, 8pm-4am.

And I’ll be on air/ online on Copenhagen’s own experimental radio station The Lake, for an in-studio chat and live set on their ongoing series “Søens Folk”; tune in August 25, 2019, 20-22h (GMT +2).

Then I’ll be heading down to Vienna, Austria to spend a week with Elisabeth Zimmermann, radio art boss lady at ORF Kunstradio. I’m cooking up a new radio art work in the same family of works as Radiation Day, which will be ready for the airwaves in 2020.

And finally a little much-needed retreat to Skálar HQ in East Iceland, where the fog has hardly lifted all summer and begs to be documented and blundered about in once again…

Thanks to support from the Arts Research Institute and the Committee on Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz for these travels to present and develop my work!



Radiophrenia!


I have a number of radio art works (collaborations all!) in the current edition of Radiophrenia (2019). Tune in May 19-26, 2019 to listen to the full schedule of radio art from around the world.

Radiophrenia is a temporary art radio station organized by Mark Vernon and Barry Burns– a two-week exploration into current trends in sound and transmission arts. Broadcasting live from Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts, the station aims to promote radio as an art form, encouraging challenging and radical new approaches to the medium.

May 19, 2019 16-18h Glasgow time: NRRF B-Radio returns, with an all new surreal and labyrinthine episode The Forbidden Planet Awakens! Deconstructing the space opera, the countdown never ends as our intrepid space crew and their ever-practical Mission Control and chronically depressed Ground Control counterparts try to escape the Forbidden Planet.

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. For this episode, all members participated remotely, from Abu Dhabi, Wave Farm in Acra NY, Florida, North Carolina, and Radius in Chicago. Many thanks to the Wave Farm and Tom Roe for supporting the piece, which will also be rebroadcast on WGXC Greene and Columbia counties, NY in the coming weeks.



Radio Revolten: 30 Days of Radio now out!


In October 2016, over 80 radio artists gathered in Halle (Saale) for the International Radio Art Festival Radio Revolten. The book Radio Revolten. 30 Days of Radio Art documents the artistic works from the festival’s own radio station, the installations and performances, and reflects contemporary artistic approaches to the future use and social standing of the medium of radio. The book is published by Spector Books Leipzig and includes articles by Knut Aufermann, Anna Friz, Helen Hahmann, Martin Hartung, Lukas Holfeld, Udo Israel, Tina Klatte, Jan Langhammer, Michael Nicolai, Sarah Washington, Ralf Wendt, Gregory Whitehead, Florian Wüst and Elisabeth Zimmermann. The photos were taken by the Halle photographer Marcus-Andreas Mohr. The book was designed by graphic designer Nastia Bessarabova.

Two years after the Radio Revolten International Radio Art Festival, Radio CORAX celebrated unusual and playful radio. To mark the publication of the book Radio Revolten. 30 Days of Radio Art and the opening of the third Radio Art Residency in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, a joint radio performance took place on March 14 at the Halle (Saale) Opera Café and on air. With Knut Aufermann, Steve Bates, André Damião, Anna Friz, Marold Langer-Philippsen, Sally Ann McIntyre, Sol Rezza, Claire Serres, Sarah Washington and Ralf Wendt and radio makers of Radio CORAX.

Thursday, March 14, 2019
8 – 9 p.m., doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Café of the Opera in Halle (Saale) (Universitätsring 24, 06108 Halle/Saale)
Live on Radio CORAX 95.9 FM in Halle (Saale) / Live on WGXC 90.7 FM in New York State / Live-Stream radiocorax.de



Embodied Radio Device


Art’s Birthday” is an annual event first proposed in 1963 by French artist Robert Filliou. One million years ago on January 17, someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water. And so, art was born. Filliou proposed a public holiday to celebrate the presence of art in our lives. In recent years, the idea has been taken up by a loose network of artists and friends around the world who exchange audiovisual parties, first via the post, telephone, fax, and later internet streams and public radio satellite. Each year the Eternal Network evolves to include new partners – working with the ideas of exchange and telecommunications art.

This year, I’ve joined Absolute Value of Noise to realize the Embodied Radio Device, a generative radio stream which supposes an Artificial Intelligence that is trying to recreate the sounds of life in its immediate environment – imitating the sounds of insects, birds, frogs, magnetic phenomena, the wind moving through the trees, rain falling, and waves on the ocean. The humans play along with various forms of synthesis. Listen online until January 18, 2019. AI constructed by Absolute Value of Noise, using his Solar Radio outdoor installation which responds to sun exposure and environmental factors, and I’ve provided some accompanying ‘human synthesizer’ and assorted radiophonic/acoustic grit.

Tune in– best accompanied with cake. Happy Art’s Birthday! Remember: the End is just pretend!



Icelandic sounds in the NYT Magazine


Catching up on the activities of the autumn: the New York Times Magazine September 22, 2018 “Sonic Voyages Issue” focused on travel to parts of the world based on sonic attractions or properties. With soundscapes from 11 sites around the world, the issue included recordings by myself and Konrad Korabiewski, of waterfalls and burbling sulphurous mud pots around Iceland which we captured this past summer especially for this commission.

Accompanying photographs by Matthew Brandt, who we had the great pleasure to travel with while on assignment for this as well.

Listen to the special fall “Sonic Voyages Issue” of the New York Times Magazine from 22nd of September: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/09/21/magazine/voyages-travel-sounds-from-the-world.html
Press release: https://www.nytco.com/nyt-mag-takes-its-audience-on-a-sonic-journey-for-voyages-issue/




Wireless travels


This week I’m in Basel, Switzerland to give a talk on Thursday Nov 22, 2018 as part of the Radiophonic Spaces exhibition at the Museum Tinguely which is part of a larger initiative to study radio and radio art by the international Radiophonic Cultures research group.

The talk is entitled “Distance, Difference and Reverie: Encountering Transmission Ecologies Through Radio Art”. Other presenters over the course of the exhibition include Geert Lovink, Diana McCarty, Verena Kuni, Carolyn Birdsall, Wolfgang Ernst, and others.

Also this week, on November 24, 2018 Collecting Clocks and Losing Time will premiere in Poland at Impart Theatre, Wroclaw, as part of the Canti Spazializzati 4 event, in coordination with the latest issue of Glissando music journal, in which I also have an article about radio art in Canada entitled “Art on Autonomous Waves“.



The Joy Channel on Radioee.net


The Joy Channel will be broadcast this Friday, November 16, 2018 on Radioee.net. Radioee (Radio Espacio Estacion) is an online, nomadic, and multilingual radio station which hosts intermittent broadcast events internationally. This week they manifest under the theme Auto Piloto, streaming live from self-driven cars in the San Francisco Bay Area to consider audio-/auto-mobility and the future (and futurity) of such tech thinking. Broadcasts will take place in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Tune in to radioee.net Thursday and Friday November 15-16 from 11:00 to 23:00 each day.

The Joy Channel airs from 20:00-21:00 PST (GMT -8) on Friday November 16.



The Joy Channel


Finally Emmanuel Madan and I are launching The Joy Channel, our foray into the radio of the future which we have worked on over the years (2007-2017) through several iterations, this being the third and final. This radio art piece was supposed to be about the future a century from now, but at some moments I feel like the present has caught up rather quickly to where we imagined we might end up… or rather, the ‘business as usual’ which results in a transformed New North America seems to be rather imminently taking place. But no matter—the theme is still ultimately one of optimism, as we consider the prospect of tele-empathy versus corporate emo-casting.

To listen or purchase your own digital copy of The Joy Channel, head on over to IO SOUND.  The Joy Channel will be the first on IO SOUND’s transmission arts sub-label. They are a Vancouver-based label who have some terrific releases in the world of experimental sound and now transmission arts, so do take a moment to peruse their catalogue while you’re there.

Here’s what The Joy Channel is all about:

Over a century from now, business as usual has rendered the nation states of Canada, the United States and Mexico extinct. Approximately 40 million people remain in New North America who are mainly concentrated on the west and east coasts in city-states such as Van and Turnpike, or in the walled-in corporate state strongholds of Fortress Alaska and the Protectorate of Utah. Inland, sparse but emergent communities persist.

In this future, the radio ecology still includes community radio, CB and ham radio as technologies which have survived the social and environmental cataclysms by being relatively easy to salvage, fix, and modify, and therefore remain useful to improvised new societies that tend towards local systems, nomadism and scavenging. But radio in the future is not only a sonic medium: it also becomes a means of transmitting neural information in the form of standardized human emotions (corporate ’emo-casting’), or for tele-empathic communion without devices practiced by dispersed nomadic communities.

We tune across the territories of the future radio to learn of the transforming geopolitics and the emerging EM (empathy modulation) band, from the transmissions of a lone ham radio operator or ‘wavefinder’ to the ongoing conversations of a group of hams radioing across the continent, to corporate shills, pundits, religious figures, the seductive sounds of emocast channels, and among them, something new being felt across the spectrum.

This speculative radio art piece explores tensions between the neurological manipulation of emotions and empathic realization, the interaction between the listeners as active or passive subjects, and the renewed struggle over access to the airwaves.

The Joy Channel was originally commissioned by Radio Tesla, Berlin for RadioVisionen: 250 Jahre Radio in 2007. This release is a completely new version of the work with a new script, characters, and scenario, and was chosen as a finalist for the Phonurgia Nova Awards in the category of Sound and Radiophonic Art in 2017.

credits

released September 4, 2018

Produced: /Undefine, Montréal
Recorded : PRIM, Montréal
Mastered: Stéphane Claude, Oboro, Montréal
Design: Jesse Purcell + Fairypunk + s*

Production Assistance:

Canada Council for the Arts
ORF Kunstradio (Vienna)
Wave Farm, Acra NY
Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin)
PRIM (Montréal)
Oboro (Montréal)

Voices: Sarita Ahooja, Leslie Baker, Alexis Bhagat, Matt Bua, Brian Dewan, Lorrie Edmonds, Danielle Frank, Anna Friz, Gina Grotelueschen, Justin Grotelueschen, Darsha Hannah Hewitt, Ricardo Lira, Emmanuel Madan, Randy Peters, Tom Roe, Victoria Stanton, Vince Tinguely, Rufo Valencia

Special thanks to Galen Joseph-Hunter and Tom Roe (Wave Farm), Stéphane Claude and Claudine Hubert (Oboro), Steve Bates (Hexagram), and tobias c. van Veen (IO SOUND).

Thanks to all those involved with earlier incarnations of this work, especially Martina Groß, Andreas Hagelüken, Séamus O’Donell, Moritz von Rappard and Johannes Wilms (Radio Tesla, 2007) and Elisabeth Zimmermann (ORF Kunstradio, 2009).