Art’s Birthday 2016


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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 for the 1,000,053th birthday of art, and I’ve jumped on a plane or two from California to Vienna, Austria, to perform on-site, on-line, and on-air nationally on ORF Kunstradio, the radio art program on the national cultural channel of Austrian national public radio. I’ll be joining good friends Sarah Washington and Knut Aufermann (aka Mobile Radio), Ralf Wendt, and lots of other sonic tricksters here in Vienna on Sunday January 17, from 17:00-20:00 Austrian time (GMT +1).

Later that evening, from 23:00-1:00 (overnight to monday morning), we’ll be live on-air in the Kunstradio slot. Tune in online to the audio stream, the video stream, on-air. We’ll be listening and exchanging with any and all birthday streams circulating internationally, and do our best to infiltrate available bands with tenacious earworms and parasitic refrains, powered of course by high quality Viennese birthday cake!

Drop in, tune in, eat cake. Happy Art’s Birthday! Remember: the End is just pretend!



Ascend into air, fall into water


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Last spring I made a radio art piece for Radio Arts UK entitled Two Sleeps, which was an oneiric journey through imagined landscapes, and the tendency in my dreams of ascending and descending through air and water. This time around it was much more basic: the plane takes off from the fog and murk of East Iceland, soars over the pack ice around Labrador and descends into another fog bank near Santa Cruz, California.  From air to earth, but actually to water–though there’s drought here, the ocean is the nearest and most impressive body around.

My new appointment here at UC Santa Cruz is keeping me busy, but some additional shows are coming up fast: even as we speak I’m madly finishing the audio for Public Studio‘s new 360 degree video installation entitled Zero Hour, to be presented at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche on October 3-4, 2015; and a brand new audio-visual performance Fjarðarheiði created with Konrad Korabiewski and presented by Skálar | Sound Art | Experimental Music at the Festival de nouveau cinéma in Montréal, October 10, 2015.

Look out for misc. colloquia in the central California area to be announced shortly as well… and when not teaching students about the glories of listening and making noise, I’ll be out and about, loitering about the waterfront…

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Endless Love: All Transistor Model


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Endless Love: All Transistor Model
is a 12-hour durational performance/sound installation conceived by Karine Denault, Anna Friz, and Dana Gingras. We had a red-lit love-soaked premiere of the work overnight on June 20-21, 2015 from 20:30-8:30, at Stable, Montréal, during the 24-hour art event Endless Love. Two dancers, 30 transistor radios, 3 frequencies, 4 auxiliary audio channels and a giant disco ball, for that immersive full-body love effect.

The performers (Karine Denault and Dana Gingras) move through an installation of mid-century AM/FM transistor radio receivers set upon the floor, with four open cone speakers attached to radiators on the surrounding walls. They tune, re-tune, and de-tune across the nighttime landscape and the radio dial, searching for songs of love. They slow dance together, and with others in the audience; they sleep in the radio city troubled by fitful dreams and nightmares; they seek resuscitation and connection through minimal gestures and concrete interaction with the radios and each other. Time lurches unevenly through the night. The heart in crisis requires action, even if union is temporary, fragile, or only glimpsed but never realized.

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The radio landscape is responsive to the bodies of performers and visitors alike: several micro-watt FM transmitters narrowcast a drunken, time-stretched version of a love ballad, as well as static, textures, heterodyne hums and signals, creating a physical soundscape that is constantly acted on and disrupted by the slipping frequencies and electrical interference between devices and the dancers’ moving bodies. Bodies serve as antennas, and receivers become transmitters.

Sound artist and designer Anna Friz further engages the radiophonic field, by changing the scenography of radios and lights periodically from one sculptural ‘set’ to another, as well as modulating and manipulating the incoming and outgoing signals, with a focus on feedback and making the circumstances of transmission audible. In this way the radios act as the sound system, as the moveable scenography, and as collaborating performers, as the devices themselves produce unexpected sounds.

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Home Radiation


Live set by Anna Friz, Jeff Kolar and Eric Leonardson, from the Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago IL May 15, 2015.



Home Radiation in Chicago


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Jeff Kolar, Eric Leonardson and I are playing Friday May 15, 2015 in Chicago, at the Defibrillator Gallery
1463 West Chicago Ave,  Chicago IL 60642  19:00

Two of my favourite people to play with and collaborate with! Here’s what we’re up to:

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Performing with radiophonic instruments, unique homemade electronics, micro-watt transmitters, and re-purposed objects, Anna Friz, Jeff Kolar and Eric Leonardson create intimate atmospheres traversing acoustic and electrode-magnetic space. Together their work can be characterized as a mindful collaboration with vibrational surfaces and unstable circuits; and with subtle treatments of potentially noisy, often lo-fi materials from which highly detailed landscapes emerge. Though all three artists have worked with one another in various constellations in Chicago and internationally, this concert is their premiere outing as a trio.

In addition to Eric’s Springboard instrument, Jeff’s panoply of open circuit micro-transmitters, and my little table full of feedback oddities, I’ll be bringing along an old friend to make some noise:

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Telefunken Twins Redux


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Telefunken Twins by Anna Friz and Konrad Korabiewski

April 12th, 2015, 23:03 CET (GMT +2)
Kunstradio LIVE on air and on line — podcast of the program continues to be available here at lower resolution

on air: Ö1 Kunstradio in Austria, http://oe1.orf.at
on line: http://kunstradio.at/2015A/12_04_15.html

Telefunken Twins is a suite of pieces departing from a duet between two vintage Telefunken Bajazzo radio/cassette decks. Using radio as instrument and as system exciter, the pieces also utilize micro-FM transmission, low fidelity electronic instruments, analogue tape, dictaphones, walkie talkies, spectral monitoring, and intricate feedback systems to craft and expressive and intimate world from the sensuality of signal and noise. By working with small circuits of transmission live in the radio studio of Ö1 Kunstradio, Telefunken Twins seeks 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.
Telefunken Twins is commissioned by Kunstradio and supported by Danish Arts Foundation.

Tuesday April 14, Anna Friz and Konrad Korabiewski at brutto, Vienna.

BRUTTO meets Ö1 Kunstradio
Featuring live sets by Anna Friz & Konrad Korabiewski + Broken Heart Collector
on site: Brut Künstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria.  Entrance 3.-/5.- Euro
http://www.brut-wien.at/programm/detail/1186/de/

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Aftergrain


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Wednesday April 8, 2015: performing a new work with Maja Osojnik at Kino Šiška in Ljubljana, Slovenia, as part of a short residency with CONA Institute for Contemporary Arts Processing as part of their ZVO.ČI.TI so.und.ing Duo series.

We were initially planning to each perform a solo, then a new duo, but we so love playing together that we combined our concepts into a single full set with accompanying slideshow/video by yours truly. So the piece moves from whiteout to blackout, with field recordings, electronics, and instruments, to explore the landscape of built infrastructure (“under lines”) and eventually plunge into the dark for some “Cinema for the Ears”.

Sunday April 12 11pm brings me to Vienna, Austria and ORF Kunstradio, to do a live in-studio radio art piece with Konrad Korabiewski based on our performance Telefunken Twins for the Austrian national radio, followed by a live show with projection on Tuesday April 14 at Brutto Vienna, sharing the bill with Maja Osojnik‘s excellent band broken.heart.collector.

And what exactly is the aftergrain? If the afterglow is the light or luminance left in the sky after sundown, the aftergrain is the sonic and visual grit that remains after most other frequencies are subtracted. For these two live performances with Maja and Konrad, I’ve developed accompanying slideshow/videos based on my photography in Iceland, Chile, and Slovenia, where many of the images eventually decompose from blown-out white to black with just some distorted visual morsels left behind. Aftergrain in sound and signal.

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Funding for my travel and artistic research in Iceland generously supplied by a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, Media Arts Div.

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Tsonami Festival de Arte Sonoro, Redux


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Lately there’s been so much cross-continental traveling and work that I’m utterly behind on the updates here. So let’s begin with where I am now: back in one of my favourite places in the world, Valparaíso, Chile for the 2014 edition of the Tsonami Festival de Arte Sonoro. It’s my great pleasure to be invited for the second time (the first time was 2012, catch up on the fun in photos here and here)!

This year at Tsonami Festival I have a full plate of activities: a three-day workshop on expanded radio practice, a lecture with Konrad Korabiewski on our activities as the collective Skálar | Sound Art | Experimental Music, and a concert together. See full descriptions below. Tsonami Festival has also branched out to include two days of programming in nearby Santiago de Chile, where I will reprise my workshop as a two-day affair.

Konrad and I are staying in Chile for a while after the festival to gather audio visual material on urban infrastructure, post-industrial and industrial landscapes for a couple of projects in the works. We feel there is an interesting  I will also be working on a new commission for U.K.-based Radio Arts on the theme of Dreamlands–my concept involves dreams of flying.

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Workshop: Radio is not at container
2-4. December, 2014  10:00-14:00 Balmaceda Arte Joven Valparaíso;
and 9-10. December 2014 10:00-14:00  Centro Culural de Espana de Santiago
Pull the radio out of the studio, off the tower and out of its black box! Radio is much more than the broadcast of information and entertainment. Radio can be an instrument, a landscape, and a meeting between real and imaginary space. This workshop uses micro-radio transmission, small circuits and radio instruments to explore the huge potential for radio art. Participants will be introduced to and listen to some of the diverse art works made by artists working across the electro-magnetic spectrum, and take part in a series of field exercises and improvisations in order to expand their experience with all aspects of creative radio practice, from laying hands on radio circuits to listening to waves in the city, from making ‘instant’ radio theatre to artistic interventions into the spectrum and the city.  The workshop can include a public presentation or intervention.

Performance with Konrad Korabiewski: Magnetic Meridian
Thursday 4. December 2014, 19:30  Teatro PCdV
Imaginary lines connect magnetic south and north poles. Friz and Korabiewski begin to describe one such line, crooked and meandering, from a point on the far east coast of Iceland moving south and west. The material of one place listens to another, and the particular presence of one space affects another. Magnetic Meridian is an improvised concert reflecting upon the conditions of geographic and communicative remoteness, and the fragility of unstable human signals. Using field recordings, small electronics, radiophonic and acoustic instruments, and electro-magnetic tape, the two artists evoke an audible landscape, actual and imagined; a northern landscape experienced and transformed, through drone, signal, and dictaphone.

Lecture with Konrad Korabiewski: The Feeling of North
Thursday 4. December, 2014  17:00 hrs  Biblioteca PCdV
Friz and Korabiewski are currently curators and practicing members of Skálar | Sound Art | Experimental Music based in Iceland and Berlin. The organization is both an artist collective and a mobile curatorial platform, focused on creating site-specific sonic-based interactions with landscapes, both geographical or built. Skálar is particularly interested to generate and support artistic practices which highlight unstable systems, open spaces to new interpretations and use, and which engage in perceptual feedback and affect between site and subject. The artists will discuss Skálar’s activities in remote landscapes in Iceland, as well as examples of their own work, such as the audio-visual collaboration NS-12 and the radio art intervention Radiotelegraph.

 



TONSPUR Open Air


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I’ve been here in Vienna the past weeks, in residence at quartier21 and working on some new multi-channel performance pieces for TONSPUR für einen öffentlichen raum, which I performed outdoors last weekend (16-17. August, 2014) in a special TONSPUR live_open_air event in the courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier, as part of the MuseumsQuartier Summer of Sounds.

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That’s the thing about doing outdoor shows… It starts of a bit chilly or windy, with intermittent sun, but you really abandon control in favour of improvisation with the present elements and the whims of weather… I was interviewed in advance by the Summer of Sounds blog, and I guess I shouldn’t have been so quick to talk about the inherant instability of the outdoor situation, as we were quite thoroughly rained upon on saturday.

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But Sunday was gloriously sunny, and a wonderfully chilled-out listening vibe pervaded the museum courtyard.

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The programming was a mix of composed pieces chosen by Darren Copeland of NAISA Toronto, hence the theme for the event A Gathering of Canadian Sounds. In addition, I played some composed multi-channel pieces of my own, including Collecting Clocks and Losing Time, and performed a new piece called Breakwater live. We ended with a little piece for the pool we’d been stationed around, that I put together with the help of a volunteer ‘wineglass choir’, to play with the pool in the courtyard through the pitchy resonance of wineglasses.

There’s a little video taste of the wineglass piece, called Half Full, Half Empty, posted HERE.

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Many thanks to all who came out to play, including all the TONSPUR folk, Elisabeth and Roland, Jeanette and Jonathan and friends, Moritz and friends, Magda, our MQ assistants, and the sounds stars on the hydrophone, Norbert and Andrea! Thanks also to Sabine Groschup for the photos!

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August in Vienna


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I am currently housed in the MuseumsQuartier cultural complex here in Vienna, as part of the international artist residency program of quartier21, on invitation of TONSPUR. Initially built in the 18th century as the imperial stables for the Hapsburg Emperor, now the MQ is a hub for art and open-air summer enjoyment, with art crammed into every nook, cranny, and courtyard.

TONSPUR is the brainchild of Georg Weckwerth and Peter Szely, and features a permanent installation in a passage of the MQ, as well as mobile open-air 8-channel concert and installation events. For the MQ’s Summer of Sounds, I’ll be performing in the series TONSPUR_live_open_air_2014, featuring Canadian multi-channel works, guest curated by Darren Copeland of Toronto’s New Adventures in Sound Art.

Read about it HERE, in a little interview I did on the Summer of Sounds blog (German speakers only).

In preparation, I’m busy in the production studios of ORF Kunstradio (Austrian national public radio in Vienna) working on the new piece to be unveiled in live performances next weekend, 16-17. August here in the main courtyard of the MQ. It’s all still in development, so long days in the studio…. But I’m not being too much of a vampire about it, I still let a little light into my secret sonic lair…

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