Multi-channel FM installation with projection (2014).
* Premiered on January 16, 2014, at 19:00 at KC Tobačna 001 gallery, Tobačna ulica 1, Ljubljana
White Night is an installation (in which a performance can also take place) created within the larger frame of the City at Night theme, which I developed during a 2-month residency with KC Tobačna 001 and radioCONA in Ljubljana, Slovenia in December 2013-January 2014. Travel funding gratefully received from the Canada Council for the Arts, Media Art division.
Thanks to Irena Pivka (shelf construction) and Vlado G. Repnik (location scouting for early morning photo shoot).
Since the advent of artificial illumination, the nocturnal urban space is increasingly described by its lighting. The shape and contour of the built environment is outlined by streetlighting, highlighted by mobile car and transport lights, and by lights left blazing in the windows of office towers and store fronts, or recreating daylight over subdivisions, parking lots and sports fields. The stars recede and the sky grows blank from the strength of light pollution, a process accentuated by the typical fog in Ljubljana in winter: no sun, no stars, only diffuse light in a white sky drawn close to the ground.
The ubiquitous infrastructure of the electrical grid powers most nocturnal activity, and its surplus is ticks, static, and hums transmitted by many nodes: buildings, devices, lights, and lines; by damp electrical wires, power stations, connection boxes, irate refrigerators, and ungrounded home entertainment systems alike. Electrical and spectral communication grids overlap and exceed the official city limits, and in these electro-magnetic fields invisible creatures sing on a pale night made indistinct by fog.
The piece uses 12 identical new radios with a retro-mid-century Danish design. In the first iteration in Ljublana, these were suspended on clear plexi shelves lit only by their blue dials and by the projection behind them, consisting of photographs I took around Ljubljana of the power stations, power lines, and electrical train lines in heavy fog. Further development of the piece has shifted the design, such that radios are stacked on dark blocks on the floor to form a kind of radio cityscape, and there are an additional 7 cone speakers added.
The audio is a two or three-channel work for micro-broadcast (on 2-3 FM transmitters) and 2 channels on speakers, and is composed of acoustic and induction recordings of devices and power grid elements around the Tobačna compound where I was staying. The video and audio loops are asynchronous, with the video loop lasting 24 minutes, and the audio composition just under 30 minutes.