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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City At Night: Ljubljana


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One night train from Berlin to Slovenia later… I’ve arrived in Ljubljana, and moved into to the artist residence at Tobačna 001, a cosy little apartment upstairs in the cultural centre run by the City Museum of Ljubljana on the sprawling grounds of an old tobacco factory. I’ll be here for two months, and working together with the artist-run group CONA (CONA Institute for Contemporary Arts Processing) to make “temporary radio for contemporary art”. A central project for CONA in 2013-2014 is REuse MESTO: REuse RADIO, and my contribution is to explore the potential in nighttime transmissions across urban space, under the title of City at Night:

With the advent of urban illumination and electricity, the city at night is a place of potential: filled with pleasure and danger, subversion, reclamation, and escape. The city at night is described by its transformation from the quotidian arena of day into sites of shadow and ambiguity, where some acts are hidden, while others take place under the scrutiny of precisely circumscribed light. The nocturnal world of radio is a similarly charged space of potential and possibility. Electro-magnetic activity is also the invisible print of the city, with overlapping fields of activity passing through the built environment. Signals converge and the city is imagined and made. 

Many people remember tuning in to radio to hear a free-form overnight program, where the DJ had full choice on what to play, and was released from the strictures of programmed songs and advertisements after hours. Making radio for those not represented by the daily routine, but for those up late, working late, unusually awake–the invisible interaction between terrestrial, live broadcast and the city mostly asleep. Now most radio stations rely on automation over night, rebroadcasting music and talk radio imbued with the mood of day time, not the changeable atmospheres of night. But like the brick and concrete city which is transformed by different practices between day and night, nighttime radio is another kind of urban space to be reclaimed, rethought. What ambiguous relationships, what liminal territories, what reverie might be encountered and engaged after dark?

City at Night seeks to rethink and reframe urban spaces through its nocturnal signals, through incursions across the city after dark, from social spaces to empty places, resulting in live night radio performance, compositions, interventions and an ongoing installation. The gallery space associated with the Tobačna 001 residency will be turned into an open studio with an evolving radio installation, a hub which will function as a radio ‘station’ from which to broadcast and stream overnight from January 16-26 when a licensed city-wide FM frequency is available for use as radioCONA, and a space in which to hold performance or performance/lectures related to the topic of reusing and repurposing nighttime radio and the city.

All broadcasting will take place after dark and overnight, and I am particularly looking forward to programming some long-form and generative works for broadcast which can reflect the liminality of listening, night, and urban activity.

Most immediately, I will be holding a public lecture here next week, December 9, 2013, on the topic of REuse RADIO— an overview of radio and transmission art, my own artistic practices in the electro-magnetic spectrum, and some listening to works. December 10-11, 2013 I convene a working group of local artists emerging and established, so that we can embark on the process of creating transmission works to air or perform or present in January during the broadcast week of radioCONA.

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My travel to Ljubljana is made possible by the Canada Council for the Arts, Media Arts division.

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