City At Night: Ljubljana


tobacco_fog

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.

woman_walking_fog

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

CCFA_Logo_ENG_bw_sm



Sending a Radiotelegraph to the Radius


Friz_morse_mountain

For the month of October, I have a new piece up created especially for Radius. I’m halfway through my two month residency at the Skaftfell Center for Visual Art in the small town of Seyðisfjörður on the east coast of Iceland, and the piece involves radiotelegraphy in spoken morse code. Seyðisfjörður is located in a deep fjord off the Atlantic Ocean just shy of the Arctic Circle, and was the site of the first telegraph cable connection between Iceland and Europe in 1906. 1906 was also the year of the first audio transmission of the human voice by wireless means undertaken by Reginald Fessenden on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean at Brant Rock, Massachusetts.

Radiotelegraph is a beacon simulcast by a private low-watt transmitter in Seyðisfjörður (on 107.1 FM) and by Radius Chicago (88.9 FM) at sundown Seyðisfjörður time, for a period of five days in October. The beacon signals the descent of the sun into the northern night. Voice, electronics, and radio signals, all recorded and mixed at Hóll, Seyðisfjörður.

Seyðisfjörður broadcasts (GMT 0):

October 7: 17:59;  October 8: 17:56;  October 9: 17:52;  October 10: 17:48;  October 11: 17:45

Chicago broadcasts (GMT -5):

October 7: 12:59;  October 8: 12:56;  October 9: 12:52;  October 10: 12:48;  October 11: 12:45

 

Radius is an experimental radio broadcast platform based in Chicago Illinois.

 

radiussmall

 



Digitale Sinneskulturen des Radios


radiosinne_420

I have a site-specific installation up this weekend in Berlin as part of the conference Digitale Sinneskulturen des Radios/Multisensual Radio Culture.

21./22. JUNI 2013
STUDIO P4 | Nalepastraße 18-50 | 12459 Berlin

Studio Time is a new piece which adapts compositional elements from For the time being (2010) and What the cuckoo knows (2013), two recent pieces of mine exploring aspects of radio and timekeeping. This family of works considers the fallibility and musicality of broadcast clocks. Studio Time uses incidences of official time signals (such as UTC broadcast on shortwave radio, the National Research Council time signal heard on Canadian public radio, and clock tower bells heard at noon on Finnish and Dutch radio stations), as well as sounds from domestic analogue striking clocks, particularly cuckoo clocks. The installation was created for the conference on the site of the former studios of the DDR Funkhaus, now a recording studio and venue. The studio is preserved in its original design, and Studio Time occupies four voice-over isolation booths adjacent to a main studio. Each booth has a different part of the piece: two single channel pieces are heard over a mono speaker in each of two booths, a set of headphones plays a stereo piece in the third booth, and a mono radio transmits a composition in the fourth booth.

Thanks to Emmanuel Madan for setting things up for me in absentia. He’s exhibiting an installation exploring mechanical induction and bodily capacitance at the conference as well, entitled Lueurs.

Digitale Sinneskulturen des Radios is presented by Masterstudiengang Online Radio, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg mit Breitband, Deutschlandradio Kultur und Experimentelles Radio, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.



NRRF presents: Landfall on the Forbidden Planet


nrrfbradio_ess_promo

NRRF presents: B Radio

Episode 3: Landfall on the Forbidden Planet

After a harrowing encounter with the Nebulaic Alliance, at which point they may or may not have been cloned, our intrepid NRRF cosmonauts leave the solar system to land upon a mysterious distant planet, enshrouded in fog and murk. Adventures on the Forbidden Planet and the Mandatory Planet ensue, with the possible cloning of the entire human species at stake!

Wednesday June 19, 2013  18h-21h.

LIVE radio at the studios of the Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, Chicago

Online (link TBA), and on air in the neighbourhood.

Streaming generously provided by free103point9 Transmission Arts, and the show will be rebroadcast on WGXC 90.7FM NY June 20, midnight-3am.

B Radio: a series of radio shows mashing b-list genres with radio art. Each B Radio episode features a theme to structure the improvisational nature of the shows, though tangents are frequent and encouraged. It’s live radio, broadcast and streamed, with special guests and live audience. The core group of performers play live instruments and electronics, sample wildly, speculate broadly, and have been known to sing.

NRRF is a collaborative effort to make unlicensed neighbourhood radio art.

For this Chicago iteration, the core group of noisemakers consists of Jonny Farrow, Anna Friz, Steve Germana, Jeff Kolar, Peter Speer, with Sarah Knudtson (graphics, documentation and props wrangling).

Earlier projects include street radio in Montreal (2001), the NRRF Radio Roadshow (2004), and Radio Free Parkdale in Toronto (2005-2007).

Nrrf_b-radio_pirate_flag

NRRF flag by Jonny Farrow.



Free reeds and free radio


anna_accordionUsually when more than one sound installation moves into a gallery space, it’s an instant competition where the loudest wins the day. This Saturday, myself and Coppice (Joseph Kramer and Noé Cuéllar) seek to prove otherwise. We are installing two different sound-based installations that intentionally overlap, interested to see what they produce in conversation with one another. We’ll be performing within/with them as well, each taking a turn to add to the sonic environment.

I was excited from the first time I heard of Chicago-based Coppice, as they are also focused on free reeds and electronics, unstable systems, and spatialized, often quiet sounds.  Here’s what we’re up to:

Anna Friz/ Coppice   Saturday May 25, 2013     TriTriangle   Third Floor, 1550 N. Milwaukee Ave  Chicago    Installation open 6-11pm.  Performance around 9pm.

Anna Friz: Nocturne

An intimate atmosphere of transmission inside a multi-channel array of radio receivers and micro-watt transmitters, suspended and dispersed throughout the space. The radios express nighttime respirations, radio-synthesis, and uneasy dreams. The larger array is joined by three table-top custom radio/tape players built by Hyde Park inventor George Kagan.

Nocturne will overlap in installation and performance with A Vinculum Variation by Coppice, engaging in conversation with the elements of the shared sonic landscape and the live instruments of all three performers. Anna plays free reeds, electronics, and cassettes.

Coppice: A Vinculum Variation

This presentation expands the performed-installation practice of the duo to invite conversation with adjacent sonic work.  The multichannel installation and performance accommodates motifs and materials from Vinculum, an ongoing project since 2010.  Technically, the work relies on a custom-built inductive mixing table, formerly utilized in Copse (2010).  The table redistributes the sounds of the Vinculum archive as they are played back through small speakers resting at different locations on its surface.  The installation will be elaborated in performance by the reorientation of the speakers on the table and live material related to Vinculum.



In the Radio Funkhaus


ORF Ear

Currently working in Vienna at Kunstradio, at the ORF Funkhaus, aka at the studios of the Austrian national public radio’s cultural channel. I’ve been composing a 5.1 piece for broadcast on Kunstradio later this spring, made with the best-of radio+timekeeping material that I’ve generated through various longer form radio shows (shout out to Mobile Radio BSP, Second Site, and last year’s live show for Kunstradio for giving me some opportunities to produce the raw materials!) The new piece still lacks a title, but it’s 44 minutes of cuckoo clocks, time transformed by a drone dune, and robotniks misbehaving in the time factory. More info soon.

Upcoming shows:

quota; unquota 1, Salon Bruit, Berlin: Friday Feb 15, 20h, Kino @ K77, Kastanienallee 77 10435 Berlin (also on the bill: Audrey Chen and JD Zazie)

Megapolis NYC: Saturaday April 13, 20h. Union Docs, Brooklyn NYC (performing with Eric Leonardson)

Heart as Arena, Québec tour: remounting the dance performance by choreographer Dana Gingras/Animals of Distinction, with original radiophonic sound design and composition April 23, Centennial Theatre, Sherbrooke; April 25, 26, 27, La Rotonde, centre chorégraphique contemporain de Québec, Québec).

Deep Wireless, Toronto: SOCAN composer in residence at the Deep Wireless Festival– Translocal performance with NRRF and guests, May 1; solo performance at the NAISA space May 4; then giving a keynote talk at the TransX Transmission Art Symposium and performance with Kristen Roos on May 19.

Sounds Like Audio Art Festival 3, Saskatoon:  July 25-27, Paved Arts, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

More dates in the hopper and awaiting cofirmation or funding: a performed installation in Chicago in May at Tri-Triangle/Your Unpleasant Friend, some Australian shows in June with Eric Leonardson and Jay Needham, and ongoing pirate mayhem with the NRRF collective (look for B-Radio info to come).



A few more photos post-Tsonami….


friz_radios_tsonami2012

Radios set up for my performance at the opening at the Tsonami Festival de Arte Sonoro, Valparaiso Chile, November 27, 2012.  The venue was an old prison transformed into a cultural centre; here the steep hills of Valpo are visible in the background. I had simply the most wonderful time at this festival of any event in recent memory–the organization really emphasized the social side of holding a festival in addition to top-notch works being presented. And I love love love Valparaiso! You can’t tell from these photos, but it was glorious summer weather, and that Pacific breeze blowing up the hills every day was nothing short of intoxicating.

This and all following photos credited to Nelson Campos.

audience_tsonami2012

 

anna_setup

blue_harmonica_tsonami

radios_at_night



Gone south, with radios


I’ve packed up my radios, and taken them on the road to Valparaiso Chile, for installation and performance at the Tsonami Festival de Arte Sonoro 2012. Many thanks to the whole Tsonami team here, for putting on a really generous event with a great community spirit!

Respire is remounted here as a 3-frequency piece, located in the corridor of the lower access to Ascensor El Peral (there are many ascensors here, which are a kind of outdoor elevator that make it easier to scale the steep hills of Valpo). The radios sway in the Pacific breeze, and chuff and stutter at one another as the fog rolls in to town in the evening. More photos to come soon, but here are a couple from the install, where I had help from an excellent group of installers, including Claudia, Paula (a bit blurry in action in the bottom photo) and head tech for the festival Rodrigo Ríos Zunino:

The piece is open daily November 26 – December 2, 2012, 10h-14h, 16h-22h.

I played the opening night of the festival at the Parque Cultural Valparaiso on Tuesday November 27, 20h. In addition to two stereo pairs of speakers, I also fired up the big transmitter to send to 20 radios suspended over the audience. Two more techie Rodrigos hung them all with the help of a shopping cart…. not pictured is the imperious little black and white feral cat who also followed them around.

Also this week, a new radio piece (50 minutes) unifying some of all the radio and timekeeping projects I’ve been working on for the past two years. It’s called Collecting clocks and losing time, and aired on Monday November 26 at 23h on Radio Valentín Letelier here in Valparaiso on 97.3FM/ 940AM. Here’s a little description:

Once upon a time there was a house on the countryside which housed a hundred clocks. Once upon a time the clocks in every house ran on their own time, and all the trains and hotels and shops had their own time. Once upon a time the time was made universal, divided into zones, and propagated around the globe: it was known as Mean Time. Once upon a time there were microwaves fired at a cesium-12 isotope, and the rate of electron loss dictated the most standardized time of all. Still there were digital devices that did not understand which time zone they lived in. Still everyone was late. Still the clocks began to slowly drag the seconds and minutes and hours behind them. Once upon a time the clocks burned in a fire. Now there are only five that remain.

Finally, I’m joining 3 other artists from the festival to give a short talk on Thursday, November 29, 17h, also at the Parque Cultural Valparaiso; mine perhaps predictably about radio, radio art, and everyday practice.

 



Guest artist this week on Mobile Radio BSP


October 30-November 4, 2012, I’m here on-site at the radio art radio station set up by Mobile Radio at the 30th São Paulo Bienal. Mobile Radio, aka Knut Aufermann and Sarah Washington, are here for 14 weeks bringing the radio art to the people, and opening the airwaves for an international exchange of radio art, featuring lots of local talent from here in Brasil.

I’m reviving Filibuster, an old show title from back in the day at CiTR Vancouver (in celebration of CiTR‘s 75th anniversary!) which will be a free-form live show full of new stuff, old tales, various collaborations, and generally friendly noise. Also getting up to some new shenanigans modulating and manipulating coordinated universal time under the title Zero Hour. Atomic time will be overcome!

Tune in to my shows (all times São Paulo time, GMT -3)

October 30: 15h – 16h30

First installment of Filibuster— a retrospective of older pieces, including Vacant City Radio (2005) and Silence Descends (1999, works by yours truly, Joelle Ciona, Peter Courtemanche, Sean Chappelle, Eileen Kage and Bill Mullan).

October 31: 13h – 14h

The first installment of Zero Hour:

November 1: 16h – 18h

Today was cuckoo clocks a-go-go on Zero Hour, followed by Filibuster, which included rebroadcast of Dancing Walls Stir the Prairie, created together with Eric Leonardson in 2007. Also, a new installment of the M.O.L.E.C.A.S.T., BSP edition…. Uncover at the Exhibition, Level 1.

November 2: 15h – 15h30, 15h30 – 18h with Tonic Train live in studio

First, another installment of the Zero Hour–30 minutes of manipulated clock time.

Then another episdoe of Filibuster, beginning with several pieces by Central Dispatch (2002), all recorded on the day that Brazil won the World Cup Football, final score 2-0; followed by speculative conversation regarding Atlantis, ley lines, the 13th Node, Tesla, the coming Armageddon, the quickening of time, the reversal of the Earth’s rotation, and whale radio; followed by a live set of yours truly and Tonic Train.

The Zero Hour runs overnight, 19h Nov 2 until 12h Nov 3.

November 3: 13h – 14h

Filibuster features the M.O.L.E.C.A.S.T BSP.: Undercover at the Exhibition, Level 2.

November 4: 12h – 12h30

Filibuster features the final M.O.L.E.C.A.S.T. BSP: Uncover at the Exhibition, Level 3.

Tune in at mobile-radio.net

Shows archived here

Mobile Radio BSP runs 24/7 until December 9, so keep your browser locked to the signal!



The Joy Channel in Intimate Spaces


For those of you living close to Vienna, Austria, you can catch the second iteration of the Joy Channel (by me and Emmanuel Madan) at the Institute für Medienarchäologie Sound Galerie, during their current program Intime Räume/ Intimate Spaces in 5.1

The show is up from September 29, 2012 to January 17, 2013, at the Klosterhof Hainburg, Austria.

Guest curator and Kunstradio producer Elisabeth Zimmermann explains the whole program:

The point of departure for this series is the 5.1 radio art piece “Intimate Space” that was created by Andrea Sodomka in 2009 and which explores the themes of distance, communication, and intimacy on a poetic level. Broadcasting in 5.1 surround sound – not only pre-produced, but also live – has been technically feasible in Austria since 2004, when ORF – the first public radio station in Europe to broadcast live in the 5.1 format – aired the Kunstradio project Re-Inventing Radio on its Long Night of Radio Art. In 2005 Kunstradio invited the Swiss artist and sound architect Andres Bosshard to hold a workshop for artists. It took place at Studio RP4 at the Funkhaus station in Vienna, where back in 1990 the RP4 workshop had given artists access to the whole range of possibilities introduced by the then new Studio RP4 – digital radio-play studio. By the end of the 5.1 workshop Andres Bosshard had created “Zwischen Antares und Altair”, a piece in which he incorporated sounds one doesn’t usually hear, e.g. the warm-up exercises of a singer. Another piece that is based on private sounds and statements recorded by chance is “Sirenen, intim” by writer and director Lucas Cejpek. Whereas recording for “Sirenen, intim” also took place at Studio RP4 during the ORF radio-play production of “Sirenen” in 2005, for her piece “A Space of Translation” the Berlin-based visual artist Ines Lechleitner had no choice but to use a microphone hidden beneath her veil to record conversations and sounds in public space in Teheran in 2008. Fascinated by the Chinese culture of public spitting, the Colombian artist and filmmaker Margarita Jimeno plays with our aversion to spitting in “SPIT RADIO – Or the Road to Spitiskan”. By taking the perspective of a hostage, the German author Birgit Kempker exposes listeners to a completely different taboo in “Papa, short version”. The Austrian author and radio artist Peter Pessl carries us off to an inner sound landscape enhanced by recordings from Tibet, Nepal, and North India in “Re-Inventing Tibet”. And in their fictitious sci-fi radio art program “The Joy Channel” the Canadian artists Anna Friz and Emmanuel Madan concoct a world that tries to directly manipulate peoples’ feelings using experimental radio transmissions.