Voyage to the MEGAPOLIS


Heading out east next week to install/talk/perform as the pre-fest-warm-up for MEGAPOLIS, the fabulous audio art and radio event which takes place periodically in the glorious Turnpike Entity… er… NYC-Bos-Wash sprawl. This year hosted by the New School.

Eric Leonardson and I will be performing together inside one of my multi-channel radio rigs, using springboard, cottage-made instruments, free reeds and free radio.

Saturday April 13, 7:30pm at Union Docs, 322 Union Ave, Brooklyn NY.

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A few more photos post-Tsonami….


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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.

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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.

 



A sampler of recent Canadian radio art


This Sunday on ORF Kunstradio, the long-running program on Austrian public radio devoted to radio art and experimentation on-air, online, and on-site, I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to curate a program of recent works by some very talented artists.

Tune in or stream in Sunday August 21 from 23h CEDT (GMT +2, with daylight savings time) and hear the likes of these:

Martine H. Crispo presents a live set from her show Chaud pour le mont-stone, heard on CKUT FM in Montreal

Stephen Kelly and Eleanor King let us eavesdrop on a radio installation entitled Radio Roam

Andrea-Jane Cornell explores the world of recorded telephone conversations

Tomas Phillips and s* consider the insides and outsides of a body in motion

and Debashis Sinha retells the experience of the Buddha under the bodhi tree.

Sunday August 28 I’ll be back on Kunstradio doing a solo show with some early material from an ongoing series on radio and timekeeping. I will be re-airing For the time being (2010), as well as some other rhythmic sketches of this and that.



The Lost and Found


Mercer1_webradios_Mercer_webE.C. Woodley and I have an interesting side project going titled after his long-running radio show on CKLN 88.1FM here in Toronto. He brings the records from his most recondite collection (featuring spoken word and misc. arcana pressed to vinyl back when the top speed was 78 rpm) to sample in long form, and I bring the glorious noise of radio world, all spatialized into three vertical layers of sound. 

Our most recent gig was at the opening of Deep Wireless on May 1, 2010, and the above photos are from our previous outing at Mercer Union‘s “Music in Alternative Spaces” in July 2009 (both locations in Toronto). Our set-up riffs on traditional radio listening (the big central radio around which the audience gathers), as well as my multi-channel tactics (in this case, an array of hanging radios, and speakers above the radios in the ceiling). 

Here’s how the official line on what we’re up to:

“The Lost and Found” is an ongoing collaboration between Anna Friz and E.C. Woodley to explore phenomenologies of recording, radio, and electricity, and the materiality of the transmission environment. Woodley uses three turntables to work with curious recordings, giving preference to these sounds as discrete entities, an audio equivalent to the approach Canadian visual artist Greg Curnoe used in his collages of the ‘60’s. Friz adds VLF, shortwave, interfrequency static, and live electronics to the mix, and spatializes the sound via multi-channel micro-radio transmission to an array of vintage receivers. “The Lost and Found” convenes a communal ritual of radio listening, and promises an evening lost and found voices heard in the dark corners of the radio dial.

 

Friz and Woodley met in 2005 over an impromptu collaboration on Woodley’s long-running radio program (also named “The Lost and Found”) on CKLN-FM in Toronto. Woodley has also written music for many films including Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil” and his brother Aaron Woodley’s “Rhinoceros Eyes”, “Toronto Stories” and “Tennessee”.

 

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I know, I know, another scene of sound artists pouring over gear on a table. At least we sit off to the side, so people can choose if they want to watch us twiddle our knobs or not. For the Deep Wireless gig we had the lighting adjusted better than in these photos, and I also replaced the Grundig Emergency radios in the array with a series of bigger transistor radios from the late 60s-early 70s (Nordmende Globetrotter, Transita, and Corvette; plus a Bel-Air and a Panasonic). 



And it’s winter time again….


anna_darlington_lake_ontarioWhen not mucking around in the snow with a microphone, I’m toiling away deep in the Nice Little Static Laboratories (possibly in my work pajamas, though rumours are unconfirmed) to produce some sounds for spring. Most pressing: dissertation chapters! And CD projects, including completing one with Eric Leonardson that we began about 2 years ago and which will include the complete suite Dancing Walls Stir the Prairies (band names also up for consideration, if y’all have good ideas), as well as putting the finishing touches on Short Horizon, which I hope to launch in March.

Meanwhile, here’s a little shot of the old antenna far above the house….. just because it’s pretty.

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Open Studio at Gibraltar Point for 100th and 10th Anniversary Party


 

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I’ll be holding an open studio on Friday September 25 (6-10PM) and Saturday September 26 (12-5PM) for the 100th and 1oth anniversary events at Artscape Gibraltar Point Arts Centre here on the Toronto Island where I’ve been camped out making art for September. Friday night promises to be a magical evening, with the Shadowland Puppet folks leading a procession from the Centre Island ferry to Gibraltar Point at 5:30PM. For all the details, check out Artscape’s site.  

I’ll be showing the in-process version of Respire, which will be installed shortly after at Nuit Blanche, October 3, 2009 here in Toronto! Come listen to the little radios breathing in the dark…. I’m in the portables out back of the Arts Centre at Gibraltar Point, so come on by and say hello!

Here’s a shot of radios hanging in my little studio:

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special transmission art issue of PAJ


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PAJ: A Journal of Performance Art (MIT Press)  invited free103point9.org to contribute a special section on transmission arts. A few of us free103 regulars weighed in on the topic for issue 93, published September 2009– with Joe Milutis, myself, and Tom Roe writing about the past, present, and future of transmission art, respectively. My piece, “Transmission Art in the Present Tense” considers the much-cited legacy of Brecht in light of the emerging craft of transmission.  Other contributions include Brett Ian Balogh’s FM interface-in-progress, and Lex Bhagat’s “Instructions for How to Listen to Radio”. 

The transmission arts section is readable for free online, and includes some audio and projects in full colour. click here to read it all.



Going west to Respire


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I’ll be back in the business of hanging radios in a week: going out west to perform Respire at the Surrey Arts Centre for their Sound Thinking 2009 symposium (Feb 28), then journeying on up to Kamloops and the Thompson Rivers University for a little presentation and performance there (March 2-4), hosted by Ashok Mathur, Canada Research Chair and Director for the Centre for Innovation in Culture and the Arts in Canada. After that it’s back down south to California, to do a peformance and lecture at the Centre for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University (March 10).

There will be ladders. There will be batteries.