The end is just pretend

PublicStudio_ZeroHour_2015When my long-time Toronto collaborators Public Studio (Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky) approached me to compose sound for their latest video installation entitled Zero Hour, I was completely prepared for the task, having worked on several audio and radio art pieces around the atomic clock with several working titles including The Zero Hour. I also had a recording of the atomic clock (as broadcast internationally on shortwave frequencies) intoning the so-called zero hour, or 0:00:00 – 0:59:59 Coordinated Universal Time. So it’s a pleasure to be taking this sound work into new audiovisual territories!

The new work was commissioned for Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto, coming up this weekend from sundown on October 3 to sunrise on October 4, 2015. The installation will be set up at 90 Queen’s Park in front of the Planetarium, and features a 360 degree dome projection with surround sound. Here’s what it’s all about:

ZERO HOUR: Public Studio with Etel Adnan, Carol Weinbaum, Josh Schonblum, Han Yang, Anna Friz, Lili Huston-Herterich

Apocalyptic prophecies reflect a coming to an end but are also revelatory, disclosing a kind of truth. While modernity gave rise to a new cluster of apocalyptic narratives, our post 9/11 world faces anxieties that have generated new utopian and dystopian accounts looking for answers.

While tales of the apocalypse clutter and disorder all histories from the Americas through the Arab world, each have their distinct voice – all of them can be reconnected to struggles against an outside force – a state terror that has had disastrous effects on lands and lives – from economic ruin to climactic devastation.

Zero Hour gathers the cosmos and reflects not the stars of the northern hemisphere, but rather the weather it has disrupted and the words that come back in protest.

In Zero Hour, Public Studio invites renowned artist Etel Adnan – Lebanese essayist, painter, poet and philosopher, whose works include The Arab Apocalypse, Premonition and Sea and Fog – to work in collaboration creating a newly commissioned poem set to a video projection on a dome, of current weather patterns and climactic disturbances taking place in the southern hemisphere.

Ascend into air, fall into water


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…





Traversing Flatland


I’m hurtling across the corn fields of downstate Illinois on the train at the moment, through a decidedly un-spring-like landscape that is just thinking of coming back to life after the long winter here. I’m on my way to do some work with Jay Needham, Associate Professor in the Radio, Television, and Digital Media Department at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale IL. I’ll be giving a lecture in the department tomorrow (10 April) on research creation and transmission art, entitled Radio is not a ContainerJay and I are preparing for our lecture-performance Zero Hour at Art+Communication: Fields in Riga, Latvia, in May this year. And we’ll be firing up the mics for a radio party with some grad students later this weekend. Woot!

Also coming up, a new episode of NRRF: B Radio from 11:00-14:00 (CDST, Chicago time) on 16 April, streaming and broadcasting live from the Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago, and streamed/rebroadcast by WGXC Transmission Arts, NY. The intrepid crew reunites to explore The Electric Earth.

Finally, I’ll be passing through Montreal the last week in April, so stay tuned for another collaboration by Ghost Imbiss.

Yes, that’s a bit of leftover snow on the ground.

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

Shows archived here

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