Category Archives: Art

The Knitted Radio: An FM radio transmitter sweater

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Paul, who shares a link to this fascinating maker/art piece from designer Irene Posch:

The Knitted Radio is an installation piece that manifests how to knit a sweater that is also a FM radio transmitter. The tactile centerpiece is a functional electronic object knitted out of ordinary wool and commonly available conductive materials. The accompanying knitting instructions, to be published in a knitting magazine, allows the reproduction of the electronic object by an alternative maker group.

The piece is part of a larger investigation into using traditional textile crafting techniques to create electronic components and devices from scratch. The critical question is whether ‘what’ one makes is really more important than ‘how’ one makes things. Industrial technology research is mostly driven by the desire to invent the next killer application, whereas artistic research holds the chance to question implications. By exploring alternative production procedures, we might be able to reveal skills, techniques and materials that have been uncharted, undervalued, or decisively left out of popular demand.[…]

Click here to continue reading and to check out other works by Irene Posch.

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Switzerland: Museum Tinguely to host a sonic journey

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Justin Moore, who writes:

This may be of interest to your readers in Switzerland (and nearby!). From Bruce Sterlin’s Beyond the Beyond blog at Wired:

“From October 24, 2018 to January 27, 2019, Museum Tinguely will host a sonic journey giving access to works of radio art from the last hundred years in a unique way. As visitors navigate the space with headphones and specially programmed smartphones, their movements act as “human radio dials,” activating works (current and historical, well-known and unknown) by artists including Antonin Artaud, John Cage and László Moholy-Nagy through to Michaela Mélian, Milo Rau and Natascha Sadr Haghighian. The installation was designed by the artist, architect and musician Cevdet Erek and realized by Meso Digital Interiors. The resulting interplay of sound and space is both technically sophisticated and aesthetically striking, giving visitors an immersive experience of the world of radio. In the second part of the exhibition, diverse aspects of the theme of radio will be discussed in 14 themed weeks, offering visitors a chance to engage and experiment actively with this fascinating medium.

Over the hundred years since its emergence, the radio medium has been explored by musicians, composers, writers, philosophers and fine artists (and many others who do not fit into such categories). They have examined the production of programs, ways of recording, transmitting and receiving, and the possibilities for recording broadcasts. In the first exhibition of its kind, Radiophonic Spaces brings together more than 200 pieces for radio from around the world with the aim of documenting this sustained engagement with the medium by artists of all fields, and allowing visitors to hear it. Unforgettable broadcasts that existed only in obscure archives can be experienced afresh, presenting the history of a medium whose rootedness in actuality means it gives a picture of the century of its existence. The major disasters of the last hundred years are revisited here, as are the great technical and social achievements of the period—to current positions such as Documenta Radio (2017). The “sonic journey” combines artistic approaches to radio art and broadcasting with a scholarly project led by the research group on experimental radio at the Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar. The results of this creative interplay unfold in an immersive journey featuring some 200 gems of international radio art. Historical and contemporary works are related to one another: from Antonin Artaud, John Cage and László Moholy-Nagy through to Michaela Mélian, Milo Rau and Natascha Sadr Haghighian. With the help of a headphone system, visitors gain access to individual works of radio art, triggered by their movements. In a space designed in cooperation with the artist, architect and musician Cevdet Erek and realized by Meso Digital Interiors, visitors immerse themselves acoustically in this art form. This experience resembles the reality of using an actual FM radio: looking for channels until a voice, a piece of music or a sequence of sounds prompts the listener to stay a while longer, or at least to note the frequency so as to be to return to the channel and the voice later. The range of channels on offer is confusing, overwhelming, sometimes too much, but it reflects both the sprawling variety that characterizes the medium and the possibility to decide quickly what to listen to.”

Radiophonic spaces at Museum Tinguely

https://www.tinguely.ch/en/ausstellungen/ausstellungen/2018/radiophonic-spaces.html

Many thanks for the tip, Justin!

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Bruce’s shortwave music is influenced by Holger Czukay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bruce Atchison, who shares the following in response to our recent post about musician Holger Czukay:

I love Holger Czukay’s music, especially with CAN. I especially love the
song, “Animal Waves.”

I also incorporated shortwave sounds in my own music.

Here are video links to my YouTube page which might interest you.

CHU Canada

Click here to view on YouTube.

A Short Wave to Shortwave

Click here to view on YouTube.

Stop Listening Now

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thanks for sharing your work, Bruce! Very cool! I need to get you in touch with David Goren for inclusion in a future Shortwave Shindig!

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Holger Czukay: another musician fascinated with shortwave

Holger Czukay

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor and resident shortwave music specialist, Justin Moore, for sharing the following from his blog, Sothis Medias:

Holger Czukay was another musician who was fascinated with the sounds of shortwave listening. He brought his love of radio and communications technology on board with him when he helped to found the influential krautrock band Can in 1968. Shortwave listening continued to inform Czukay’s musical practice in his solo and other collaborative works later in his career. It all got started when he worked at a radio shop as a teenager.

Holger had been born in the Free City of Danzig in 1938, the year before the outbreak of World War II. In the aftermath of the war his family was expelled from the city when the Allies dissolved its status as free city-state and made it become a part of Poland. Growing up in those bleak times his formal primary education was limited, but he made up for it when he found work at a radio repair shop. He had already developed an interest in music and one his ideas was to become a conductor, but fate had other plans for him. Working with the radios day in and day out he developed a fondness for broadcast radio. In particular he found unique aural qualities in the static and grainy washes of the radio waves coming in across the shortwave bands. At the shop he also became familiar with basic electrical repair work and rudimentary engineering. All of this would serve him well when building the studio for Can. In his work with the band he not only played bass and other instruments but acted as the chief audio engineer.

Click here to read the full article at Sothis Medias.

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IEEE Spectrum Magazine: “This Artist Made a Radio Out of a Kitchen Sink”

(Source: IEEE Spectrum via Ed C)

Amanda Dawn Christie’s work commemorates the fading glory of shortwave radio

By Stephen Cass

Some artists work in oils, say, or marble. Amanda Dawn Christie works in radio. Not radio in the sense of performing on air. But radio in the sense of the giant cultural and technological phenomenon that is broadcasting, and specifically shortwave broadcasting.

For decades, shortwave was the only way to reach a global audience in real time. Broadcasters such as the BBC World Service and Voice of America used it to project “soft power.” But as the Internet grew, interest in shortwave diminished.

Christie’s art draws from shortwave’s history, representing it in sculpture, performance, photography, and film. Her focus is the life of the Radio Canada International (RCI) transmitter complex, located in Sackville, New Brunswick, near Christie’s hometown. The transmitter was in operation from the 1940s until 2012. “Those towers were always just a part of the landscape that I grew up around,” says Christie. It took a radio-building workshop to spark her interest: “I built a radio out of a toilet-paper tube…. I thought I did a great job because I picked up Italian radio. It turned out I did not—I was just really close to this international shortwave site.”[…]

Continue reading the full article at the IEEE Spectrum Magazine.

So great to see SWLing Post friend, Amanda Dawn Christie, featured in the IEEE Spectrum! Thanks for the tip, Ed!

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