Sunday, 19. November 2017, 23:03 - 00:00, Ö1



by Kristen Roos


Artist’s statement:

“Anti-wave” examines the silent electromagnetic transmissions that are ubiquitous today (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cell phone tower emissions, microwaves). I receive these inaudible frequencies with devices that recognize them not as information (conversations, emails, streaming), but as something similar to the unwanted sounds that were heard in early radio reception (static, whistles, sferics). In receiving and translating these frequencies into audible sounds, I am interested in the process of dissecting the wireless devices that embody our lives, and exposing the relationships between people and the objects that inhabit their daily rituals.

This performance was developed while in residence at Wave Farm in Acra, NY, from the 25th August until the 3rd of September 2017. This residency gave me time to experiment, create, and broadcast an initial performance as a work in progress at the end of the residency. I performed the final piece at the Big Concert Night at Ars Electronica in Linz on September 10th 2017. I then came to the studios at the ORF to record for Kunstradio over four days between the 12th and the 14th of September 2017.

I see this work in context with a history of sound and media art that includes auditory responses to space, and a history of radio and transmission art. Situated in a recent history of installations, performances and writing that incorporates frequencies from the electromagnetic spectrum – Alvin Lucier - Sferics, Christina Kubisch - Electrical Walks, Joyce Hinterding - Aeriology, Catherine Richards – Shroud/Chrysalis, Mario de Vega - Dolmen, Anna Friz - Transmission Ecology, Douglas Kahn - Earth Sounds Earth Signals, Mazon Gardoqui and Silvestrin – Limen: Ecologies of Transmission.

(Kristen Roos)

Electromagnetic receivers used in the recordings:
• Electromagnetic radio frequency (RF) receiver: 800MHz-2.5GHz Used for wifi and other high frequency radio sigmals
• VLF Receiver: 600Hz-35Hz – Low/mid range radio frequency receiver
• Elektrosluch - Electromagnetic receiver (Jonas Gruska built this) Receives lower frequencies like the 50Hz of electrical utility frequency, electrical hum

Description of tracks

1. Microwave + microphones
This is a short recording of water boiling in a microwave. The sounds were recorded strictly with microphones for this track to get a straight recording without electromagnetic frequencies.

2. Wireless router beacons + power supply/utility frequencies
This recording consists of receiving inaudible wifi router beacons with a high frequency electromagnetic radio frequency receiver, and a VLF receiver. The frequency that the router broadcasts beacons at is 2.4GHz – and when made audible they appear as fast tapping “rat-tat-tat” rhythms. The VLF receiver picks up the static-like frequencies from the router, sounding more like rhythmic white noise. The higher sustained frequencies are the electromagnetic frequencies emitted from a power supply, and received with the Elektrosluch receiver.

3. 50Hz utility frequency + cordless phone (1.9 GHz) + microwave (2.4GHz)
This recording uses more sustained frequencies emitted by the electrical hum of a power supply (50Hz), and the frequency (1.9GHz) used to transmit between cordless devices (most likely the cordless phone in the studio). It also uses the signal from a microwave (2.4GHz) further into the track – which is a much lower sustained drone. There are microphones around the microwave to receive the surface noise from the microwave, and the bell at the end of the track.

4. Microwave received with a radio frequency receiver (2.4GHz) + Elektrosluch receiver for electrical hum (50Hz) + microphones
This is a short track that uses only the microwave as a source.