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The Radio Art Hour: Open-Weather - "Satellite Séance" (Audio)

Feb 20, 2024
Created by Open-Weather.

This edition of The Radio Art Hour features the work "Satellite Séance" by Open-Weather. A séance, in its widest sense, is a meeting between two or more bodies. In this radio piece, originally commissioned by Afroditi Psarra for the Transmission Ecologies series on Movement Radio, open-weather (Soph Dyer and Sasha Engelmann) explore satellite séances: meetings between humans and satellites through the medium of radio. The weather satellite NOAA-19 orbits over central Germany on a balmy day in July, its analog signal translated by a DIY antenna and relayed to an unknown number of listeners. Apollo circles the moon. Voyager meets the turbulent storms of Jupiter. These satellite séances move through radio environments filled with many other meetings. A ghostly voice emerges from a sea of white noise. Magnetic fields and moving particles produce the ‘electromagnetic dawn chorus’, a phenomenon long compared to the sound of birds greeting the rising sun.

Open-weather is a feminist experiment in imagining and imagining the earth and its weather systems using DIY tools. Co-founded in 2020 by designer Sophie Dyer and geographer Sasha Engelmann, the collective produces artworks, workshops and educational resources. Out of these activities a network of more than 100 DIY Satellite Ground Station operators, from Berlin to Buenos Aires, has grown around the project. In the tradition of intersectional feminism, open-weather investigates the politics of location and interlocking forms of oppression that shape our capacities to observe, negotiate, and respond to the climate crisis. In doing so, the collective challenges dominant representations of the Earth and environment while adding complexity to ideas around the weather beyond meteorology.

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