Johns uses worms for radio Saturday
Aug 24, 2012 12:03 am
Matt Bua and Sam Sebren host a live program Sat., Aug. 25 from 7-9 p.m. from WGXC's Catskill studio, featuring Travis John's "Bioprinting" project. Audience members are encouraged to turnout in person (344 Main Street, Catskill) to experience the visual aspects of the event. "Bioprinting I – Cold War Aesthetics and Modern Vermiculture" is a generative installation in which biological specimens, namely common earthworms, are utilized to create digital prints by way of re-purposed radio-technology. Travis utilizes a primitive radio device, reverse-engineered to permit the encoding of any two audio signals into a single, modulated output. As inputs, two metallic containers containing approximately thirty earthworms each are affixed to an array pf contact microphones, enabling the movement of the worms to be amplified to a level capable of triggering the radio. Once encoded, the signal from the worms is input into a computer running open-source slow-scan radio software, originally designed to decode imagery from space flights during the Cold War (and still utilized on the International Space Station), though primarily currently used only by a small niche of ham radio operators. As the modulated worm signals are not encoded to fit within the algorithms of any particular radio protocol, the rendered images in turn become abstract chance operations in which a technological/biological symbiosis exists. Travis John's Bioprinting is included in the exhibition "MArk on Main," Masters on Main Street's summer exhibition series in collaboration with The New York Foundation for the Arts’ Curatorial Program from the Greene County Council on the Arts (GCCA). Above, from Travis John:
"Documentation of my Bioprinting I performance from 10.04.2011 at the Centro Cultural de España in San José, Costa Rica. The video itself explains the process, however the short gist of it all is that amplified earthworms are used to render digital prints using re-purposed open-source imaging software and home-built electronics."