Wave Farm's Transmission Art Archive is a specialized online resource of artists' experiments with the electromagnetic spectrum in form or concept. The resource contains primary materials from early microradio broadcast collaborations among Brooklyn-based artists in the mid-nineties, transmission works created by the hundreds of artists who have participated in Wave Farm projects, broadcasts, and residencies, as well as historical and contemporary projects that comprise the canon of the genre. Click Artists or Works to explore the Archive.


Transmission art encompasses works in which the act of transmitting or receiving is not only significant, but the fulcrum for the artist’s intention. The genre is more loosely defined as a multiplicity of practices that engage aural and visual broadcast media, where in some instances works for traditional broadcast are created, and at other times artists harness preexisting broadcast signals as source material manipulated in live performance; installation; and public interactive networks and tools.

Wave Farm’s major publication, “Transmission Arts: Artists & Airwaves” (PAJ Publications: 2011), identifies a genealogy for the genre. The book cites 150 artists and works from 1921 to 2010, and has been incorporated into media art and intermedia studies curricula, as well as several recent international conferences specific to transmission art and radio as art.

The book's earliest citation, Khlebnikov’s manifesto, “The Radio of the Future” (1921), prophesied an evolution of the medium where text, images, scents, and even flavors could be communicated through broadcast. In what is perhaps the first conception of transmission art, Khlebnikov envisioned a future where radio would emit ethereal art exhibitions.

Similarly interested in the synaesthetic possibilities of radio, much of contemporary transmission art is influenced by Hörspiel, translated literally as radio play, and simultaneously informed by new wireless technologies. These works often challenge conventional relationships of transmitter (or artist) and receiver (or audience) and celebrate a Brechtian utopia of interactive two-way media.

In February 2011, Wave Farm launched WGXC 90.7-FM. This uniquely creative community FM radio project dedicates an unprecedented number of hours (in the US) to transmission arts and experimental sound programming and has become a significant force in an international resurgence of creative radio practice and scholarship.