TRANSMISSION ART ARCHIVE
I am here. If you can hear this, this message is for you.
Two women rent a room in the Pabst Grand Circle Hotel in New York City in late 1947. Their belongings seem to be comprised entirely of a large number of aluminum postal boxes of the sort used to mail laundry; three bellhops are needed to transport it all up to their room. The women stay for one week, pay in advance, and are not seen during their stay. Over several nights the neighboring rooms complain of strange hums and sounds heard through the walls, disturbing their sleep. Three hotel guests complain of the sudden onset of severe migraine headaches, and request a doctor. The dumbwaiter in the hotel breaks down and is stuck between two floors.
After one week, the hotel staff find the room unlocked and empty. The women are gone, as are their boxes, and the maids discover wires and electronic components on the table and the floor of the room. The dumbwaiter is never repaired.
Four of the aluminum boxes re-appear at MAD this year. Careful inspection reveals that they are radiophonic, each transmitting a single signal to either AM or FM bands. Perhaps they were sent out as probes, recording what they encounter, and then transmitting their findings. The probes have returned as beacons, measuring distance and indicating time passed or times parallel. Four presents from the past.
Responding to the idea that radio measures and allows for relationships over distance and time, Echophone is a radio based installation that reveals itself to visitors as they explore the Museum of Arts and Design, searching for and tuning into transmissions from beacons which are placed throughout its interior. Radios and headphones can be checked out from the admissions desk to experience this piece. Each individual beacon can only be heard in close proximity to its physical location, and are tuned variably to 107.9FM, 1600AM, or 1620AM.