Saturday Morning Serial: Radio National Australia Spotlight Wave Farm (Audio)

Sep 03, 2016
Produced by Miyuki Jokiranta.

A rebroadcast of Radio National Australia's special program on Wave Farm, presented as part of Soundproof, produced by Miyuki Jokiranta. "Soundproof" takes long and short form creative audio, pushes beyond all genres and creates a space where voice, sound and music fuse together. Bend the rules with Soundproof—art for your ears.

"Put on your walkin' shoes, we're going for a wander over yonder.

In upstate New York sits a 12 hectare property called Wave Farm, a not-for-profit arts organization driven by experimentation with broadcast media and the airwaves.

Peppered over the are property artist residency projects and long-term installations and Wave Farm staff have been given the impossible task of selecting just a few to give us a sense of what they do.

Pneuma Daniel Steffey
Pneuma by American composer and percussionist, Daniel Steffey, premiered as a broadcast on Wave Farm’s station, WGXC 90.7FM, at the conclusion of his 2014 artist residency.

It's a composition that can exist in many forms, as concert music for a soloist or chamber ensemble with tape, with or without video, and as an opera for broadcast.

Spectres of Shortwave – Amanda Dawn Christie
In 2012, Canada's only high power shortwave relay station announced it was shutting down. Erected in 1938, the Radio Canada International, or RCI tower, broadcast around the world and served as relay for stations as far away as Vatican Radio.

The broadcasts, intended for international audiences, also had an impact on the locals. Many residents reported hearing radio broadcasts emanating from unusual household appliances, including kitchen sinks, bathtubs even light fixtures.

Amanda Dawn Christie is a Canadian interdisciplinary artist who created a body of interactive works based on the disappearance of shortwave radio transmissions. Her work features excerpts from her documentary film on the RCI tower called Spectres of Shortwave and includes contact microphone recordings from tower N.

Christie's tower N recordings were deposited at Wave Farm somewhere off the forested path on a USB key sticking out of a tree, an installation by former Wave Farm artist-in-residence, Patrick Quinn. SURVANT USB Dead Drop - an open source file repository, inspired by Aaron Swartz's various hacktivistic dead drop projects.

Weather Warlock/Upstate Warlock – Quintron
To be installed at Wave Farm this October, Upstate Warlock will be a weather controlled, drone synthesizer specifically tailored to the climate of New York's Hudson Valley. Very similar to a weather station in looks, outdoor sensors detect wind, sun, moisture, and temperature, all of which subtly modulate a harmonic drone.

In this excerpt, you actually hear a distillation of the weather in Quintron's hometown, New Orleans, where he's installed another environmentally interactive instrument the Weather Warlock.

Pond Station – Zach Poff
Pond Station transmits the hidden activity within a freshwater pond from dawn until sundown. In addition, Pond Station serves as a live, generative, natural instrument for Wave Farm resident artists who may remix and interpret these otherwise inaccessible environmental sounds in their own work.
The sound presented here is a sampling of the sounds of Pond Station, and concludes with night sounds on July 4th, Independence Day. Listeners will hear insects flying past the light to sound circuits as well as some fireworks echoing into the pond.

Zach Poff is a digital media artist interested in free software creation and so Pond Station is also a natural instrument that Wave Farm resident artists can remix and interpret.

Mobile 49 / Deep Cycle – Max Goldfarb
The M49 was a mobile radio and research facility that travelled along Route 23, stopping at locations along the way for the occasional performance or incident. It’s now permanently installed at Wave Farm. Using the M49, artist, Maximilian Goldfarb, created Deep Cycle—a collection of sonic and concrete artefacts from the many sites visited along the way.

Presented here in this nine minute excerpt are the following elements from Deep Cycle:
1. Paul Elliman, ‘Air Siren, Wake Up’ Intro to mobile program.
2. Maximilian Goldfarb, ‘PA02: Tactical Incident Command System’
3. Brett Balogh, ‘All That Is Solid Melts Into Air'
4. David Koehn (Voice of Joe Romero), ‘Rescue Vehicles’
5. Ryder Cooley / Maximilian Goldfarb, ‘Mobile Death Reports, Incident No.1'
6. Garrett Phelan, ‘At What Point Will Common Sense Prevail: #8, Life In The Country’
7. Garrett Phelan, ‘At What Point Will Common Sense Prevail: #3,Soldiers As Peackeepers'
8. Ryder Cooley / Maximilian Goldfarb, ‘Mobile Death Reports, Incident No.3’
9. Maximilian Goldfarb, ‘Rewire The Twittering Machine’
10. Brian Dewan, ‘The Ballad of Rip Van Winkle’
11. Maximilian Goldfarb, ‘PA04: Psychological First Aid’
12. Paul Elliman, ‘Air Siren, Sleep'

Remote Audio Outpost Ian Vanek
Installed at Wave Farm in 2012 by Ian Vanek—who is half of the performance art duo Japanther—the Remote Audio Outpost is a solar-powered recording booth, outfitted with a rotary phone wired for both recording and transmission.

Installed in one of the most remote corners of the Wave Farm property, Remote Audio Outpost is a place for introspection: a private confessional for public broadcast.

Outernet – Heidi Neilson
At the final stop on this stroll around Wave Farm, you can pull up a bench attached to a satellite dish. In fact there’s a bench for every cardinal direction. Also tucked away in this structure is a box for electronics and a single physical library book located under the east bench. If you take a seat, you can read, view, listen to, and save materials to your phone or computer from the Outernet library.

Outernet Library Branch–Wave Farm was installed in June this year by Heidi Neilson, whose practice deals with the weather, fake snow and the cultural landscape of outer space.

This episode was curated by Galen Joseph-Hunter, who has served as Executive Director of Wave Farm since 2002, with the support and assistance of Issy Cassou, Wave Farm's 2016 Summer Intern from Bard College." Reprinted from Radio National Australia.