Wave Farm Radio Art Fellowship: Celeste Oram

Sep 09, 2024 - Oct 07, 2024
Wave Farm + WGXC Acra Studio

5662 Route 23 | Acra, NY 12405 | 518-622-2598

Celeste Oram Portrait

Celeste Oram Portrait.

As Wave Farm’s Community Engagement Radio Art Fellow, Celeste Oram will conduct the workshop TERRA RADIA: the (De-)Territorialization of the Radio Spectrum. Presented in three parts, the workshop gathers radio enthusiasts to reflect on the territorialization of the electromagnetic spectrum: that is, the conceptual, legal, political, scientific, and aesthetic frames whereby radio is described as if it were space or territory. The workshop will pose and discuss questions including: But how apt are those analogies? What do they elide or misrepresent about radio properties and technology? What political mechanisms do they naturalize? By what other conceptual means might we navigate and manage electromagnetic properties?

And what is at stake in these reflections? Well, the spectrum is a proving ground for some of the most urgent political re-calibrations of our time: the rights and privileges of corporate bodies; the future of the nation-state; Indigenous sovereignty and decolonial governance; overlapping sovereignties within shared territorial environments.

Presented in a hybrid format, an introductory experimental lecture-recital will be followed by collaborative Zoom sessions open to an international audience of radionauts and anyone who wants to learn about the political underpinnings of how we apprehend natural phenomena.

Celeste Oram is a composer with equal investments in radiophonic and transmission art, as well as live musical performance in the experimental and classical realms. Oram’s work explores the histories and micro-cultures of musical practice itself, as well as its socio-political entanglements. Her radiophonic pieces employ radio technologies (sometimes DIY) as a musical instrument in the pursuit of richly contrapuntal sonic textures. Often Oram’s work engages with the histories and cultures of both public and amateur radio, and their entwined development with colonialism and nation-building—especially in her home country Aotearoa New Zealand. Recent compositions for live performance span instrumental and vocal concert music, polyphonic songs, music for period Baroque instruments, experimental music-theatre, and orchestral music for dance-theater. Much of Oram’s musical language is rooted in a studied investment in early music, revivifying historical musical languages via experimental approaches.