Radius Sketchpad: Damon Loren Baker
Brooklyn (2003 - 2004) | Acra (2005 - 2015), NY
free103point9.org + transmissionarts.org/listen
90.7-FM in NY's Upper Hudson Valley and wgxc.org/listen everywhere
Radius Sketchpad is an ongoing monthly program on WGXC 90.7-FM presented by the Chicago-based platform, Radius. This month features Damon Loren Baker's Distant, originally produced for Radius, and is followed by a playlist of works selected by the artist.
"Distant" consists of white noise and sine waves that are beyond the range of most adults’ hearing. They are arranged carefully in chosen phase relationships amongst signals that are completely inaudible and have no apparent effect on the final sound. However, when broadcast using a radio transmitter (ideally a low power one, the lower fidelity and power the better) those phase relationships become mangled by the interaction of the broadcast with the environment it fills and activates. When the listener is too close to the signal, the subtleties between the phase relationships are lost. When too far, the subtleties become inaudible. However, when somewhere between near and far, the garbling of the transmission creates pulses and tones from the creative and destructive interference caused by the reflected signal and the collapse of the stereo image. The entire distant range of the broadcast radius becomes an instrument or an organism. Distant is the breath that brings this organism to life; the act of tuning in and listening to the piece forms it into sound.
Damon Loren Baker is Assistant Professor of Interactive Entertainment at CUNY CityTech in Brooklyn. He conducts research as a member of StudioBlue and the City Tech Psychology Research Lab on the creation of tools for human-computer interaction within virtual worlds for the humanities, arts, and social sciences. He is also a member of ManifestAR, an augmented reality artists group, that has been featured in the New York Times and Wired and exhibited at MoMA, ICA, and other international venues.