2010/2011 AIRtime Fellowship Recipients Announced

Aug 26, 2010 11:39 pm
For Immediate Release
August 26, 2010

free103point9 is pleased to announce the 2010/2011 AIRtime Fellows:
Lea Bertucci and Ed Bear, Zach Layton, and Phillip Stearns.

The AIRtime program provides artists with valuable assistance with which to concentrate on new transmission works and conduct research about the genre using free103point9's resource library and equipment holdings. Fellows present their work in conjunction with WGXC: Hands-on Radio, a FM radio station and media project in Greene and Columbia counties, upstate New York. Participating artists receive an honorarium, technical and administrative support from free103point9 staff, and are encouraged to archive recordings and other digital media with the free103point9 Transmission Art Archive project.

free103point9 defines “Transmission Arts” as a conceptual umbrella that unites a community of artists and audiences interested in transmission ideas and tools. The genre is informed by an intentional use of space—often the airwaves. Transmission Art manifests in participatory live art or time-based art including radio, video, light, installation, and performance.

About the selected projects:

Lea Bertucci and Ed Bear eXiTrip

Lea Bertucci and Ed Bear’s project breathes new life into the iTrip Nano FM device as a self-contained open-source hardware platform for subversive/creative acts. Approximately fifty artists will be invited to participate. Each will be provided with a modified device with which to create a new work. The projects will be compiled and documented through a multimedia web and print catalog. Write Bertucci and Bear, “We have selected this specific outmoded device, the iTrip Nano FM transmitter, to exemplify the potential impact of re-engineering consumer devices originally destined for landfills. At 40¢ each on Ebay, the low price creates unprecedented distribution opportunities for a low-power transmitter and encourages end-user experimentation. An express goal of this project is to empower artists with diverse technical and economic backgrounds to create works using radio. This constitutes a social experiment involving creative responses to a common tool. The end product, an online and print multimedia book, will provide detailed technical instruction for the iTrip hack, document the resulting artists’ projects, and provide critical and historical context to the newly created work using material in free103point9 archive.”

Zach Layton Megawatt Mind

Using a Biowave EEG sensor, broadcasting over low-power FM transmitters and WGXC’s 3,300-watt transmitter, Megawatt Mind will manifest as a series of experimental transmissions of brainwave sonifications created in real-time during meditation sessions in the broadcast studios of free103point9/WGXC. Writes Layton, “The word transmission takes on an interesting meaning within the context of Buddhist meditation. Specifically, within the Tibetan practices of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, a qualified teacher will offer what is known as a “pointing out instruction‚” (or transmission) introducing the natural state of mind which is considered enlightened by its very nature; luminous, empty, and all pervasive. This luminous nature is said to manifest spontaneously as a field of vibrational frequencies not unlike the broad spectrum of electromagnetic radio waves propagating throughout the earth's atmosphere. Neuroscientific studies of human consciousness have shown that meditation is capable of modulating the various bands of brainwave frequency. This project will explore and amplify the intersection between brainwaves and radio waves.”

Phillip Stearns Deluge

The Deluge project is a sound and light installation that depicts the constant hum of human-made electromagnetic radiation around us as a shower of raining light. A cloud of small lights (LEDs or small incandescent bulbs) is created from numerous strands suspended from the ceiling, containing varying numbers of lights at varying lengths. Each strand of lights is associated with a point source of sound emanating softly from a speaker located at the top. The sounds for each strand are sourced from transmissions selected from the broad electromagnetic spectrum we use for radio communications: AM, FM, Short Wave, and Wireless frequencies. Each strand will measure the intensity of activity on its specific frequency of the broad radio communications spectrum, counting micro events and presenting them on the strand as a long binary number. The visual effect is that light will appear as though it is raining downwards and accumulating in columns, continually cycling through, becoming fully lit for a brief instant before going dark and beginning again. Writes Stearns, “The air around us is brimming with electricity and the sound of life. All we have to do is tune into the right frequency and we will never have to feel alone.”

WGXC Radio Barnraising, September 24-26, 2010 Hudson, NY

All three AIRtime Fellows will participate in the WGXC Barnraising September 24-26, 2010, presented with Prometheus Radio Project. A program of free103point9, WGXC: Hands-on Radio is a community-run media project. Over 78,000 potential listeners will be able to receive WGXC’s FM signal in New York’s Greene and Columbia counties, on 90.7-FM. Barnraising participants will join hundreds of community media experts and volunteers from around the country in bringing the voices of upstate New York to the airwaves. More information and registration details: http://www.free103point9.org/events/2306

The 2010/2011 AIRtime Fellowship panelists included: Bill Brown, Max Goldfarb, and Sabine Gruffat.

About free103point9

Founded in 1997 as an artists' collective creating works for radio transmission, in 2002, free103point9 became a nonprofit arts organization focused on cultivating and defining the genre Transmission Arts. Based in upstate New York, free103point9’s major programs include the in-progress Transmission Art Archive, a definitive resource featuring artists, works, and exhibitions and events that define the genre and place it in a historical context; WGXC: Hands-on Radio, a creative community FM radio station serving Greene and Columbia counties; and the facilitation of a NYSCA Distribution Regrant for individual artists.

free103point9 is supported with public funds through the Electronic Media and Film Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program through National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce; and the Greene County Legislature through the County Initiative Program, administered in Greene County by the Greene County Council on the Arts. Additional program support is provided by Experimental Television Center; harpofoundation; the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation; the Joseph Family Charitable Trust; India Richards; and other generous individual donors. Past programs have been made possible by the Peter Norton Family Foundation; Meet The Composer's JPMorganChase Regrant Program for Small Ensemblesthe National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; CEC ArtsLink; Mondriaan Stichting; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; a matching grant from Public Radio Capital, with funds provided by the New York State Music Fund; the Brooklyn Arts Council JPMorgan Chase Regrant Program; the Puffin Foundation; and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Galen Joseph-Hunter, Executive Director, free103point9
gjh [a] free103point9.org
(518) 622-2598 / (917) 297-1537

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