Transmission II: Airborne
April 9 – June 4 2005
On April 9, 2005, the New Museum will present Airborne, the second exhibition in the museum’s ongoing Transmission series, which profiles artists and scholars working with the concept of “transmission” in the areas of new media, radio, sound, generative audio, and a vast array of broadcast media. Transmission II: Airborne is part of the New Museum’s Media Lounge program, dedicated to the exhibition and exploration of new media projects. Transmission II: Airborne exposes the otherwise fleeting and invisible transmissions that are constantly occurring around us through conceptual projects, networked installations, live streams and audio-visual works. Airborne profiles new projects by New York-based artists investigating the aesthetic, sonic and socio-political aspects of the wireless spectrum. The nine participating artists chosen from an open call are 31 Down, Paul Davies, Melissa Dubbin + Aaron S. Davidson, Tarikh Korula, LoVid, neuroTransmitter, and Mendi + Keith Obadike. Transmission II: Airborne is organized by Anne Barlow and Defne Ayas, in collaboration with www.free103point9.org, a non-profit media organization. Transmission II: Airborne Project Descriptions: 31 Down, Wanderlost: In Wanderlost, the Brooklyn-based theater group 31 Down tackles personal privacy issues and the paranoia surrounding new technologies by eavesdropping on live police scans to search for clues in the world of the dispatcher, creating tension between fact and fiction by employing the same techniques as popular crime radio shows from the 1940s. Paul Davies, Prayer Antenna: Canadian artist Paul Davies presents an ornate helmet covered in antennae and fitted with surveillance technology to receive signals from the gods. Visitors are encouraged to wear the helmet to receive special transmissions. Melissa Dubbin + Aaron S. Davidson, Last & Lost Transmissions: Collaborating artists Dubbin and Davidson focus on lost and found messages. In Last Transmissions, the artists rebroadcast an amalgam of final messages made by individuals, such as a disc jockey signing off for the last time or a lost sailor’s plea. In Lost Transmissions, the artists collect and rebroadcast radio messages lost during the process of transmission, giving them a new chance to be heard. Tarikh Korula, Chop 10: Chop 10 remixes an assemblage of commercial radio streams as a commentary on the current state of regulated radio. As Chop 10 moves from one Arbitron-rated Top Ten radio station in New York City to the next, the rapidity of the station surfing makes it impossible to discern individual broadcasts, resulting in a jumpy, never-ending parody of commercial radio. LoVid (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus), Ether Ferry: Ether Ferry features a live video feed generated by an electrical signal simultaneously broadcast between multiple video transmitters and receivers, resulting in a dynamic visual spectacle that establishes a tactile relationship between signal breakdowns and technology. neuroTransmitter, 12 Miles Out: The collaborative group neuroTransmitter makes creative use of low-power radio broadcasts. 12 Miles Out explores offshore pirate radio, such as the notorious Radio Caroline, which transmitted off the European coast from 1964-1990 in defiance of international broadcasting regulations. Visual references to this ship are combined with ambient audio recordings of an ocean voyage, archival material from Radio Caroline broadcasts, and audio that references the shift in oceanic territorial boundaries as related to sovereign and global economic interests. Mendi + Keith Obadike, 4-1-9 or You Can’t Watch A Masquerade by Standing in One Place: 4-1-9 references the widely received e-mail based money transfer scam, commonly believed to originate in Nigeria. Drawn to the structurally identical narratives of these unsolicited e-mails, which convey various African tragedies in less than five hundred words, conceptual artists Mendi + Keith Obadike present a work that incorporates text-generated sound, a video game, and net.art. Displayed in the form of an ATM machine, the work explores the structure of tragedy, archetypal African identities on the web, and the notion of scams. Visitors can interact with the project by selecting from a menu of transactions, including “statement,” “withdrawal,” “deposit”, and “balance,” and generate their own 4-1-9 letters.