Networked_Music_Review

Net_Music_Weekly: Polar Radio [uk London]

polarradio.jpgPolar Radio – A talk and sound performance presenting Antarctica’s first artist-run FM radio station by r a d i o q u a l i a :: September 25, 2008; 7:30 pm :: The People Speak HQ, 17-25 Cremer St, London.

In 2007, Adam Hyde from r a d i o q u a l i a voyaged to Antarctica to help establish the first phase of Polar Radio – a research project which tests the feasibility of establishing community radio stations in the two Polar Regions – Antarctica and the Arctic Circle. He was part of the first Interpolar Transnational Art Science Consortium (I-TASC) reconnaissance expedition to Antarctica, and was a guest of the South African Antarctic Programme, based in the Dronning Maud Land sector of Antarctica, at the base, SANAE IV.

Adam and the I-TASC crew created a mid-range FM radio station. This involved installing and configuring FM transmitters and receivers, designing and erecting antennae in the Antarctic ice. The first prototype radio station began FM broadcasts on 29 December 2006. The broadcasts consisted of radio art developed by r a d i o q u a l i a and hundreds of hours of music, radio art, sound art, DJ-sets, documentaries and podcasts produced by musicians, documentary makers, podcasters and DJs from around the world, collected via a public call for content.

Researchers and scientists at SANAE IV were trained in the skills necessary to make radio shows for their station, and now run the station themselves, using audio provided by people from around the world. They call their Polar Radio station, Radio SANAE.

THE EVENT: This informal event will consist of a presentation about Polar Radio and a discussion about working in Antarctica, followed by a sound performance by r a d i o q u a l i a. The talk will give an overview of the establishment of Radio SANAE, the first node of Polar Radio, in Antarctica, and will cover such salient points as:

* the role of radio in Antarctica
* how to build your own antenna from found objects
* what the net looks like over a 1k connection shared between 70 scientists
* can artists really teach scientists anything?
* common symptoms of contextual hyper neurosis

The sound performance will be comprised of elemental field recordings made on the ice, and VLF radio recordings made of the Antarctic ionosphere. Drinks will be provided. The event and the research phase of Polar Radio is supported by Arts Council England.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS: r a d i o q u a l i a is an artist collective formed by Adam Hyde and Honor Harger, which creates radio and sound art. Their work has been exhibited at the ICC in Tokyo, New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; Gallery 9, Walker Art Center in USA; Sonar in Barcelona; Ars Electronica in Austria; Artspace in New Zealand, among other places. r a d i o q u a l i a projects include Radio Astronomy (2004 – now), The Frequency Clock (1998 – 2003) and Free Radio Linux (2002 – 2004).

In addition to r a d i o q u a l i a, Adam Hyde manages FLOSS Manuals. He has been involved in free technology and art for 10 years, mainly within the broadcast realm but lately Adam’s work is centered in community building and publishing. Recent artistic projects include the Geekosystem – recycling technojunk into art, Kumara – free media email blogging, and the Paper Cup Telephone Network. Recent non-art projects include managing the production of the OLPC and Sugar manuals.

Honor Harger also works as a curator and organiser. From November 2004 – July 2008, she was director of the AV Festival in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough in the UK. In 2008, she curated the third edition of the festival on the topic of broadcasting. She is also a PhD researcher at Z-Node a facility ran by the Faculty of Technology, University of Plymouth, and the Zurich University of the Arts, (ZHDK) in Switzerland. Her research aims to combine traditional and practice based research methods to create a sonic understanding of astronomical space, placing emphasis on the way that radio can be used to make space audible.

CONTEXT: I-TASC (Interpolar Transnational Art Science: Constellation) is an official project of the International Polar Year 2007-2008. I-TASC is a decentralized network of individuals and organisations working collaboratively in the fields of art, engineering, science and technology on interdisciplinary development and tactical deployment of renewable energy, waste recycling systems, sustainable architecture and open-format, open-source media. I-TASC is a lichen-like structure sharing and integrating local knowledge, resources and skills across six continents in order to symbiotically engage with common issues concerning the air, ocean, earth and space.

Map showing Antarctic bases, including SANAE where the I-TASC crew visited in 2007.

FURTHER INFORMATION

The People Speak HQ – Directions: Cremer St is just under the bridge half way between Hackney Road and Kingsland Road, Public transport options: Shoreditch Tube station is sometimes open, and is close, alternatively, Old St, or Liverpool St are quite near. The TFL website should give you some useful directions. Map.

r a d i o q u a l i a would like to thank Arts Council England, SANAP, I-TASC, The People Speak and MediaShed.


Sep 17, 2008
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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