SPECTROGRAPHY is collaboration between the RIXC Center for New Media Culture in Latvia
and Ellipse artists organisation in France, which includes organising of the sound art residency
programme RIX-STUDIO and international symposium on SPECTRUM CARTOGRAPHY.
The RIX-STUDIO will be located at the interesting art venue - the gallery space of Point Éphémère
on the Canal Saint Martin in center Paris. During the time period from October 25 - November 20,
2005, the RIX-STUDIO will host 2 groups of residency artists from Latvia and France. The specific
task of residency include experimentation with mapping, radio waves, spectrum, mobile and
location based media and to prepare audio content for live straming performances.
From November 4 - 6, the culmination event of the residency project - the international symposium
with participation of Latvian and French artists, as well as international remote speakers (via internet)
is set to take place in RIX-STUDIO at Point Éphémère and online. The symposium will be focusing
on setting up the context and creating the conceptual / theoretical background for "spectrum
cartography" realted thematics.
...............re-cover - ecology of data-flow environment and electromagnetic spectrum
...............re-approach - net.radio
...............re-combine - wired and wireless, old and new, global and insular technologies
...............re-connect - audio communication networks
Acoustic.Space.Re-search.Lab aims to re-approach collaborative audio
to broaden the meaning of "net.radio" - beyond the confusion of streaming
media standards and
its' technical limitations, and to set up new context for research on "data ecology"
co-experiments in the field of networked media, radio and satellite technologies.
Acoustic.Space.Re-search.Lab is long-term co-operation between several international artists'
groups and individuals from the Xchange network: RIXC/E-LAB (Riga/LV), Derek Holzer
(Amsterdam/NL/USA), RadioQualia (London/UK/Adelaide/AU), Projekt Atol (Ljubljana/SI) and
The pilot project - Acoustic Space Lab symposium took place from August 4 - 12, 2001 in the forests
of western Latvia in Irbene at the site of Soviet-era d=32 meter dish antenna. Formerly used to
spy on satellite transmissions between Europe and North-America by the KGB, the antenna was
abandoned and nearly destroyed when the Russian Army departed in 1994. The dish was
successfully repaired by VIRAC (Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center) radio astronomers.
Over the days of the symposium international team of 30 sound artists, net and community radio
activists and radio amateurs in co-operation with VIRAC scientists were exploring the possibilities
of antenna. The participants made recordings of the sounds and data from planets' observations,
communication satellites and surrounding environment.
It was a great chance for artists to access and work with this big antenna. But most important was
that this "old and heavy" technology - big dish - because of its' secret past, specific location in so
far remote place, and its' never unexploited potential for civilian use, succeeded to facilitate new
context for collaborative exploring, experimenting and data processing.
In our daily life, we are literally awash in a shifting tide of signals, frequencies and codes. Our eyes
and ears can receive some small part of these, and pass them along to our brains for interpretation.
But what of the rest--those signals, which reach us, and even pass through our very bodies, on a level
which the flesh is not sensitive enough to detect unaided?
The development of communications technology, and its expansion into the realm of electromagnetic
transmission through the atmosphere has been closely linked to explorations of our natural
environment from the beginning. The first telegraph operators reported hearing "strange,
otherworldly" noises coming through the wires. The forefathers of today's SETI movement
enthusiastically embraced these sounds as messages from another planet, and it took another
half-century to determine that lightning strikes and solar winds were singing these ionospheric
songs, and not extraterrestrial beings.
To this day, scientists, radio amateurs and artists all seek to find patterns and meanings in the
electromagnetic disturbances that surround us. Their tools may be quite modern, such as a
Soviet-era dish antenna in a Baltic forest, or they may have changed little from the first heady days
of radio innovation, taking the shape of simple, home-built kits or household long-wave receivers
connected to wires strung between trees and rooftops.
One thing is certain--the topography of the realm they explore has changed dramatically. Almost
the entirety of the radio range of the electromagnetic spectrum has been "reserved" for some purpose
or another, whether it be for mobile phone, satellite, and other digital wireless applications, or for
radio and tv.
With such a rising "noise floor", the by-far-weaker natural radio signals become lost in man-made
bleeps, bytes, pulses, packets and streams.
Daring radio acoustonauts of the new era now face a challenging decision; to find a clear channel
through the communications-age clutter to investigate the ancient world of nature and the stars, or
to plunge into the raw data rippling through the air in front of them, and find a new world therein.
.........................content and development:
Next stage of Acoustic.Space.Re-search.Lab is devoted to developing of research and experimental
audio communication projects that promotes tactical use and prospective interventions.
Re-search.Lab will continue organising of workshops, which provide access to publicly not accessible
technologies, i.e. to former (and existing) top secret military objects (e.g. VIRAC radio telescope).
It also will co-operate with scientists, radio amateurs and radio astronomers in researching "
data-ecology" and other relevant issues related to urbanism, atmosphere and wireless technologies.
The Lab will also co-develop other related projects, e.g., which are using new satellite networks
and GPS, in order to claim for public interaction and two-way communication in emerging "
* pilot project:> Acoustic.Space.Lab - international symposium on sound art, radio and satellite
technologies took place in VIRAC Radiotelescope, Irbene/Latvia, August 2001.
> The remote contribution by Kunstradio
* post-production:> Space Lab Open Source Sampling project (ongoing/online - coordin.
by Derek Holzer)
> Radiophere (CD by Claustrum/Latvia)
> Horizon Scan (video by Locomotive/Latvia)
> Signal-Sever! (performance by Projekt Atol/Slovenia & crew, featuring Zina K./Australia and
Clausthome/Latvia, "Art+Communication" festival, September 2001 in Riga)
> RadioQualia audio-reports:
> Mr. Snow/L'audible : Firmament
A 3D Java application to visualize the radio frequency scans collected by the Irbene dish antenna
* research:> Acoustic.Space.Lab II (summer 2002)
a workshop for preparing materials on "Irbene radiotelescope - from Russian top secret object to
sound artists' symposium" (for World-Information.org project)
>book "Acoustic Space Reader" + CD-ROM
an edition on theory, experiments and art practice of using audio communication tools, in context
of electromagnetic spectrum - from non- to audible frequencies, i.e. radio waves to streaming media,
from electricity and lights to acoustic and gravity, as well as with satellite and GPS technologies.
* follow-up projects/action plan at VIRAC Radio telescope (2002-2004):> setting up of permanent
satellite based internet connection in VIRAC Radiotelescope (to be able to have the LINK to the
dish from remote places - in order to use it for events, performances and exhibitions)
> establishing the streaming facility (to stream events and discussions, and share the research
results with other radio astronomical communities) and to utilise the streaming facility to set up
LIVE STREAM from astronomical observations (an attempt to make audible the sounds of planets
and nearby stars)
> development of SOFTWARE that controls the movement of the dish via internet (for online users
and remote observation)
.........................related art projects
Acoustic.Space.Re-search.Lab also intends to establish connections, to collaborate and develop
projects in urban and public spaces, electric-acoustic environments, as well as in emerging
a performance on light and noize spectrum - live video mix by F5 and Clausthome/Latvia (sound)
> GPSter - Geograffiti
- is "an urban memory and digital ambience machine for the geosphere", co-project by Marc Tuters
and Karlis Kalnins (Canada). GPSter interface allows you to leave your data in real space;
leave text, images, audio, video, and websites, for anyone to find, at any coordinates in the geosphere.
> OZONE: an immersive electromagnetic environment
a collaborative environmental installation created by video artist Bas van Koolwijk/The Netherlands
and sound artist Derek Holzer/NL-USA.
The installation involves the use of 3 video monitors, 3 Long Wave radios, and a 4 channel audio
system to create storm-cloud of electromagnetics in the exhibition space.
> RIXC Media Space: <insulation>
Media Space is long-term site specific collaborative platform, which explores experimental use of
acoustics, light and power in architecture of both - urban spaces and virtual environments.
It is based on RIXC ongoing project "Media Space" - RIXC future physical location in Riga,
which during its' renovation process (2002-2004) will be used as a creative (plat)form for
collaborative experiments and art production. All it's building phases will be cross-linked and
related to various interdisciplinary and experimental projects.
Phase "insulation" involves various local and international such as Luke Jerram (Bristol/UK),
Martins Ratniks (F5/Latvia) and others, who will explore the acoustic and perceptual properties of
the space and urban surrounding, and will contribute in developing site specific and time based
series of installation prototypes and performances.
.........................communication & publications:
> XCHANGE mailinglist
> ACOUSTIC SPACE readers
.........................initiators & coordinators:
Acoustic.Space.Re-search.Lab team is partnership of:
Projekt ATOL, Ljubljana/Slovenia
RadioQualia, Adelaide/Australia & London/UK
Derek Holzer, Amsterdam/The Netherlands
Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits <rixc( at )rixc.lv>