RADIATION
Robert Adrian, Norbert Math
1998

Just over 100 years ago the signals from Marconi's first radio transmission began their journey across the galaxy. Since then radio waves have become as common as air and our planet has become a new source of radio waves in the universe. All the radio signals ever produced - since the earliest transmissions - are still radiating outwards through space. Our history exists, expanding at the speed of light into the dark spaces between the worlds.

RADIATION concentrates on short-wave radio - the wave-lengths used mostly by amateur radio operators, security and espionage agencies, national propaganda and information stations. Many short-wave transmissions are received as bursts of coded or scrambled signal - Morse code, fax or image transmissions and secret commercial or political data. The short-wave spectrum contains every human language and every kind of music. Short-wave signals are often distorted by atmospheric conditions, interference from other transmitters or local static - with short-wave radio it is "radio" itself that is in the foreground.

RADIATION consists of 4 loudspeakers, 4 short wave radio receivers, a computer and 2 amplifiers (4 channels). The loudspeakers are installed about 400 cm apart and 3 meters high. The sounds from the radios, each tuned to a different source, are distributed to one of the four loudspeakers. A computer program "listens" to the audio output and performs a spectral analysis of the sound quality. It then either keeps the existing array of stations or distributes new channels to the loudspeakers as necessary. Each radio has 40 channels stored in memory which are available for the computer selection process.

Robert Adrian (Austria). Born in Toronto, Canada, lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Robert Adrian is a visual artist working in a variety of media including installation, sculpture, photography, painting, computer and model-making. In 1979 he also began working with communication technology, organising and participating in projects for fax, slow-scan tv, amateur radio, BBSs etc. Robert Adrian has exhibited widely in Europe and abroad including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Venice Biennale, the Sydney Biennale.

Norbert Math (Austria). Born in Bozen, Italy. Lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Studies of electroacoustic music at the University of Music in Vienna. Worked as assistant at the University of Music, Graz. Freelance artist and computer programmer. Founding member of alien.productions, <http://alien.mur.at>, an artists collective producing intermedia performance and -installation, electronic music, net.art, radio art, sound art, interactives, video, visual arts and artistic photography. Works have been shown in different venues and festivals including ORF Kunstradio, Ars Electronica Linz, steirischer herbst Graz, V2 Rotterdam, sonambiente Berlin, resistance fluctuations Los Angeles, Documenta Kassel.

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