ROME TO TRIPOLI
Paul DeMarinis
2006

A radio transmitter based on the hydraulic microphone/transmitter apparatus of Majorana and Vanni that successfully broadcast voice messages from Rome to Tripoli, a distance of nearly 1000 Km in 1908, inaugurating the age of radio-telephony. A stream of acidulated water, mechanically vibrated by the voice, reproduces the interruption of the vocal frequencies as a series of droplets. This stream is passed between two electrodes biased at a DC voltage. Each drop causes a brief conduction of electricity to a High voltage transformer configured as a spark transmitter. The transmissions are broadband and can be received by any AM receiver. The work intends to pose questions about the nature of one-way communications, radiophonic, cultural or military, in particular those between early 20th c. Europe and North Africa.

Paul DeMarinis (USA) has been making noises with wires, batteries and household appliances since the age of four. The electronic media artist studied film with Paul Sharits and electronic music with Robert Ashley at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College and later worked with David Tudor. One of the first artists to use microcomputers, DeMarinis has worked since the late 1970's in the areas of interactive software, synthetic speech, noise and obsolete or impossible media. He has created installations, performances and public artworks throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. He is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Stanford University.

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