SOLAR LISTENING_STATION
r a d i o q u a l i a (Honor Harger / Adam Hyde)
2006

solar listening_station is a sound art work which focuses on radio waves emitted by the Sun. The Sun produces an vast amount of electromagnetic energy which can be detected by radio instruments in space and on earth. Indeed such is the vigor of our sun that its waves are constantly interacting with, and often interfering with communication equipment and radio electronics. Thus for radio engineers and radio artists, the Sun is an inescapable, and often inspiring, entity. solar listening_station depicts the Sun that radio practitioners know so well, a Sun which is continually present and commonly heard as a cosmic hum in the background of our domestic sound life. It is comprised of two 'channels'. solar listening_station:-1 is a sonic portrait of the solar system's principal star. The artists worked on solar detection in collaboration with the Windward Community College Radio Observatory in Hawaii; the Radio Jove Network run by NASA and the Interplanetary Scintillation Radiotelescope Array in Mexico. When there is a solar flare on the Sun's surface it is accompanied by a burst of radio energy projected into space. Using radio telescopes and receivers, astronomers can listen to the radiation discharged by the Sun, and this is what listeners to solar listening_station:-1 can hear. solar listening_station:-2 presents an artistic reading of these solar radio sounds. To create the work, the artists journeyed to Mexico, where early astronomy evolved, to make radio observations of both the sky and the earth. The Sun was tracked and recorded during a visit to the Mexican Interplanetary Scintillation Radiotelescope in remote Morelia. These solar sonics were fused with very low frequency (VLF) recordings made in the heart of Mexico City. The ambient hum of electromagnetic metropolitan life collides with the high energy solar emanations to create a new radioscape of both the Sun and our own planet.

r a d i o q u a l i a (New Zealand) is an art collaboration by Honor Harger and Adam Hyde, founded in 1998 in Australia. Since 1999 they have been based in several different countries including the Netherlands, the UK and Latvia. r a d i o q u a l i a create broadcasts, installations, performances and online artworks. Their principal interest is how broadcasting technologies can be used to create new artistic forms, and how sound art can be used to illuminate abstract ideas. Key works include Free Radio Linux (2002 - 2004), The Frequency Clock (1998 - 2003) and Radio Astronomy (since 2004) They have exhibited at museums, galleries and festivals, including: NTT ICC, Toyko; New Museum, New York; Gallery 9, Walker Art Center, USA; Sonar, Barcelona; Ars Electronica, Linz; Experimental Art Foundation, Australia; Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris; and the Physics Room, New Zealand. In August 2004 they received a UNESCO Digital Art Prize for Radio Astronomy (http://www.radio-astronomy.net).

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