RT-32 - ACOUSTIC SPACE LAB
RIXC (Conception: Rasa Šmite, Raitis Šmits; video: Martinš Ratniks; sound: Clausthome)
…In the forests of western Latvia, in Irbene near Ventspils, are located the Soviet-era 32-meter fully steerable parabolic antenna RT-32, and 16-meter diameter antenna RT-16. Only in 1993, when the withdrawal of Soviet Army forces from the Baltic States was negotiated, was the existence of the antennas, and of the previously top-secret communication 'espionage' center Zvyozdochka, revealed. Since 1994, Latvian scientists of the VIRAC - Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Center have been undergoing the process of restoring the damage to the abandoned antennas, and transforming them from military to scientific purposes. To explore the antennas' potential for civilian and artistic use, an international “Acoustic.Space.Lab” symposium for sound art using radio and satellite technologies took place in August 2001 at the site of the RT-32”.
The DVD “RT-32 - Acoustic Space Lab” is a multi-media research of the VIRAC radio telescope RT-32. It covers the history of this top-secret Soviet-era military object, including precise technical data and its conversion to scientific and civilian use.
It also introduces the Acoustic.Space.Lab symposium explorations: capturing and interpreting data from acoustic recordings of surroundings, satellite scanning and radioastronomy observations.
VIRAC ex-director Edgars Bervalds expressed his delight that the antenna had been explored in so many ways, adding that, though the antenna ought to be used primarily for science, “artists can use it to fill the vast spaces in our Universe that science cannot reach.”
The DVD produced by RIXC in 2002. Reprints in 2004 and 2006.
Credits to: VIRAC scientists and Acoustic.Space.Lab symposium participants for audio-visual-photo-textual contributions.
RIXC (Latvia), the Center for new media culture was founded in Riga in 2000 out of the E-LAB initiative (since 1996). The RIXC runs an art server, an experimental media laboratory for new media art production, research programmes and public events space. The core members of the RIXC currently are: Rasa Šmite, Raitis Šmits, Janis Garancs, Martinš Ratniks, Ieva Auzina, Signe Pucena, Davis Bojars, Daina Silina, Agrita Ozolina.
RIXC is the organiser of the international new media culture festival “Art+Communication” (since 1996), and is publisher of the “Acoustic Space” publication series (since 1998). RIXC is the initiator of a number of international co-projects and networks, including: Media Architecture (since 2002), Acoustic Space Lab (since 2001), Locative Media Network (since 2003), Trans-European Cultural Mapping (2004), WAVES (2006).
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