Something terrific coming up at Western Front this week, so I thought I’d amplify it here in my blog post. William Burroughs was really into this stuff in the late 50s. Here’s the release, and for more, check that Western Front link.
Western Front Media Arts | Darsha Hewitt workshop | APR 20
Instrumental Transcommunication: Listening Through Your Electronics (Hearing The Dead)
April 20, 2008, 2 PM
In her talk, Hewitt will look at inventions created during mid 20th century that were used to communicate with the dead. The term “instrumental transcommunication” describes communication between spirits and the living through any sort of electronic device such as tape recorders, fax machines, television sets, or computers. The talk will end with a demonstration of sensitive daemon detection devices created by the artist.
Ethereal Computing: Homemade Sensing Devices for Invisible Matter
April 23, 2008, 6 – 9 PM
Register before April 15, 5 PM by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The artist will lead a hands-on workshop that takes a hobbyist approach to electronic experimentation for anyone curious about electronics, sound or the invisible noise of nature. Hewitt will introduce basic antenna and radio theory, and concepts like induction and electronic crosstalk, and will focus on how natural phenomena such as skin resistance, body capacitance and ethereal interference can affect and control electronics. Participants will look at examples of how early electronic instrument inventors, artists and electronic enthusiasts have explored, harnessed and exploited these invisible forces.
By tinkering with radios, scrapped domestic electronics and handmade audio generating devices, and using leftover wire, participants will learn how to piece together amateur antennas to unleash the power of ungrounded electronics and pick up on the invisible information of our atmosphere. Additionally, Hewitt will go over safe and practical discarded electronics salvaging techniques, and participants will learn what to look for and what to scavenge from electronic devices they find in the alley on garbage day.
About the Artist:
Darsha Hewitt is an Ottawa-based artist experimenting with electronics in order to capture traces of the invisible ethereal realm. By handcrafting, rebuilding and cross-wiring basic electronics, the artist intervenes with the commercial obligations of today’s ubiquitous electronic products, and exposes them to the noise of an invisible realm. She often draws on the formulas and aesthetics found in vintage D.I.Y. electronics magazines, in order to create “homemade sensing devices for invisible matter.” During her residency, Hewitt will work with experimental handmade electronics to develop an environmentally responsive sound installation specifically for the Western Front called DAEMON DETECTION. Hewitt will install sensing antennae throughout the building to detect changes in the surrounding electromagnetic fields. These shifts will create subtle audible emissions through transmitter radios that have specific lo-fi/low-tech sounds including white noise, frequency distortions, and voices captured from broadcasts.