Radius GROUND Series is a three-part, site-specific commissioned radio series that focuses on radio’s direct physical connection to the Earth. GROUND investigates how the Earth manipulates, fragments, and fluctuates radio transmission and reception. Radius GROUND Series will feature site-specific works in Chicago from national and international artists performed, installed, and broadcast from such places as a greenhouse research laboratory, aboard a boat in Lake Michigan, and underground, deep inside a natural cave. The series examines how energies, organisms, and geologic material influence the electromagnetic spectrum.
Radius commissioned three artists to create audio works for broadcast that point to issues of the Earth’s ground in the event of radio transmission.
Episode 73: Lindsey french (May 2016)
Lindsey french’s non attachment to the ground reaches down in non-attachment to the ground, a promiscuous transmission in an extended moment of transition and cautious optimism to the bedrock beneath Chicago. Think of a plant. Is it a tree? Or is it a houseplant? The ground is the basis of the terrestrial environment, where the normative plant is rooted. Without the ground there would be no sky, or without the sky we would know no ground. The ground is our grounds of habitation and habit. We habitually water our houseplants. Plants turn the air into ground. Plants disappear into the background. Plants are the background, but they transmit promiscuous signals and receive them, too. When the glaciers melted they deposited seeds.
Episode 74: Anthony Jonas (August 2016)
Anthony Janas’ Water Has Nothing To Say And Neither Do I is a site-specific sound piece for treated boat and radio. Taking inspiration from treated piano techniques developed by John Cage, Anthony Janas treated a 25 foot sailboat with hydrophones and contact mics and processes them through a modular synthesizer. During the course of the vessel’s journey from the Adler Planetarium to the 31st Street beach, the water, waves, and wind perform the piece with Janas acting as the conductor on the ship. A radio broadcast antenna placed on the vessel transmits the performance to the audience on shore. Audience members, provided with handheld radios, are encouraged to walk up and down the shore to observe the boat from afar and listen to the interactions of their environment with the composition produced on the vessel.
Episode 75: Gambletron & Johnny Forever (September 2016)
Gambletron & Johnny Forever’s Ether Underground for Starved Rock State Park is an improvisational performance of radio and video transmissions created specifically for the site of Starved Rock. Following a weeklong residency on location, the artists will use geographical features and found objects within the park to introduce new connections — between earth and wire, nature and sound — and engender a unique abstract environment. For their performance, the artists will guide a mobile audience through Gambletron’s mobile body transmission and AM Radio Theremin creating a synthesized saw-powered soundtrack accompanied by Johnny Forever’s video.