Documentation of the Champaign iteration below. Stay tuned for materials from Chicago and Mexico City.
Dead Air investigates the politics of space, (in)visibility, and perception through sound and radio. I studied the distribution of radio signals across Champaign-Urbana, drawing boundary lines over the landscape as the calculated strength of the signals diminished. Radio waves have line of sight properties and are interrupted by physical obstruction, which makes the real-world pattern much more intricate than the theoretical one. While a distinct line marks the boundary between territories on paper, the perceived changes as you physically move from one zone to the next can be gradual, irregular, or non-existent. The same goes for radio waves, their reception across space can vary from a staccato on/off to a smooth disintegration of signal to noise. These variances create dynamic and fluid border lines that shift as their surroundings do, helping to deconstruct the understanding of what borders are. I used the map of paper-boundaries to locate paths with real liminal properties, which I walked while broadcasting the sounds of my surroundings live. The transmission is picked up by any receiver tuned to that frequency within a radius of approximately 25 feet. My signal interferes with the regular programming on car radios, home stereos, etc., causing static, feedback, or a clean delivery of local noise.