[ISEA2020] Artists Statement: Afroditi Psara & Audrey Briot — Listening Space

Artists Statement

(also live online performance)

Tags: EMF, Software-Defined Radio, Textile

Listening Space is an artistic research which explores transmissions ecologies as a means of perceiving the surrounding environment beyond our human abilities. Conceptually the project seeks to define transmissions ecologies as raw material for artistic expression, to understand and re-imagine in poetic means, representations of audio and images broadcasted from space, while regarding knitted textiles as a physical medium for memory storage and archiving. Through hands-on experimentation, we sought to intercept the NOAA weather satellites’ audiovisual transmissions using Software-Defined-Radio and hand-crafted antennas. The intercepted signals were then knitted into textiles named Satellite Ikats, as a means of physical archiving of the detection and decoding process. By investigating the energies that have been harvested by humanity to knit this complex layer, a turbulent sea of radio waves that penetrates the fabric of our everyday lives even if it remains unseen and unheard, we aim to create poetic connotations between textiles-as a means of data detection, collection and archiving, and bodies as agents of power to re-interpret current technologies through handmade crafting techniques. Specifically, by focusing on electromagnetic-field (EMF) and radio frequency (RF) detection, we aim to reclaim the depth of transmission ecologies, evolving at a higher rhythm than liveness, through our environment and bodies.

  • Afroditi Psarra is a cross-disciplinary artist and an Assistant Professor of Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. Her artistic interest focuses on the use of the body as an interface of control, and the revitalization of tradition as a methodology of hacking existing norms about technical objects. She uses cyber crafts and other gendered practices as speculative strings, and open-source technologies as educational models of diffusing knowledge. Her work has been presented at international media art festivals such as Ars Electronica, Transmediale and CTM, Eyeo, Amber, Piksel and WRO Biennale between others, and published at conferences like Siggraph, ISWC (International Symposium of Wearable Computers) and EVA (Electronic Visualization and the Arts). afroditipsarra.com
  • Textile designer and technologist, Audrey Briot (FR) is cofounder of DataPaulette, a collective and hackerspace dedicated to research in textiles technologies and soft materials. Her work is dedicated to the positive impact of emerging technologies on the preservation of savoir-faire, especially in textiles. She is focusing on non-verbal communications transmitted by textiles which represent for her a substitute of writing. To do so, she relies on anthropological researches up to the Paleolithic. Following this direction, she connects machines and computers in order to formulate textiles as memory vectors, adding data and interactivity. audreybriot.fr