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we’re very excited to say that the wire magazine has featured framework radio in it’s latest radio-special issue, #449, which hit newsstands recently. you can read what matthew blackwell said about us in his article here.
this edition of framework:afield has been produced in the uk by sebastiane hegarty. producer’s notes:
With thanks to the dance artist Julia Hall for her participation and choreographed telegraphy.
In 1901, Marconi sent a wireless signal from Knowles Farm on the Isle of Wight to the newly built Lizard Wireless Telegraphy Station, in Cornwall. Not only was this the furthest a wireless signal had travelled at that time, it was also the first ‘over-the horizon’ transmission. Prior to this, it was believed that ‘the operating range of wireless would be restricted to the [optical] horizon.’ But on the 23rd of January 1901, in what became known as ‘Marconi’s first great miracle’ the arrival of a brief dit-dit-dit at The Lizard Wireless Station, signalled not only the letter ‘s’, but also an escape from the visible and concrete, a flight from the material into the airy immaterial and unknown.
In 2017 I began the first of two unofficial, covert residencies at the Lizard Wireless Station. Isolated and remote, the station is on the very periphery of the terrestrial. When the rain comes down and the fog comes in the horizon evaporates. At night everywhere disappears. Each residence concludes with a live micro-FM transmission. Tuned in through six portable radios, the broadcasts are based on field-recordings made in a local landscape haunted by the architectural remains of communication and listening technology.
Since 2017, this methodology of espionage has been extended to other sites associated with listening and surveillance history. In 2019, under the cover of a holiday at The Fog Signal Building, I set up the radio receivers on the Dungeness shingle bank, receiving and transmitting quiet waves out to sea. In May 2021, I returned the signal home, broadcasting from Knowles Farm, the site of Marconi’s original over the horizon transmission.
Although based on field recordings, the broadcast also brings sounds into the landscape: an air harp plucks voices from thin air, whilst the litho-telegraphy of pebbles collected from the localities of transmission, are used to tap out the dit-dit-dit of Marconi’s test signal. This geological intelligence, briefly brings into presence the absences of landscape, sounding out and listening in on abandoned radar rooms, sound mirrors and the ghosted concrete base of the mast that had transmitted Marconi’s original signal.
The micro-FM signal is so weak that no one can tune into to hear. I am broadcasting to no one, and no one is listening. For Framework afield, I have re-composed three horizons from the four broadcasts. Appearing in reverse chronological order the horizons correspond with each of the three sites of transmission (Knowles Farm Isle of Wight, Fog Signal Building, Dungeness and Lizard Wireless Telegraphy Station, Cornwall), remembering and tracing signals through these landscapes. Like shells held to the ear, each horizon listens in on the ghosts of sounds, found, lost, forgotten and unheard.sebastiane hegarty, 2021.06