Steve Bradley

wireless markings

Crossing points: East West: as viewed in the context of the New Media-Art Balkan Generation. June 01. to June 14. The theoretical seminar and the workshop are practically and conceptually interrelated with the exhibition section of the Project.

Communication Front 2000: Crossing points: East West Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Crossing Borders: Cultivating Real and Virtual Networks

"As the printing press cried out for nationalism, so did the radio cry out for tribalism." Sergei Eisenstein

Strengthening communication across borders with collaborative links that provide accessible technology and support representation of a broader community is the basis of my presentation. I believe that the World Wide Web and networking technologies have provided an opportunity for individuals and groups with common goals to build a hybrid society. In the past these communities were difficult to organize, due to the boundaries imposed by cultural and political differences despite the artists, cultural workers, and networkers who desired such an exchange.

My presentation will focus on blurring boundaries by embracing networking strategies via techno-connected communities such as Polar Circuit, art@radio, and NOMADS. I hope to share the history of these projects and present them as new-media models for superseding the limitations of national borders.

Cultural exchange and exposure to new models of communication and preparation in local educational programs would provide entrance to the global virtual community. What educational exchange systems are working at present? There should be more academic exchanges between artists, cultural activists, and centers of cultural activities such as NOMADS; Washington, MUU; Helsinki, UMBC; Baltimore, MD, University of Lapland; Rovaniemi, Tornio, Polytech, etc.

Borders represent more than just geography and politics. In the midst of shifting cultural borders new territories I see being created by artist collectives which foster a democratic dialogue. This dialogue would include exhibitions, collaborative web projects, and telepresence events using fax, email, and video conference technology. How to fund? Where to go for support?

While living in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, for the past two years I have contemplated how one could foster open relations between cultures in local and global communities. I have worked to create channels of exchange between disparate people and groups. Almost two years ago I created a sound-art radio show called art@radio <> that is broadcast from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Through a number of list-serves and personal contacts, I made a call to artists and experimental musicians to submit sound works to be considered for RealAudio broadcast. I was looking for works which explore concepts such as serialism and ultra-rationality, allegory and the anti-rational, musique concrete, chance music, text-sound composition, sound/noise, synthetic and ambient space. Over the past year and a half I have received over 200 submissions.

On another front, I serve on the board of directors of NOMADS , a collective based in Washington, D.C. which is comprised of ten people. NOMADS' mission is to develop global pathways, real or virtual, connecting artists, institutions and audiences, and to serve as a catalyst for critical discourse in the contemporary arts. We do this through the presentation, dissemination, and documentation of innovative practices in the digital, media, visual and literary arts and the development of local, national and international networks for the distribution and exchange of critical dialogue. We host exhibitions, screenings, public forums, publications, and other activities both within the local community and globally via the World Wide Web.

During this past year, I have been organizing Polar Circuit 3, <http: an international new-media-arts residency that will be based in Rovaniemi, and Tornio, Finland. Polar Circuit media-art workshop was organized for the first time in 1997, at the College of Art and Media in Tornio, in the south-west part of Finnish Lapland. 52 artists, writers and students gathered to work on collaborative and individual projects. Artists, cultural workers and writer/critics savored the 24-hour access to sunlight, lively discussions and media labs. The response from those who visited was highly positive and productive. Many of the artists continue today to engage in dialog, networking and collaboration with one another on various levels.

Installation: wireless markings - steve bradley

based on a 30 foot by 30 foot space: imagined

materials for the installation found in Plovdiv.


wireless markings is an exploration into geographic and cultural radio space using shortwave and am/fm radio, clothing, speakers, and photographs from the region's ancient past based on found historical and cultural anthropological texts, I will create a space which is in constant flux due to the live element of radio.

The space will contain 15 clothe lines installed which stretch from east and west inside the gallery basement space. The support line is a bright orange day-glow monofilament or plastic twine. On the lines I will carefully pin clothing. I will hang the clothes in a grid fashion. On each wall there will be a speaker representing the general location of east, west, north and south just over the border of Bulgaria. In the center of the space will be a speaker which will be connected to the Plovdiv radio station.

In every other article of clothing I will embed a small speaker (wired from one of the five shortwave radios) which is symbolic of a wireless and bodiless voice-- a ghost/spirit, or voices of the past/present. I am using 4 shortwave and 1 am/fm radios to bring into the gallery space a radio signal from Turkey(east), Albania(west), Romania (north) and Greece(south). One am/fm station will be set in the middle of the space representing the radio point of Plovdiv, Bulgaria as center. On all four walls will be a series of small post-card-size photographs that are digitally enhanced.

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