Last & Lost Transmissions, 2005
Two low-watt radio transmitters, collected audio, antennas, cables, metal, plastic.
Last transmissions typically occur at times of crisis and cultural importance. These historical chapter markers often register as more significant than all previous transmissions. ‘Last transmissions’ includes sign-off broadcasts from now defunct radio stations, last addresses of public figures, and last radio contacts with ships, planes and satellites. Rebroadcasting this collection of messages creates openings into divergent narratives.
Occasionally transmitted messages are lost. They arrive at the wrong place, or no record of their reception is recorded. For ‘lost transmissions’ we invite the public to contribute messages they’ve received that were intended for another person, with the naïve hope that by rebroadcasting them they might reach their intended destinations.
While many ‘last transmissions’ are associated with technological obsolescence and tragedies of the past that cannot be reversed, ‘lost transmissions’ offers an alternative to this fixed outcome. One listens to ‘Last and Lost Transmissions’ as both a passive recipient and with the potential to discover misplaced messages.
Two low-watt radio transmitters release these intermittent broadcasts. Assembled in a mirror image, the transmitter antennas of each station are inverted towards one another and are separated by a small gap of empty space. ‘Last Transmissions’ is audible when viewing these objects, ‘Lost Transmissions’ is heard at a radio placed elsewhere in the exhibition venue, such as a bookstore or lobby. A playlist for each transmitter is provided.
Listen to an excerpt from Last Transmissions
Listen to an excerpt from Lost Transmissions
Last & Lost Transmissions, 2005 Sadler's Wells, London
Last & Lost Transmissions, 2005 New Museum, New York NY
radio in New Museum bookstore