Radius GRIDS

Jeff Kolar
Meredith Kooi

Radius’ new series titled GRIDS, consists of four mobile radio broadcasts at four different Chicago geographical locations throughout the 2014 calendar year. The transmissions will occur at either working or now defunct electrical production or distribution centers. Using a low-power FM transmitter – the Audio Relay Unit – that can be powered by solar panels, the broadcasts will specifically address how energy is produced, distributed, and consumed in the event of radio broadcast. Radius has previously supported and broadcast audio work that makes inaudible energy fields audible. GRIDS continues to investigate the sonic qualities of electromagnetic energy and specific sites that produce this energy. Radius GRIDS commissions four artists to produce radio broadcasts at four electrical production or distribution centers in Chicago throughout 2014. The project examines energy propagation and what it means to be a node in the networked grid.

Using the concept behind the Intermod Series, which produced the Audio Relay, as a point of departure, Radius commissions four artists to create work that create disturbances to the electric-powered grid. Since the Audio Relay is mobile, it has the opportunity to create situations of intermodulation – situations where two waveforms meet in friction. Therefore, the works commissioned are meant to propose questions about the power grid as a fixed unidirectional system of energy production and distribution. Language about the power grid mimics language about radio broadcast – both describe what they do as transmission from a source to a consumer or receiver. GRIDS is interested in how energy is propagated, what the distance of that propagation is, and what it means to be a node in the networked grid.

link to project site