av performance transmission: frozen – ioann maria + wojtek wcislik

transmission: frozen
audiovisual performance
ioann maria
+ wojtek wcislik

Foundation of this project lies in the times of the cold war, when the idea of shortwave number stations came to life. The stations were an invention enabling countries to maintain a one-way communication with their spies all over the world. The idea was that any person in any country could get a radio receiver without suspicion and get the station message, which consisted of a string of numbers. The message could be only decrypted with a certain keyword.

In 1997 Irdial Discs released The Conet Project, a 4CD album of shortwave number stations recordings. Despite unknown meaning and purpose in the real world, the recordings themselves are stunning audio documents. With monotonous voices reading strings of numbers in almost every language possible, enriched by some shortwave radio artifacts, the recordings create a mysterious, spooky atmosphere. A station called Swedish Rhapsody may be given as a particularly disturbing example, with numbers being read by a voice of a female child. What kind of mentality would lead to using that in an espionage communication system?

Inspired by The Conet Project, the act is an effort to create an artistic impression of the cold war atmosphere, espionage and inexplicable ways of thinking of those in power. The performance is a visual tour into the numerical realm of the stations’ messages, merging minimalism with atmospheric animation and video footage, accompanied by ambient soundscapes created with the goal of transforming what was once a strategic “war” transmission into a message perceived on a purely emotional level. The music performed live during the show contains several sound samples from The Conet Project used with kind permission of Irdial Discs.

The Conet Project:

Irdial Discs:

transmission: frozen
‘s been performed at:

• 2 February 2012
@ Where Are The Deleted Files Hidden, Budapest, Hungary

• 27 May 2011
@ Mapping Festival 2011, Geneva, Switzerland

• 21 May 2011
@ LPM Live Performers Meeting, Rome, Italy

transmission: frozen
– performing artists, vision and sound:

IOANN MARIA – new media artist, live video performer and filmmaker currently based in Edinburgh, UK. With her wide background in multimedia arts, she now works with new media technologies and interactive arts, exploring new possibilities in creative artistic-scientific demonstration. In her recent solo and collaborative projects she investigates the issues of physical computing and human-computer interaction. Being passionate about numbers, she’s particularly interested in linking the pure mathematical understanding with the beautiful sensation of experiencing sound and image in the new coherent audio-visual artistic expression.

WOJTEK WCISLIK – musician and sound designer. Started producing his own sounds in 2004 which a year later brought him to participating in Red Bull Music Academy in Seattle. In 2006 he released some of his music for the Legoego netlabel as mim and made a live appearance at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona. After spending next few years being involved in a role of a sound designer in several web based works, he currently lives in Edinburgh developing a dance-floor oriented project as well as some other work, including audio-visual appearance with Ioann Maria.

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