AMELIA MARZEC / ROBERT MAYSON
“Particulate Matter” is an experiment in spatialized sound and micro radio, employing decaying, discarded, and hacked technology. It explores themes of technological obsolescence and reclamation at a time when Norway is beginning to phase out FM radio, and when manufacturers worldwide are ceasing the production of all varieties of tape players. A series of cassette recordings are informed by the Musique Concrète movement, and the phenomenon of 1980’s DIY cassette trading. The recordings incorporate found musical toys and resonant, non-musical objects (metal poles, drinking vessels, and cookware). The sounds are broadcast from a series of hand-constructed FM transmitters to a series of salvaged radios, boomboxes, and alarm clocks positioned around the space. Listeners can gather and hear the signals overlapping, fluctuating, and intruding upon one another.
During performances, which can last for several hours, the artists wear lab coats and continuously adjust the sound system. The salvaged devices slip in and out of tune; cassette tapes need to be flipped over; battery powered devices need to be monitored. Some locations have a lot of radio interference, making it difficult to find the right stations. The artists become a part of this frustrating machine, which relies on their vigilance to function. This illustrates the tenuousness of old technology, but also the possibilities for its re-use as a creative medium.