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(Archive) Disembodied voices from beyond the horizon

The embodiment of the ionosphere in a radio station with three satellites, that broadcast the battle of fragmented voices between Earth and space.

This project was part of DDW 2023
Satellite no.2: Ionospheric schizophonic play — © Sabina Scorțanu

The ionosphere is a natural electromagnetic field that embodies a discontinuous ghostly nature of information transmission. Three radio-satellites are interweaving the local, global, and celestial voices of the Ionosphere, to enact the fight for the radio spectrum, as an ethereal natural resource.

Whispers on the horizon

A hyperlocal radio station, composed out of three radio-satellites, broadcasts signals that entangle the immediate with distant, noise with silence, voice with technology…all gathered from local stations, international broadcasts, and from outer space. The interplay between them, reveals the discontinuous material reality of the ionosphere, as a storytelling zone that activates, propagates, and distorts the voices passing within it, therefore uncovering the ghostly inconsistent nature of the atmosphere as a medium of transporting information, and sustaining infrastructures that clash with each other as a result. The first radio-satellite rebroadcasts local voices from the FM-band, waves that travel in a straight line, and can’t reach beyond the horizon. They clash in a continuous flow of voices lost in the vortex of imaginary landscapes.

Ionospheric schizophonic play

The ionosphere is a natural electromagnetic field that contains particles ionized by solar radiation. It acts as a mirror shield for the Earth, protecting it from UV rays, hosting satellites, and reflecting radio communication. The second radio-satellite rebroadcasts disembodied voices of shortwave propagation, used for long distance transmission. They reach the sky, bounce off the ionosphere, and land back on Earth. The arriving signal was altered by the ionospheric conditions, and by the medium of radio itself, which in turn generates a schizophonic play that entangles voice and technology.

Celestial drone

Celestial bodies, such as the Sun and constellations, are emitting pulsating astronomical electromagnetic waves, that have been reflected or refracted by the ionosphere. The third radio-satellite rebroadcasts a drone symphony of disintegrating whispers from outer space. The signals are altered by the ionosphere, and various conditions on Earth, so as a result what you are hearing are drones clashing with each other, in an interplay of interference.

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Satellite no.1: Whispers on the horizon — © Sabina Scorțanu

Satellite no.2: Ionospheric schizophonic play — © Sabina Scorțanu

Satellite no.3: Celestial drone — © Sabina Scorțanu