transmission: frozen [http://ioannmaria.com/transmission-frozen/]
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:http://www.irdial.com/conet.htm