Radioscape long shot with one viewer

Radioscape (2014)

Restored antique tripods, wood, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, car radio antennas, motors, sensors, custom electronics. 

Installation: 50' diameter. Node dimensions variable, 36"-72" high x 36-48" diameter. 

Radioscape is an interactive, kinetic sculpture built from two generations of salvaged material combined with new technology, a contrast and interplay between wood, metal, and circuitry, obsolete mechanics and modern electronics. The antennas of old car radios are mounted on a diverse group of restored antique wooden tripods, each one unique, with custom circuitry and sensors. Spread in a geometric array across a large grass circle outside, the antenna nodes illuminate and raise themselves as viewers approach them. As viewers walk around and through the space, the antennas go down one by one after a short pause, tracing the same path in which they were activated.

The car radio antennas refer back to a time when listening was a shared and collective experience. With FM radio, a few stations broadcast to millions of people. Today we live in an increasingly personalized, portable, and atomized landscape of media consumption. The tripods have been used for centuries to compensate for technological limitations, and despite being discarded are beautiful objects in their own right. Radioscape repurposes these scrapped objects into a strange kinetic landscape, responding gently to our movement, broadcasting silently to us and each other, with unknown objectives.

The unexpected kinetic response and mechanized motor sounds create a slightly unsettling, alien environment. Are they listening to us, or talking to us? Yet the space is still slow and quiet, inviting viewers to explore, experiment, and respond to each other. Like the media of the present, it is directly responsive to each individual; yet like the mass communication of the not-so-distant past, the experience is communal.

Part of the ExiTrip project. Funded by free103point9, the RISD Development Fund, and the Jerome Foundation.

The starting point for Radioscape was a collaboration with architect Jason Anderson.

Radioscope is part of the permanent collection of Franconia Sculpture Park (Minnesota, USA).

Radioscape tripod medium shot
Radioscape triangle formation
Radioscape with viewers
Radioscape antenna closeup
Radioscape in the winter
Using Format