Shortwave Collective is a ten member artist group established in 2020. We practice feminist approaches in our creative experiments with radio — valuing collaborative work, process over outcome, and learning with and from each other using DIY methods.
Our recent work constructing ‘Open Wave-Receivers’ (self-powered radio receivers made from readily available and found materials) brings into focus the site-and-time specificity of radio reception. We experiment with designs that incorporate the physicalities of an immediate space into the circuit - such as coils wrapped around roof tiles, ground wires connected to garden taps, and antennas attached to fences - all of which set the circuit within a specific location. By listening over time, we notice the atmospheric and environmental influences on radio reception. We think of these and other radio devices in situ as part of a larger constellation of bodies, materiality, and connection experienced through listening.
Over the course of 22 hours during Radio Art Zone, 12-13th August 2022, listeners could tune into Shortwave Collective engaged in collective and solitary listening experiences as we searched for radio reception through Open Wave-Receivers and other devices such as VHF and VLF receivers, software-defined radio, walkie-talkies, and relectromagnetic detectors. Our collective material was sourced over many months and seasons, and across different time zones, from listening sites that connected environments, technologies and voices. Each recording was broadcast at (or close to) the hour it was originally heard.