MoKS is a non-profit artist-run project space in Estonia situated in the rural community of Mooste, 40km southeast of Tartu and 20km west of the Russian border. Though MoKS is currently in 'sleeper mode' and taking a break from a residency programme that hosted sometimes 25 artists per year, MoKS had me to stay for a week as I worked on a specific project, for which their expertise and rural setting was invaluable.
Inspired whilst reading 'Earth Sound Earth Signal' and listening to Stephen P. McGreevy's aurural recordings, I built a VLF (very low frequency) radio receiver - a simple loop of copper wire housed in a found bicycle tyre, plugged into an audio recorder. I used the recipe by Dan Tapper, and with the help of John Grzinich, sound artist and co-founder of MoKS, we were able to make some recordings of sferics - atmospheric disturbances caused by lightning - driving out to a field and then forest to be away from mains electricity wires and ticking electrical cow fences.
This residency is part of my research into transmission arts, and particular interest in creative uses of the radio spectrum. This was the first in a series of three residencies in the summer of 2021, where I built radios and antennas and developed my confidence using hardware. This research is made possible by funding from Arts Council England through a Developing Your Creative Practice grant.