Dr Magz Hall, Senior Lecturer in Radio, has been working on an installation, “Skyport”, for the exhibition Air Matters: Learning from Heathrow at Watermans Arts Centre, Brentford, 8th October–31st Dec 2019. The exhibition and surrounding events will explore the politics of air at London Heathrow. For some, the air at Heathrow is a space of networks and travel. For others, it is what they must breathe. The conflation of diverse requirements within one locale presents a significant societal challenge that has implications for sustainable development, well-being, and dignity. Air Matters responds to these challenges, bringing together newly-commissioned artworks, workshops and a symposium.
Senior Lecturer Dr Magz Hall has been shortlisted for a 2016 British Composer Award.
The shortlist of the British Composer Awards spans thirty-three works across eleven categories and thirty-four composers have been shortlisted. The 2016 shortlist highlights how much the UK composing scene engages with science and technology. Magz’s work, Tree Radio at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, is short listed under the Sonic Art category. The other nominees are Hanna Tuulikki’s SING SIGN: a close duet and Claudia Molitor’s Sonorama.
Tree Radio enables a tree to create a micro FM station powered by solar energy, broadcasting an acoustic translation of its reactions to the environment and its own biological processes.
A sound and radio artist and senior lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, Magz’s audio work has been exhibited at the British Museum, Tate Britain, the Sainsbury Centre, Whitechapel Gallery, V and A, MACBA Barcelona, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Norway, Morocco, Canada and the USA and broadcast internationally. Magz Hall’s blog is here.
The British Composer Awards are given by BASCA, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, an independent professional association representing music writers in all genres, along with the Gold Badge Awards and The Ivors. BASCA campaigns in the UK, Europe and throughout the world in order to protect the professional interests of its members.
The winners in each category will be announced at the British Film Institute (BFI) on Tuesday 6 December 2016.
BBC Radio 3 will broadcast exclusive coverage of the Awards on Hear and Now on Saturday 10 December.
Senior Lecturer in Radio, Magz Hall, has been selected to develop her proposal, Whispering Tree, for the £30,000 Jerwood Open Forest project.
Magz says, “I am so delighted and excited by the prospect of making a new work for Jerwood Visual Arts and the Forestry Commission and I’m really looking forward to presenting my work at Jerwood Gallery London in November.”
From almost five hundred proposals, Rebecca Beinart, Magz Hall, Keith Harrison, David Rickard and David Turley will each receive a £2,000 research and development fee that will allow them to expand on the concept of their proposals, test their feasibility and identify suitable locations within England’s Public Forest Estate.
After a research and development phase there will be a group exhibition in November 2016 at the Jerwood Space, London. The artist selected for the commission will be announced towards the end of 2016.
This is the second edition of Jerwood Open Forest and the selection was made by leading practitioners and project partners: Katherine Clarke, artist and founding partner of muf architecture/art; Neville Gabie, artist; Shonagh Manson Director, Jerwood Charitable Foundation; Hayley Skipper, National Arts Development Programme Manager, Forestry Commission England; Dr Joy Sleeman, writer, curator and lecturer. The project’s blog is at http://jerwoodopenforest.org/journal/.
Magz’ proposal develops Tree Radio (2015) which was part of an Art for the Environment research residency at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in summer 2015. Tree Radio transformed an oak tree at the Sculpture Park into a micro radio station, relaying the tree’s reactions to light, motion and moisture via sensors and probes in the tree’s canopy. These were heard as a series of fluctuating electronic tones that visitors could tune in and listen to via their own personal radios or mobile phones with an FM receiver while in the vicinity of the tree. For this project she will develop the idea further and create a Tree Radio wireless system for playout and distribution across the woods, which also allows for participation from visitors.
Magz says, “I plan to develop an interactive trail of radio transmissions through the forest, playfully enabling trees to whisper to each other, and re-engaging with a sense of technological enchantment so intrinsic to the early radio experiments that make up part of my research interests. I envisage members of the public recording their own secrets and dreams into simple radio hardware disguised within a tree.”
Her blog is at https://magzhall.wordpress.com/
Tree Radio Installation (Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG)
Radio Arts researcher and artist Magz Hall has recently finished a summer residency at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) where she has produced a new sound installation, Tree Radio.
Tree Radio has transformed an oak tree at the Sculpture Park into a micro radio station. A transmitter embedded into the tree relays as fluctuating sound the tree’s reactions to light, via sensors on the tree and probes in the tree, which also relay its water levels as electronic tones. Visitors at YSP can pick up the tree’s transmissions on their personal FM devices, such as their phones, if they are standing next to or near the tree.
Project by: Magz Hall
Magz Hall is currently finalising her PhD thesis entitled: Radio After Radio: Redefining Radio Art in the light of new media technology.
Her PhD practice-based research on radio art explores the rich history of radio as an artistic medium and the relationship between the artist and technology, emphasising the role of the artist as a mediator between broadcast institutions and a listening public. It considers how radio art might be defined in relation to sound art, music and media art, mapping the shifting parameters of radio art in the digital era prompting a consideration of how radio has moved from the shared ‘live’ event to one consumed ‘on demand’ by a fragmented audience. I have explored the implications of this transition through my radio practice which focuses upon the productive tensions which characterise the artist’s engagement with radio technology, specifically between the autonomous potentialities offered by the reappropriation of obsolete technology and the new infrastructures and networks promised by the exponential development of new media.
A final pre-recorded work, Switch Off (Dead Air) will be realised as surround sound radio art work, incorporating elements from a series of live radio actions, which move towards investigating the tensions at the core of our contemporary understanding of ‘radio’. These have taken the form of 8 fictive trace stations which offer possible futures for FM radio long after it has been abandoned by sanctioned broadcasters. They employ differing types of radio art practice which recall its past uses to focus to focus on its future. I am developing a body of work, which considers issues of radio-as-live-event from a number of perspectives in practice, through broadcast actions, interventions, installations, micro broadcasts and interviews. The trace stations are Radio Mind, Numbers, Lone Broadcast, Sound station, Babble Station, Commercial Breaks, Radio Jam and Radio Recall will each be archived on this blog.
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