In 1958 the FCC created the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13000 square mile area in the Allegheny Mountains. The mountains, rich in conductive anthracite coal, protect the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), from harmful radio interference. Additionally, radio, television, cellular and wireless transmissions are strictly regulated within this region. Within the town of Green Bank, WV – where the NRAO is located – all means of wireless transmission are banned outright. As a result of this strict regulation of radio waves, Green Bank has seen a boost in population, as sufferers of a condition known as Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity have flocked to the town to seek refuge from pervasive wireless energy.
In Borderland, I have created instruments out of coal sourced from the mountains surrounding Green Bank. These instruments invite viewers to conjure the signals absorbed within the dark material. As viewers place their hands upon the coal vessels, they draw out voices sampled from the history of radio transmission, articulating the relationship between radio, death and the unknown.
March 2013, Miller Gallery, Pittsburgh PA - Basement Miracle