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Waves - The Art of the Electromagnetic Society Exhibits at The
Lithuanian artist Voldemars Johansons looks at his work of art "Aero Torrents" . EFE/Bernd Thissen
DORTMUND.- Wireless communication is, in this day and age, a given in all realms of society. Yet what manner of artistic potential is presented by the electromagnetic waves perpetually enveloping us today? And how might these influence our psyche?

From 10 May through 29 June 2008 the Hartware MedienKunstVerein Dortmund (HMKV) is presenting – in cooperation with the Ars Electronica, Linz (European Capital of Culture 2009) and with RIXC, Riga – the exhibition Waves – The Art of the Electromagnetic Society in the PHOENIX Halle Dortmund.

Electromagnetic Waves as Artistic Material

Waves presents nearly 30 (media) artworks that regard electromagnetic waves not only as carriers of information but moreover as artistic material. The exhibition treats electromagnetic waves as the medium connecting people, nature, and technology – giving rise today to entirely new electromagnetic landscapes.

The range of topics addressed by the exhibition includes both electromagnetic waves with their aesthetic and societal potentials as well as the interplay between industrial waves technologies – such as mobile telephony, WLAN, or Bluetooth – and human social reality. Interpretations by over 35 international artists incite the public to explore and better understand their own electromagnetic environments. Waves is being presented in the scope of the North Rhine-Westphalian festival ‘scene:austria in nrw’.

Complementing the exhibition at the PHOENIX Halle venue in Dortmund-Hörde is the “Field Amplification” (a “Street Radio” application) – a large-scale artistic project on the premises of the Dortmund U (former Union Brewery) near Dortmund’s central station. The English artist group Hive Networks (London) is installing four radio stations at the ‘U’ location to be heard on the grounds around the clock from 11 May to 29 June on USW (ultra shortwave).

The programme – including a radio play, audio works by exhibition artists, and two interactive radio channels (radio and headphone rental from 5–9 p.m. daily) – will serve to ‘boost’ the electromagnetic field surrounding the U-Turm. Starting in 2010, the Dortmunder U will become – as Centre for Art and Creativity – the new location of the Hartware MedienKunstVerein.

Waves has been conceptualised by Austrian curator and media artist Armin Medosch (Vienna/London), who is curating the Dortmund exhibition in collaboration with Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits (RIXC, Riga) and Dr. Inke Arns (HMKV, Dortmund).

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