Shawn Pinchbeck
9722 – 102 Street, Edmonton, AB, T5K 0X4, Canada. Email: Phone: (780) 488-9838

The Electromagnetic Disturbance Redistributer (1998)

The "Electromagnetic Disturbance Redistributer" is a computer interactive radio and audio art installation that remixes, processes and recontextualizes AM, FM, and Short-wave radio broadcasts originating from six or more radios in the gallery space. The software is programmed to treat the various radio stations according to their style or content, influencing the stategy the software uses to process each station. For example, music is treated differently from spoken word, as is radio noises, etc. The concept is that the software reorganizes the often bland or irrelevant commercial radio broadcasts into new and interesting contexts and soundscapes, giving them a new lease on life. As an added bonus to the gallery go-er, there is the opportunity to record their own short message to be incorporated into the piece along with the live radio material. This new and improved radio material is then played back through a loudspeaker into the gallery and rebroadcast into the surrounding neighbourhood through the use of low power FM transmitter, or even streamed over the Internet.

Physically, this installation is comprised of a gallery space with eight pedestals in it: six with transistor radios on them labeled Electromagnetic Disturbance 1 - 6, one pedestal with a speaker cone, and one pedestal with a microphone and push button on it. The gallery go-er is free to wander between the pedestals. At the front of the installation is a pedestal with a button and a tube protruding above with a “Whisper 2000” microphone device attached. The button is labeled “push button and make sound into tube”. If the participant does so, their noise will be recorded into the computer and then incorporated into the audio of the piece. The audio is monitored through a speaker on a nearby pedestal.


The following are the technical considerations for the Electromagnetic Disturbance Redistributer:

· a gallery space that is about 4m X 5m

· a location that has radio waves (i.e., not in the sub-basement of a concrete building)

· a lockable closet or adjacent room to hide the hardware

· AC power

· setup takes two days

· track lighting or some kind of adjustable lighting is preferable, but not imperative

· 6 to 8 gallery plinths, pedestals or other stand to put radios onto.

Video Documentation

Audio Documentation

Clip 1 (1 min.)
Clip 2 (4 min.)