Artists Aleksandra Przybysz
Genre Sound
Edition Survival 21
  • sound installation, 2023

On my last holiday, my friends and I were sitting in a mountain cottage, which had an old radio receiving long frequencies. We searched for stations that we could listen to while we were there. The signal would fade, then reappear again, each time in a different language and in a different quality of sound. It was our substitute for music, with Chinese operas playing in the darkness of the garden, interrupted by Italian ballads. I imagined that I could understand all these languages and didn’t mind the static or the spoken parts, which were absolutely incomprehensible to me. They were the background. I began to record the radio, compulsively changing frequencies with each visit to the cottage, looking for something intriguing, surprising interferences, music, key words. It was like cracking a code. There were days when it was impossible to catch a single clear signal, and others when the air was electrified by radio waves and music from all over the world. The most interesting finding was a looped mantra – a countdown in German that went on indefinitely. It made me think of encrypted messages or even collec- tive hypnosis. Unfortunately, we never caughtthis wavelength again – like most of them, it appeared for a moment before disappearing forever. Alongside newspapers, radio used to be the most important source of information, our connection to the world. What function does it perform today? Is it merely a vestige, a specter of a medium that once had great power to influence people?