Armin Medosch, Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits, Inke Arns – Waves, The Art of the Electromagnetic Society


HMKV/Kettler, ISBN 9783941100008, Germany, 2008, English
Armin Medosch wisely reminds us in the beginning of his introductory essay that “we’ve been an electromagnetic society for over one hundred years”. Waves are all over us, invisibly filling up the space as more and more electronic wave- emitting and receiving devices surround us. After a historical exhibition in Riga in 2006, this latest exhibition at the Dortmund Hartware MedienKunstVerein goes some way towards extending the long-time research that has been conducted in the last decade by the Latvian RIXC centre. There, after the first few issues of the seminal “magazine” Acoustic Space, where many of the experiments were born, the access to the giant RT-32 radiotelescope provided a fantastic excuse to move the research forward. The latest edition of “Waves” was a strong exhibition concept that helped to free up the strict association between waves and radio, giving electromagnetic waves a unique status as an agent in the overcrowded communication world. “Waves” beyond “carrying a message” perform a lot of other functions, including activating or checking for the presence of other devices, and also polluting the environment to a still unknown extent. This pervasive and invisible world is explored extensively and in multiple directions through the careful selection of almost forty works, that are influencing our psyche, both because of their physical characteristics (their waves are affecting our brainwaves) and their cultural potential.