TUNING TO THE BIRD BODY
Premiere: 11.5.2021



Radio piece / 29m47s / 2021
In the 1930s, over the course of two natural history expeditions to Tibet, Sikkim, and adjoining provinces in China, the German SS officer and zoologist Ernst Schäfer and the American naturalist Brooke Dolan II killed roughly 3,000 birds before transporting them back to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia and the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, where they remain today.

This work uses radio as a way to embed the poems of Jan Verberkmoes, which explore the imagined subjectivities of these birds, both as creatures and as artifacts used for human edification; written in a hybridized, fragmented language composed of English with threads of German breaking through, the poems seek to linguistically map the transformation of the birds bodies from living beings into scientific specimens.

Here, radio refers to its own mottled history and reflects the power dynamics involved in colonial acts of claiming, of taking. The bird body and the radio body interweave to reveal a complex relationship of movement through space and time.

Many of the radio sounds come from the online short wave receiver at the university of Twente. There are also recordings of electromagnetic signals via Martin Howse and Shintaro Myazaki's Detektor. And recordings of water and sand using a self-made hydrophone.

This piece was commissioned by Soundart Radio’s Tomorrow’s Transmissions series, thanks to the Culture Recovery Fund.

Subsequently broadcast on Radiophrenia, Glasgow 2021.





KATE DONOVAN                  ︎


Kate Donovan is an artist and researcher working with radio, listening and the more-than-human. She means radio as an elemental, collective, and artistic medium.  



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collaborative projects:

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Index


PORTABLE ERSCHÖPFUNGSGESCHICHTEN
with DJ Schlucht

Live radio action for the (In)tangible Transmissions event @ floating university

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Live Radio
31.07.2022

📻  




RADIO OTHERWISE:
circling thresholds

A transitional, environmental radiophonic space for the encounter and interaction of signals, bodies, ecologies and knowledges, made while circling thresholds of transmissions and architectures, beyond the purely anthropogenic.

Read more
Live Radio
27.05.2022


📻 🌏 🧲







SUNSET RADIO

Live MicroFM transmission / stream with Ally Bisshop

Thinking, moving, and transmitting through the threshold event of the sunset. As it draws an edge between light and dark, but also as it writes a grey line – an atmospheric band in which radio signals stretch and intensify.

Read more
Live Radio
26.03.2022
Livestream
30.4.2022

📻




METEOR BODIES

In 1954, somebody was woken from her daytime nap on the couch when a meteorite crashed through the ceiling of her home, bounced off the radio and hit her body. The re-telling of this tale is intertwined with notions of care, protection, and (day)dreams, all the while wondering: what is between us and the space rocks rushing through the universe?

Meteor Bodies is a dreamy afternoon rumination on celestial, atmospheric, human and radio bodies.

Read more
Premiere
11.12.2021

 ☄️




TRANSMISSION ECOLOGIES

This mix is a compilation of snippets from (mostly) live radio experiments, working with site- and time-specific transmissions of microFM, walkie-talkie, short wave and/or ‘natural’ radio, together with speculative histories/futures and situatedness. An underlying thread tying these works together is the expanded (ecological) perspective of radio as an inextricably intertwined medium of more-than-human transmissions.

Read more
Broadcast
21.09.2021

⚡️






TUNING TO THE BIRD BODY

Radio Art piece made with Jan Verberkmoes.

Read more
Premiere
11.05.2021

🦅 



NAVIGATING TWILIGHT RADIO

Moving through the phases of twilight - civil, nautical and astronomical - this durational work follows the radiophonic territories, topologies and cosmologies of the shift between day and night.

Read more
Live transmission
01.05.2021

✨ 





NIGHTCALL RADIO

On magnetism and the unheard, unsung, of the night.

Read more
Live transmission
02.05.2020

🌙