As the electronics residency at CFAT winds down, construction season begins soon in the backyard. In the mean time, I have been drafting plans and researching construction methods for gazeebo’s and transferring them to the smaller, more portable light-weight structures.

The proposed installation for both Nocturne:Art at Night (Halifax, hosted by the Centre For Art Tapes) and Art In The Open (Charlottetown, hosted by the Confederation Centre For The Arts) titled FIELD are both right around the corner, so a fair amount of planning and concept development and refinement has been in order lately.

The overall formation of the stations scattered throughout an open space will resemble that of the popular CQ Field Day or Contesting[1] while the structures themselves will resemble early-mid 20th century military silos. The overall aesthetical outcome of FIELD intentionally fuses these subjects together to consider the spectrum of roles that shortwave radio technology has played in Canadian history. This rich history extends back to Canada’s involvement with the Spanish Civil War[2], throughout the Cold War and into modern use of the technology for search and rescue, nautical, aviation, and military operations throughout the world. The transferring of this contextualization from defense mechanism, into an artistic means of storytelling is carefully balanced between the site-specificity of a military base, and intergenerational passing of folklore and practical knowledge of this specific medium.

[1] Contesting (also known as radiosport) is a competitive activity pursued by amateur radio operators. In a contest, an amateur radio station, which may be operated by an individual or a team, seeks to contact as many other amateur radio stations as possible in a given period of time and exchange information.

[2] A literary example of this is Ted Allan’s Spanish Civil War novel, This Time a Better Earth (Stratford Press Inc., 1939).

DEW Line Project: Image taken by Berton Cosman.

There has been quite a bit of drafting,planning and research at the same time, including a visit soon to the CRI towers near Aulac (Between Sackville and Amherst), which is on the chopping block due to federal cuts to CBCI am looking forward to a day trip tomorrow to the CRI station in Aulac for a tour with my grandfather and artist/friend Daniel Espeset. Very very much looking forward to it, but also reflecting on the importance to retain the physical and material, as well as the storytelling and ambiance around these iconic and historical structures.

So a good night sleep is the best thing now for the busy day tomorrow!

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