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I became intrigued by amateur radio during the summer of 2022 after reading about an eight-year-old who had the opportunity and know-how to contact astronauts aboard the ISS. The combination of a youthful child sharing this hobby with a professional in the most cutting-edge of industries went against all my pre-conceived notions of ham radio. This encounter evoked my curiosity enough to pursue the role of participant (student)-observer. My explorations have taken me through FCC licensing, to antique technology festivals, through building my own “ham shack,” joining a local radio club, and finding global community via the electromagnetic spectrum. I have found the subculture to be full of tinkerers who value ingenuity, mentorship, and service. I share a military background with many of these hobbyists, and radio’s connection to NASA or disaster preparedness have developed themes of nationalism in the work. This work is an exploration of ham radio’s relevance as an intergenerational technology while its practice teeters on the border of obsolescence. Practicing the studio is as much important to me as studio practice -- studio as muse. The spaces that I work in feel as much of a work of art as the objects that come out. This project has allowed me to birth a new kind of studio: a ham radio station, which I share a replica of in this exhibition. In vicinity of my studio I have found metaphor for radio in the functionally extinct American Chestnut or the nostalgic childhood game of tin cans and string. The idea of new equipment, new media, and new skills excites me and dominates the iconography and format of this work. I consider learning to be a performance art and I use photography as a means of documentation. Additionally, I use the intaglio process as a way to reflect on the recent lessons in effort to identify key concepts. My creative practice stretches from this 15th century process through the eras of film and radio through the contemporary use of other new media including artificial intelligence. I am driven by a hunger for an understanding of the physical phenomena of our world and consider negotiating its complexities via books, mentors, or experience a creative pursuit. I don’t stand on the shoulders of scientific giants, instead, I introduce them to the concepts of artists and eavesdrop on the conversations. Those intersections of scientific and creative perspectives are where I intend to operate. If I have seen further than others, it is because I am looking in a different direction. Bill Ray, Lourdes Grobet, Nikki Lee, O. Winston Link, Alvin Lucier, Mark Dion, Michael Jones McKean

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