Music Department Colloquium: Galen Joseph-Hunter—Out of the Air: 25 Years of Transmission Art

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 4:30pm

FREE! Reservation required.

Wave Farm’s Executive Director, Galen Joseph-Hunter, introduces the origins and activities behind this 25 year-old organization driven by experimentation with broadcast media and the airwaves. Widely recognized as a pioneer of the Transmission Arts genre, Wave Farm began as a microcasting collective in Brooklyn, NY called free103point9. The group was an active participant in the U.S. microradio movement, an activist and advocacy effort that helped create this country’s low-power FM radio service, which provides a licensing opportunity for small broadcasters operating transmitters of 100 watts or less. From 1997 to 2004 free103point9 ran a venue for performance and experimental sound in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The “free103point9 Project Space” was home to a lively roster of artists working in noise, free jazz, electronic composition, and other experimental fringe genres. Many of these artists encountered microradio for the first time through free103point9. As a result, a local and international community of artists started to think conceptually about the transmission spectrum as a creative medium, becoming invested in a “hands-on” relationship with the airwaves. Since 2005, Wave Farm has been based out of New York’s Upper Hudson Valley where major programs include an international residency program, public transmission installation art park, and a full-power FM radio station, WGXC 90.7-FM Radio for Open Ears.

Galen Joseph-Hunter has served as Executive Director of Wave Farm since 2002. From 1996 to 2015, she worked closely with the video art organization Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), serving as Assistant Director and then Executive Consultant. Over the past two decades, she has organized and curated numerous exhibitions and events internationally, including "Wave Farm (in residence)" for TuftsPUBLIC at the Tufts University Art Galleries (2018-2019). She was the co-organizer of “Groundswell,” an annual exhibition event featuring broadcast, performance, sound, and installation works by contemporary artists conceived within the 250 acres of the Olana State Historic Site from 2013 to 2015. In 2015 and 2016 she curated the Columbia University Sound Arts MFA spring exhibitions. She has produced numerous radio programs for Wave Farm's WGXC and stations internationally including "Climactic Climate" for Kunstradio Vienna (2015). Joseph-Hunter is the author of the book Transmission Arts: Artists and Airwaves (PAJ Publications, 2011) and the article “Transmission Arts: the air that surrounds us" (PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, MIT Press, 2009). In 2019 and 2020, she organized and led the "Radio for Open Ears" workshop series with 16 and 17 year-olds incarcerated in the Hudson Correctional Facility through CreativityWorksNYS. Joseph-Hunter is the administrator of a Regrant Partnership with the New York State Council on the Arts providing completion and public presentation support to New York-based media artists and technical assistance to New York media arts organizations.

The colloquium is organized by Assistant Professor of Music John Dankwa and Assistant Professor of Music and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Saida Daukeyeva as part of the Music Department Colloquium Series.