Arts + Culture » Visual Art

Requiem for Radio: New Dead Zones

Amanda Dawn Christie encourages you to play with the ghosts of old radio towers.



The Sands at Salter Street

Since 2014, the Trans-Canada just hasn't looked the same after CBC dismantled the Radio-Canada International broadcasting site in Sackville, NB—the glowing red towers alongside the highway. Moncton artist and filmmaker Amanda Dawn Christie has been documenting the site for seven years, premiering her documentary, Spectres of Shortwave, at the Atlantic Film Festival last month. Now you can relive the glowing lights as she recreates the site in a scale model, where viewers can walk through and touch the radio towers to trigger audio—recorded with contact microphones placed on the actual towers before their demolition.

"I like the idea of traces and the ghosts of technology. I thought, this site is gone, so maybe I can build kind of a ghostly ephemeral trace of it that's temporary, that people could interact with," Christie says. "So when you touch the tower it will trigger the sounds that that tower made. It's the idea of playing the ghosts of the radio towers like you would play a musical instrument.

"A dead zone is a place where there's no radio reception, usually because of interference, so this one, it's a place where you don't get the radio because it's not being transmitted any more, there is no more radio to pick up," she explains. "Even though they're inanimate objects, there's still this idea of death and loss, hence the 'requiem' and 'dead zones.'"

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