Bandits-Mages and Ellipse at Waves :
24/08/06 21h : Yves Dormoy (computer, sax, clarinette), Antoine Berjeaut (trumpet), Ewen Chardronnet (visuals), Patrick Tréguer (visuals)
Bureau d'études : "Electromagnetic propaganda : the statment of industrial dogma"
from August 25 - September 17, 2006 ; Exhibition Hall ARSENALS of the Latvian National Museum of Art
25/08/06 16h : "Le Poulpe" presentation by Isabelle Carlier (Bandits-Mages), Benjamin Cadon (Labomedia), Bastien Gallet (philosopher, critic)
266/08/06 0h : at Club Depo, Semaphore, Ciaddict, Benjamedia, Maneater, Ewen

The 8th International New Media Art festival
August 24 - 26, 2006 in Riga, Latvia
In 2006 The "Art + Communication" festival, organised by the RIXC in Riga, celebrates its 10th anniversary and the 8th edition. For the first time the festival is conceived as a large-scale exhibition -- WAVES -- that looks at electromagnetic waves as the principle material - the medium - of media art.

The WAVES exhibition brings together about 40 international works of (media) art by 70 artists from 18 different countries, in which electromagnetic waves are seen not just as carriers of information, but as the material and/or theme of the artwork.

The artists of the Waves exhibition are challenging conventional knowledge about and perception of waves. Electronic media such as radio, TV and the internet are of defining influence on today's societies. Subsequently the information sphere is tightly controlled and subject to various artificially imposed political limitations. Yet artists with their electronic and digital DIY kits are exploring numerous ways of thinking outside the box, making their own waves, creating alternative networks and engaging with strange scientific phenomena -- which points at actually existing utopian potential.

The artworks on display at the Waves exhibition cover a wide range of topics. Some of the works engage with interesting scientific phenomena to provide unusual aesthetic experiences such as listening to the background noise of the universe (Franz Xaver) or engaging with the visual and aural qualities of light bulbs (Artificiel). As the human sensory perception system gives us only limited access to electromagnetic waves, sonification and visualisation of scientific data are a major component of the exhibition. Other works explore social and political implications of wave regulation (Julian Priest, Bureau d'Etudes) and offer viable alternative communication systems (Marko Peljhan).

Those are just a few examples out of a large scale exhibition which interrogates the conventions of media art exhibitions. Whereas some works are based on screens and audio-visualisations of waves, many works rely on physical objects (Joyce Hinterding, David Haines), obscure or forgotten communication technologies (Paul De Marinis) and the antenna as an art object. Bringing together experienced and well known artists with young experimentators between art and science, Waves makes a statement by being the first large scale international exhibition to focus uniquely on waves as the material and medium of art.


The exhibition is complemented by a festival programme, consisting of a conference, open presentations, workshops, a performance programme and film screenings of classic and contemporary experimental movies.

The opening of the festival and exhibition: August 24, 2006 at 18.00. (The exhibition is open till September 17, 2006.).
The conference and film programmes: August 25-26, 2006.

A special festival programme "Paths: WAVES and LIGHT" takes place in the framework of the forum for contemporary culture "White Night 2006", organised by Riga City on the night from August 26 to 27.


The festival has 2 main locations:

Exhibition, conference and open-presentations - at the Exhibition Hall ARSENALS of the Latvian National Museum of Art (Torņa iela 1, Old Town in Riga).

Performance programme, video and film screenings - at the RIXC Media Space (11. Novembra Krastmala 35, entrance from Minsterejas iela).

Radio waves occur naturally. Society puts the biggest emphasis on the ability of waves to carry signals. Radio, television and mobile telephony are some of the most widely used applications. The worlds fixation on content and its socio-political implications makes us forget the waves themselves. The proposed exhibition takes a look at the physical properties of waves. Waves are considered to be 'immaterial' from the point of view of visual art. However, light is just a specific band in the spectrum of electromagnetic waves. Some of the properties of waves change according to their frequency and wavelength. It is worthwhile looking at those properties and exploring their implications for art. Wave-like phenomena play an important role in various aspects of reality, from the physical consistency of the world (audio-, air-, water-waves) to Kondratiev-cycles and the carbon-cycle (the storage and release of CO2 by oceans and forests).

A materialistic analysis of waves reveals that there is a direct relation between the wavelength and the length of an antenna - the device necessary to receive and send waves. λ = the wavelength of an electromagnetic wave is the result of the speed of light divided by the frequency. For instance, the frequency on which wireless LAN operates, is 2.4 Gigahertz. 300 000 / 2400 000 = 0.125 km or 12.5 cm. The length of the antenna needs to be λ/2 = 6.25 cm or multiples of it. Through this formula expresses itself a link between immaterial wave and physical object. The antenna as an object combines sculptural and functional aspects.

We cannot speak about waves without mentioning wave/particle duality. Light and electromagnetic radiation are actually not only waves but also exhibit properties of particles. Wave-particle duality also applies to matter. Thus, the 'building bricks' of matter need to be understood also as waves. The relationships between wavelength, mass, energy and speed offer exciting possibilities for an artistic exploration of the ontological status of affairs. Since 100 years we cannot take the physical status of the world for granted and must live with an understanding of spacetime which is counter-intuitive and hard to visualize. For art, this is an interesting opening, a chance to ask the big questions about fundamentals such as time, space, energy and substances.

It is a basic property of waves to create connections. Through the antenna we get access to Hertzian space. Artists using electromagnetic waves as their medium are creating wave-sculptures, real-time connections in time and space, which allow us to enter another space. Those connections can go both ways from formlessness to form and structure and back -- the materialisation of the inconcrete and its opposite.

Around planet earth a tight information sphere has been formed. Whereas some artists explore this thicket of global communication networks with various probing techniques, it becomes increasingly clear that it does not make much sense to add just another communication channel to this already babilonic mess. Increasingly artists focus on experimenting with their own signals and systems instead of relying on the commodified information infrastructures of the global media sphere. By creating mobile ad-hoc networks or by pointing antennas towards outer space or the the depth of oceans artists literally open up the horizons towards the possibilities of a new way of seeing and interacting with the world.

> scientific/artistic:
- radio astronomy - radio cryptography – spectrum mapping - radio oceanography - climate change research - visualisation and sonification - ...

> alternative communication systems:
- ad-hoc networking - wireless - ...

> wave philosophy:
- wave-particle duality - wave sculpture - signal-to-noise ratio - determinism vs indeterminism - quantum spacetime bubbles - ...

> social movements:
- social cycles - Kondratiev - ...

> psycho-esoteric-utopian:
- ESP, Raudive, Jirgenson - psycho climate research - Tesla - Schauberger - ...

The festival theme is based on idea and conceptual background developed by Armin Medosch