Remanence I – (Lost, Lost, Lost, Lost)
Remanence, or residual magnetization, is a phenomenon whereby a demagnetized material retains a trace of its original magnetization. Remanence I was created from a demagnetized VHS library copy of Jonas Mekas‘s film Lost, Lost, Lost (1976).
The work uses the orignal VHS tape and its remanent magnetic fields as the source material for generating both sound and image.
Format: VHS on HD video
Running time: 2 min
Strange Lines and Distances
Strange Lines and Distances is a two-channel audio-visual installation focusing on Guglielmo Marconi’s first transatlantic radio broadcast. The work is inspired by Marconi’s belief that sound never diminishes, but rather grows incrementally fainter and fainter. He believed that with an adequately sensitive receiver, one could amplify the echoes of history. Strange Lines and Distances looks at and listens to the past, revisiting Marconi’s original transmission sites in order to explore the hauntological aspects of radio and landscape. The installation invites a consideration of the monumental impact of the first wireless transmission, and explores the medium’s potential to conflate and fragment both space and time.
The installation takes its title from a passage in Francis Bacon’s utopian text New Atlantis, in which Bacon imagines a futuristic society’s culture, politics, history, and media. In contradistinction, Strange Lines and Distances moves backwards, retrospectively exploring the invention of radio while looking for echoes and historical intimations of the past within the present.
The dual channels represent the transmission site in Poldhu Cove, U.K. and the receiving site at Fever Hospital, St. John’s, NL. Each historical site is documented using 16mm colour negative film. The sonic composition was created from site-specific field recordings, shortwave and longwave radio recordings, and archival material. Mired in static and atmospheric interference, the recordings exist as fragmentary spectres of outport beacons, noise, musical passages, and human voice. Through a visual examination of the sites’ topographical similarities, the work plays with the juxtaposition of landscape, architectural ruins, flora, and geological and meteorological phenomena.
2-channel video installation, 16mm on HD video.
Joshua Bonnetta lives and works in Toronto and Ithaca, New York.