Exhibition "Waves - The Art of the Electromagnetic Society" HMKV Phönixhalle, Dortmund


Audio Installation, radio telescope, live broadcast of the 1,42 Ghz signal via internet, audio play of the transformed signal, 1993

Cosmological radiation - originating approximately 380.000 years after the big bang and closely related to the element hydrogen - falls in the microwave range at circa 1400 Mhz. Today it permits an astronomical view back in time. Radio telescopes - antennas in dish form - are the ideal means of receiving this wave range. Franz Xaver regards the three-meter-wide radiotelescope RT03 that he is revived and now operates not only as a receiver for cosmological radiation, but moreover as a kinetic integral-sculpture, for the radio telescope receiver, with the received frequency, oscillates at the same wavelength. Hence, the RT03 is not to be considered an isolated sculpture; instead, the universe with its cosmological radiations and the RT03 together comprise the kinetic sculpture.
In this respect, the RT03 doesnt furnish any useful information in a more narrow sense, but rather the intergalactic noise of hydrogen. Through the natural rotation of the Earth, the firmly anchored earthbound RT03 has repeated reception to specific sections of outer space, and the noise that we hear reflects the cosmic history of the respectively  received section. This noise is transmitted from the present position of the RT03 via Internet to the  exhibition hall. Franz Xaver expounds on the form of the installation: "In the current configuration you can see a dice, with its eyes as loudspeakers, and via the loudspeaker the noise of the universe can be heard and seen. How important is chance?"
Franz Xaver is essentially concerned with artistically appropriating technologies, and he, in doing so, calls for - in himself and in his artist colleagues - an implicit understanding of technology. He compares the "do-it-yourself" stance of nineteeneighties media art with the present-day open-source movement, discovering in their approaches the imperatively needed potential of societal emancipation

Francis Hunger
Hartware Medienkunstverein Dortmund