crystal radios – a feedback loop
Artist: Ryan Jordan
Residency dates: September 1-11

Currents Below The System proposes to explore fundamental radio and telecommunications technology by building a series of primitive devices for transmitting and receiving radio signals. A series of basic crystal radios using galena, germanium, pyrite, copper and zinc are constructed, with zinc being used as the transmitter and the others as the receivers. The receivers pick up random frequency spectrums depending on the antennas and their construction. Various antennas will be coiled around the ship as well as an attempt to use the Danube as an antenna if water can be made salty. The resulting signals are amplified through loud speakers. The audio output from the crystal radios also modulate a laser which forms part of a light fountain, a pre cursor of fiber optic cable. The light fountain is built using water pumped from the Danube. The audio modulated laser shoots through the fountain and is trapped inside a jet of water by total internal reflection. The audio modulated laser beam inside the jegt of water falls onto a solar cell which controls an audio oscillator. The output of this is sent into the crystal radio transmitter which will in turn send this signal to the crystal radio receivers creating a feedback loop cursing through the air and oozing under the water.