Developed during Buinho Creative Hub residency 2021 | Published in MAKE Magazine (Vol. 80) 2022 | Broadcast on Radiophrenia and Movement Radio 2022 | Shared in numerous workshops
In September 2021, we undertook a residency at Buinho Creative Hub, Portugal, where three members participated on-site in the town of Messejana, and others worked alongside us from home. We held daily Zoom meetings to stay in touch as we developed the project. Our week at Buinho focused on innovating with homemade radio receivers. We constructed no-power, low-budget crystal and foxhole radios, using wire, razorblades, scrap cardboard and safety pins, experimenting with materials and aesthetic designs for these. We then realised these under a new name, the Open Wave-Receiver, that captured this adaptable design (that could include tent pegs as diodes or roof tiles in coils) and the the broad spectrum of simultaneous radio frequencies received. This work culminated in series of recordings made using the radios, a print and audio 'how to' guide and a series of workshops.
We tested our guide in an open workshop in Messejana. Participants heard a brief presentation on the physics of radio and our interest in artistic uses of the radio spectrum, and became co-investigators as we worked together to test materials and designs for radio builds. By the end of the workshop, all six participants had working radios! Amongst those, participants experimented by:
- Building the radio on cork bark, local to the area, and using this as a base-board - Anaïs Schendekehl
- Introducing a rock at the centre of the coil, altering its usual air-core properties - Carlos Alcobia
- Creating a wearable radio in the shape of a hat, for a more portable experience - Brigitte Hart
The How-To guide has now been published in Make Magazine in print (Vol 80) and online, documenting all of the making steps in photos and easy-to-follow instructions. Plus the article gives a little background on the project. Read the How-To guide here.
We have created two audio versions of the How-to guide that have been broadcast at Radiophrenia in February 2022, Movement Radio in March 2022 and Colaboradio in April 2022. The extended cut of the Open Wave-receiver audio work (below) includes lots of transmission recordings captured with the Open Wave-Receivers.
Workshops and More
In April 2022 we ran a public workshop at Soundcamp micro-festival in London, where participants constructed Open Wave-Receivers and our mini how-to zine and pencil case radio packs were created.
In June 2022 we ran a making workshop: La labomedia, Orleans, France which included some excellent new designs for coils.
In July 2022 we ran a listening workshop with CRiSAP, Points of Listening, trying out different diodes (random metal objects) and various things in the park (a very good lamp post, kids climbing frame, a fence) that could become part of our radio experience / circuit.
In September 2022 we ran a building workshop with the Listening in at the library group in Liverpool where 15 radios were made at top speed and our listenings in the park included huuuuge antennas.
Also in September 2022, we ran a workshop building radios with d/deaf young people with special educational needs. Nine teenagers made radios on the grounds of Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridge.
In October 2022, we were on the Phantom Power podcast, for an episode called '(Re)Making Radio with Shortwave Collective'! Host Mack Hagood brought us on deck to talk about our history as a collective, and then featured the Open-Wave Reciever audio piece. You can listen on the Phantom Power site, or right here:
In November 2023, we were invited by the Royal College of Art in London to present a guest lecture for the MRes programme, spanning various disciplines. We spoke about our work in Open Wave-Recievers as well as beginning to develop a DIY amplifier, with an emphasis on circuit diagrams and making them your own.