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TuftsPUBLIC: Wave Farm

Heidi Neilson: Sonic Planetarium-Satellite Pipes
On view November 2018 – May 2019
Remis Sculpture Court

TuftsPUBLIC is a new program of yearlong temporary public art projects designed for spaces throughout the University's campuses. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Art Galleries are pleased to present Wave Farm in residence, an upstate New York-based nonprofit arts organization driven by experimentation with broadcast media. Their programs include an artist residency that invites guest artists to explore the airwaves through public projects on their 29-acre property and radio station, WGXC-FM. As pioneers of sound and transmission art, Wave Farm brings their creative use of public space to Tufts's campuses through two artists' projects and an AM radio station for the SMFA at Tufts, 230 Fenway Campus (and available online.)

The Remis Sculpture Court of the Aidekman Arts Center features a two-part installation by Heidi Neilson (Wave Farm Resident 2014 and 2016) that describes space, both literally and metaphorically. These works embody the artist's desire "to give visual and sensible form to the connections between people on the ground and off-planet conditions and infrastructure." Sonic Planetarium-Satellite Pipes is an audio installation of seven large suspended tubes or pipes arranged in the formation of the constellation Orion that channel satellites in earth's orbit, in real time. Sound files representing individual satellites play as the actual objects pass overhead–as if one could hear into space. The sounds are recordings from radio transmissions from that satellite in the past, or interpretive sounds representing that orbital object. Visit for more information and learn how to participate by adding your audio to the growing model.

The second part of Neilson's installation includes a video and a drawing related to the artist's interactiveGo GOES Radiotelescope, a portable station for receiving images and weather information from NOAA's GOES geostationary spacecraft which will be on campus in early April. In these projects, Neilson makes the impossibly distant world of outer space suddenly palpable.

Heidi Neilson is an interdisciplinary artist interested in giving visual and sensible form to the connections between people on the ground and off-planet conditions and infrastructure. Born in Oregon, Neilson received a BA in biology from Reed College and an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute, and lives and works in New York. Her ham radio call sign is KD2ESI.

Sonic Planetarium is made possible in part with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, Electronic Media and Film Program, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and is a fiscally sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts.


Thursday/Friday, April 4/5, 2019 
Thursday and Friday's events are part of two days of activities celebrating the culmination of the 2018/2019 academic year-long "Wave Farm (in residence) at Tufts University Art Galleries".

Tune in Thursday: Broadcast

Thursday, April 4, 2019, 4 - 6 p.m.
Wave Farm Radio Transmit Partner Stream
Available via the Wave Farm Radio App (iOS) or at

Tune into a special two-hour radio program featuring Gregory Whitehead and Yvette Janine Jackson live in the SMFA 1630-AM studio. Listeners should expect an electroacoustic radio soup filled with canonical and unexpected selections that prompt discussion around voice, radiobodies, and spacesongs. A special thanks to Dan Brayverman and RadioSystems for their generous support of this studio.

On view: Every Radio Station by Jeff Thompson, installed on the Weems Atrium central staircase at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University 230 The Fenway Boston, MA 02115. 

Turn out Friday: Radio Opera 

Friday, April 5, 2019, Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Distler Hall @ Granoff Music Center
20 Talbot Ave, Medford, MA 02155 Tufts University | Medford, MA 02155
Tune in on Wave Farm Radio Transmit Partner Stream
Available via the Wave Farm Radio App (iOS) or at

All are welcome to join this event on Tuft’s Medford campus featuring an introductory presentation by Gregory Whitehead, a revelatory exploration of radio space as a context for understanding radio opera in relationship to the radiobody. Yvette Janine Jackson will present a 45 minute program featuring three of her radio opera works, including Invisible People (A Radio Opera): Episode One -Deliverance. Jackson's Invisible People is a series of compositions based on the negative outpouring that followed Barack Obama's approval of marriage equality and the silence of the invisible people whose voices were excluded from the media. The "libretto" is from found text from sources including sermons, speeches, religious literature, reparation therapy brochures, and internet trolls.

Audience Q&A with the artists to follow.

Gregory Whitehead is an internationally influential and acclaimed radiomaker, audio artist, sound poet, singer of tales and media philosopher. Traversing more than four decades, his work celebrates radiophonic space as an infinite medium of poetic navigation and free association.

Yvette Janine Jackson is a composer of electroacoustic, chamber, and orchestral musics for concert, theatre, and installation. Building on her experience as a theatrical sound designer, she blends various forms into her own aesthetic of radio opera that draws from history to examine relevant social issues..

Turn out Friday: Satellite Pipes

Friday, April 5, 2019, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Remis Sculpture Court, Aidekman Arts Center, Tufts University
40 Talbot Ave, Medford, MA 02155 

Lunch and Artist Talk with Heidi Neilson amidst her installation. Heidi Neilson's installation is comprised of prints along the Koppelman entrance wall and, beginning in November 2018, sculptural and sound elements suspended from Remis’s beams: "Sonic Planetarium: Satellite Pipes," an audio installation channelling satellites in earth’s orbit, in real time. Sound files representing individual satellites play as the actual objects pass overhead…as if you can hear into space.

Turn out Friday: DIY Radio Transmitter Building Workshop

Friday, April 5, 2019, 2:30 - 5 p.m.
Koppelman Gallery, Tufts University
40 Talbot Ave, Medford, MA 02155 
RSVP required:

Huge media companies increasingly control radio stations across the US. Take back the airwaves by building a low-power FM transmitter! In this workshop, lead by Jeff Thompson, you’ll learn to solder a portable, battery-powered transmitter capable of broadcasting music, interviews, field recordings, or whatever weird sounds you want to send into the world. We’ll talk about how FM radio works, Part 15 compliance, and the basics of soldering, then we’ll assemble transmitters together and test them out in a collaborative transmission jam. No experience with electronics, soldering, or audio necessary!

Also at the Tufts University Art Galleries Aidekman / Medford: Public Art Installation on View: Go GOES Radiotelescope by Heidi Nielson.