Études in Black

Sound composition based on signals recorded from malfunctioning satellites, pressed onto a vinyl, played back on a modified record player whose speed is dependant on the position of those satellites over the horizon around the exhibition space.

Études in Black is part of the series Landscapes and Portraits which is an archive of cosmic field-recordings and distant photographs collected by the artist from the outer layers of technological sphere. These signals have been recorded from a dozen of satellites in orbit which have due to malfunctioning exhausted their practical or scientific value and therefore have been turned off. Due to favorable glitches in their systems these machines have sprung back to operational mode broadcasting information of an unpredictable and improvised nature.

Satellites were initially launched for political and military use but have since also become devices for scientific, communication and leisure purposes becoming part of our extended neural networks and altering our perception of space, time and landscape. These devices can be seen as lonesome galactic cowboys playing the cosmic blues but also as utopian feats of technology and structures of power that resist gravity by freefalling for decades.


We Are Alone in the Universe: the Sad Blues of Space Cowboys in Kunst.ee by Tõnu Karjatse

Vaikust, saade! Tehnošamanist kombib kosmosehääli in Postimees by Hanno Soans (in Estonian)

Installation view at V Artishok Biennale

Photos by Evelyn Raudsepp

Installation view at KUMU

Photo by Stanislav Stepashko
Photo by Stanislav Stepashko

Installation view at Toortuumik

Photo by Eva Bubla