Rob Ray feral art and technology

Subject to Greater Uncertainties

Subject to Greater Uncertainties is composed of four discrete audio works:

X:1 and X:2 were created in the Mojave Desert region of Southern California at the Center for Land Use Interpretation's Desert Research Station. I used my hand to shadow a 5-watt solar panel to voltage starve a Bugbrand BoardWeevil (three oscillators and two (quasi)ringmods). I performed in collaboration with the sonic booms emanating from the nearby the R-2508 Special Use Airspace Complex managed by Edwards Airforce Base. I think of this setup as a type of “sound maquette” to investigate my interests in the sun's ability to ability to destabilize military radio operations and low-orbit satellite electronics systems via X-class solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections.

Furnace and Swarm were created in the abandoned Wildrose beehive charcoal kilns of Death Valley. The Wildrose beehives were constructed by the Madock Consolidated Mining Company in the 1870's to convert wood into charcoal for the smelting of silver-lead ore extracted from their mines in the Argus Range. This operation proved fiscally unsustainable and the beehives were decommissioned only a few years after they were constructed. The beehives now serve as excellent reverb chambers and hiker desiccation prevention huts.

This audio work is part of the Radius Range: Local, Distant, Fringe series of radio transmissions that explores the phenomenon of signal strength.

The Range series is accompanied by a beautiful booklet available for purchase at the mighty Half Letter Press.

From the Radius RANGE Book:
Subject to Greater Uncertainties weaves together Rob Ray’s interests in military operations, the desert, and natural resource extraction operations as expressions of human comprehension at the fringes of the complex system we call “the world.” Rob Ray asks: How do we act upon knowledge of which we are aware is only a tiny slice of something much larger and complicated? What are the intended and unintended outcomes of those actions?

These Death Valley cacti inspired the sounds in Furnace and Swarm.

Furnace and Swarm were recorded in the Wildrose beehive kilns of Death Valley.

These Death Valley rocks inspired the sounds in Furnace and Swarm.

The undulating sand near Death Valley inspired the sounds in Furnace and Swarm.

The gnarled trees near Death Valley inspired the sounds in Furnace and Swarm.


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