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Tuning Fork

Central themes coalesce around the acoustic and spiritual act of tuning, of finding elements of alignment or harmonics within randomness, crystallized in the experience of the recent total solar eclipse. The sonic-scape of Tuning Fork explores a process of frequency scanning amid the vast interstices of vibrations alternately discovering then losing, finding again – signal.  This sonic brew provides the medium from which the story is tuned. Shifting tones of the narrative arc delineate a journey to the central trajectory of the total solar eclipse that raced coast-to-coast across America in August of 2017. Above image is an installation by Bradley in his backyard used to document the partial solar eclipse 2017. About the collaboration. Bradley/Sturgeon WorksStephen Bradley and John Sturgeon have collaborated in creating sound art works, as well as streaming events and performances, nationally and internationally for over 16 years. Mutual interest in spatial aspects of surround-sound, the […]

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SpiderCricket (Sp+Cr)

Bradley & Ruchalski were recently awarded the Wave Farm artist-residency to realize SpiderCricket (Sp+Cr). Residency takes place July 12-21, 2019. We will broadcast several times on Wave Farm’s radio station WGXC 90.7 FM, Radio for Open Ears. Stephen Bradley and Edward Ruchalski’s SpiderCricket (Sp+Cr) is a multi-phonic ecological radio installation informed by Wave Farm’s biophonic and radiophonic soundscape. The core of Sp+Cruses a “spider web” wind-harp structure, which also functions as an antenna for low-power FM transmitters that broadcast on the property. Using DIY micro-mixers, numerous solar-powered FM radio receivers are tuned to one of the broadcast channels. Each wire’s unique length is tuned to a particular frequency that mixes with other sonic algorithms. Field recordings made during the dawn and dusk cycles are incorporated into Sp+Cr sculpture and into the final, live WGXC radio broadcast. Bradley and Ruchalski’s (B&R) practice is informed by their close relationship to place realized through radio, […]

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roamin

In the Neighborhood Bradley/Sturgeon Works ©2017, 3:47 A subtly urgent tom-tom beat underscores an evolving narrative beginning with a plaintive sense of coming late to change, or fear of some essential part of Self is – lost at sea, through a growing awareness that forms the impetus for seeking the unknowns that lie ahead. The conciseness of vocals and spiraling acoustics combine implying clear resolve for self-knowledge that surges forth with exuberant buzz. Ghost Bradley/Sturgeon Works ©2017, 4:25 A delicate, subtly soulful sax provides agency for a voyage that undulates between cosmic perspective and the ephemeral nature of our personal fate. The wandering cinematic tones of densely layered sound and observational text seek solace in a call to join together in lonely places and seek hope in the sober embrace of our place in the continuum. Tucumcari Bradley/Sturgeon Works ©2017, 2:53 Traversing the blacktop-laced American West evokes touchstones of empathy […]

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Radio Compost

RC is a radio /podcast project that focuses on acoustic ecology, seeking sounds of changes in the environment from difficult to reach places to our own backyards in suburbia, city centers, public spaces and local “natural” environments.  The curation is based on different approaches that scientists, artists and musicians might take, often though collaboration and experimenting with different diciplinary methods. 030519_RC for Colaboradio, Berlin, GermanEnvironmental Listening “When we use the term environmental sound, we are not referring to a specific kind of sound, nor a specific kind of environment, but to a specific conception of sound in which it is defined by its environmental context: thus, the tweeting of birds and the rustling of leaves in the wind are part of the environmental sound of a forest; the hum of air conditioning and the tapping of computer keyboards are part of the environmental sound of an office.” Bianchi, Frederick & […]

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Acoustic Performance Ecology

The above image is the BROOD X Cicada, 2004, Summer. The following are sound works based on hard to hear, out of human range, low or high frequencies found in locations that are often also overwhelmed by industrial and technological noise. The first track, Compost Song, is a recording of our compost pile from a few summers ago using a hydrophone. In postproduction (processing and sweating the audio track), I was able to expose more subtle and quiet sounds that would be inaudible from above the ground, outside in the noisy airspace. The sound of bio decomposition is very similar to the sounds of human digestion. The second track is a more recent approach that involves performing in the environment in real time with natural and unnatural sounds. By performing sound back into the environment I am strive to abate the noise, redirect our hearing, perhaps canceling out unwanted frequencies. […]

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Microplastic biofilm portraits

The following images document the process of sampling microplastics collected from the shoreline of Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center (MCEEC) and culturing the trash for biofilm.  This project was inspired by Water’s Edge, Biome Tells, an interdisciplinary art & science project examines the complexity of microbial communities living on trash in the Chesapeake Bay. Garbage was collected from the shoreline of the MCEEC and micro-organisms from the debris were cultured in my studio laboratory. Initially, biofilm was imaged at the Keith Porter Imaging Facility (KPIF) with fluorescent microscopy, which revealed a diversity of micro-organisms flourishing on human-made products. Micrographs were incorporated into a three-dimensional art piece that displays the debris covered with thriving microbes, ultimately showing the resilience of life in emergent environments created by humans. This project came out of a collaboration with Dr. Tagide deCarvalho, director of the KPIF, UMBC. Confocal images and process can be viewed here.  

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Trash Culture: WEBT

Water’s Edge, Biome Tells – Trash Culture (WEBT) focuses on the cultivation and identification of microorganisms found growing on debris collected within the littoral zone of the Patapsco River’s brackish Middle Branch at Masonville Cove in the Brooklyn community of Baltimore. For this interdisciplinary sci-art project, collaborators Stephen Bradley, media artist, and imaging scientist, Dr. Tagide deCarvalho, director, Keith Porter Imaging Facility, UMBC, use various tools of ecological research that inform sculptural and visualization references and renditions. Trash Culture informs the complex relationships between discarded material culture and the ecological system in the Inner Harbor.  Compounding elements from the scientific “lab” and the artist studio, Bradley and deCarvalho strive to find a middle space of inquiry shared by the parallel processes of art and science. The purpose of the project identifies and documents the living organisms that continue to survive and evolve within the compromised waters of Masonville Cove. Representations […]

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Microorganism Observational System

The following is a prototype container system for culturing biofilm sampled from fragments of trash found at the shoreline of Piscataway Park, managed by the Alice Ferguson Foundation (AFF), Accokeek, Maryland south of Washington, D.C. The image on the iPad models the potential viewing system that will have cameras trained onto each petri dish sample. The lower portion of the system demonstrates how the petri dish with the trash fragment sand growing broth create smaller projections onto the surface below. This opens up an opportunity to further magnification and time-based imaging/real time viewing of the biofilm’ life cycle. Ideally, the iPad or similar interactive device will control the multiple cameras embedded in the lower portion of the device. The six-sample bottle system contains dry samples from the AFF field near the shore.   The following are details of the petri dish with trash.

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Ecological sound objects

The following sculptures model our broken relationship with the landscape, due to many years of abuse and little respect for green space.   These works are embedded with speakers that broadcast sound compositions that reflect the imaginary context of these characters.  The chosen materials, structure and sound create play an important role in the psychological presence of the sonic objects.  These are the primary objects that will be integrated into a larger installation that is variable in scale depending on the venue or exhibition space it will be shown.  Each piece has a unique composition that embeds the sculpture within an acoustic halo that mimic’s its past history as living material. Split Cedar – (work in progress – destroyed, reworking) sound composition, cut chair, welded steel, cedar logs, speakers, bamboo, chair, pallet and hardware. Approximately 49” X 49” X 60” Sprout – Sound composition, welded steel, cedar logs, 2 speakers; mid-range and high-frequency, […]

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The Glass Knife

Slicing observation WORKSTATION.  Stereo pairs glass slides, close circuit TV, microscopic video, KP dust sample. Top image is from the live culture that was created from dust collected from the Porter’s biological archives cabinet that had not been opened for over 20 years. Media artists, Stephen Bradley and Kathy Marmor mined the UMBC archive of Keith Porter, the ‘Father  of Cell Biology’ to collaboratively produce The Glass Knife, an installation of sculptures that illuminated Porter’s groundbreaking research, and celebrated a revolutionary vision, mediated by technology, which extends our seeing. What is the glass knife? Background image is from the “Live Culture TV” component of the surface of a growing culture that samples the gallery air space for mold spores. More info: here.More information about the Glass Knife can be found here. Photographic documentation in this post represents one of Bradley’s contribution to the project.   Project supported by a generous grant from Special Collections, Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery […]