Marfa Open AiR

The Artist In Residence program at Marfa Open will debut in July 2019 with Ethan Primason and Caroline Partamian. During their residency, the artists will continue developing the Sonic Transmission Archive, a large scale interactive sonic collaboration activated by the humans in communities they visit and those around the world. Primason and Partamian will install a hacked payphone that records and continuously transmits contributions to the question: WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO LEAVE AS YOUR LEGACY?

Inspired by the sounds of Marfa and its surroundings, they also created an immersive audio environment utilizing material collected from daily sound walks. This multichannel work will be amplified through reverberating plates of sheet metal, and engraved with a series of sonic characters developed through a ritualized practice of active listening. The show will be installed from August 2-11 in our main gallery. 

Sonic Transmission Archive

The Sonic Transmission Archive (STA) is a mobile and place-based audio project by Ethan Primason & Caroline Partamian aimed to convey a collective human voice while simultaneously investigating the historic human impulse to transmit into the unknown. The project will launch a digital archiving and transmission platform which will collect, randomize, and transmit sonic contributions in perpetuity.

STA is a large-scale interactive sonic collaboration that interfaces directly with the individuals from communities visited by the artists, as well as virtually engaging with participants from around the world. By prompting and collecting sounds, experiences, and ideas in a open and unbiased structure, the hope is to provide a platform which illuminates the agency and power of voice as the representative force of our larger collective community. The ultimate goal for STA is to transmit this growing sonic time capsule into interstellar space as a modernized, reflexive, and democratized representation of humanity, shaped and formed directly by the voices within.

Ethan Primason & Caroline Partamian are both deeply inspired by the intention, development, and realization of the Voyager Golden Record, launched by NASA in 1977 as a multidimensional transmissive archive designed to communicate directly with the cosmos. However, as individuals living and working in the Twenty-First century, they recognize the inherent flaw regarding the design of a fixed representation of human history conceived by a small and homogenous group of scientists and academics.

As Sound Artists with backgrounds in Anthropology and Radio, they are fascinated by the link between history and the potential of extraterrestrial, spiritual, and sonic communication. They see Transmission both as a physical and metaphoric representation of a participatory and accessible unconscious, a platform that grants one their own space to communicate honestly and freely into the unknown.

check out their last installment of the project here