Tufts University Logo GSAS

Search  GO >

Tufts University

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 sonicplanetarium.net 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 interactive Go 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.