Lost Bandwidth (Canopy), First Thailand Biennale
Lost Bandwidth (Canopy), 2018
powder-coated steel, coaxial cable, transmitter, solar panel, solar panel controller, battery
each element 1800m x 2500mm
**first set of images shot in Auckland
Working across various material fields, Dane Mitchell’s work channels invisible forces into concrete forms and teases out the potential for objects and ideas to appear and disappear. Most recently, the artist has been exploring the various ways in which objects might be seen to produce literal signals.
For the Thailand Biennale, the artist has produced a newly commissioned work, Lost Bandwidth (Canopy), which consists of four biconical antenna, each tethered to an operational FM transmitter. Located in National Parks across Krabi, Lost Bandwidth (Canopy) broadcasts the songs of extinct birds that Mitchell collected from archives available online.
These tripodal antenna are paired with a second shorter tripod which generates power from the sunlight. On one hand, Lost Bandwidth (Canopy) can be seen as a series of physical objects each painted bright red (an adaptation of ‘international orange’) to differentiate them from their surroundings and underline both their status as exotic visitor and their existence on the physical plane. On the other, each antenna generates an electromagnetic field across FM bandwidth and creates a radial sphere of activity — a signal — across the airwaves, demonstrating that these objects extend beyond their physical edges and produce an unseen (yet heard) effect that permeates outwards.
The broadcast is an ongoing-event — occuring 24 hours a day throughout the Biennale and extending beyond. This will see the artist add further birdsongs to the list overtime as species continue to become extinct.
In an elegiac act, the artwork brings vanished species back from the dead momentarily for us to tune into via the airwaves and in this way, Lost Bandwidth (Canopy) creates immaterial appearances in a metaphysical sphere — transmitting a past, in the present, that which is gone and never to return.