Smaller Areas and More Movements
After years of involvement with Radio Home Run, Kogawa’s understanding of radio and its possibilities began to shift as well. He started investigating these possibilities by conducting artistic experiments that created a greater number of opportunities for kinetic interactions to take place in a smaller area. These performative experiments often invited people to perceive what happens when objects moved around the ever-shrinking electromagnetic field produced by ever-weaker transmitters.
I tried a sound installation using micro-FM transmitters and radio receivers in a garden, a collaboration with dance performers carrying transmitters to create fade-in/-out sounds on the receivers from their moves. There was also a kind of concert where the audience was in a house with radio sets on the floor and I walked around the house with a transmitter talking and playing tape sounds and so forth. (Chandler, Neumark and Kogawa 2005: 205)
By creating more opportunities for kinetic interaction with radio waves to take place, and by exploring new ways of kinetically interacting with them, Kogawa continued to shift people’s perceptions of the airwaves. He created situations that allowed them to become fascinating and strange by exploring their aesthetic possibilities in the context of art, dance, composition, and architecture. All of these experiences, he explains, “let me find that in radio the point is not the type of contents but the size of transmission.” (Kogawa 2008). Today, Kogawa works with and within transmission areas that he can affect by simply moving his hands, a practice that he began over a decade ago. This repeated aesthetic experimentation has ultimately changed Kogawa's perception of the airwaves and the material qualities of radio itself.
In his interview with Michal Cáb, Kogawa explains that considers the airwaves to be an entire “stream of electromagnetic fields" that he wishes "to let free (Zur Sachen selbst!)” by “trying to play with airwaves to emancipate the conventional thresholds of airwaves. Play means let my body and airwaves to be free as they are” (Cáb and Kogawa 2016: 13). He lets his body, the sounds of the airwaves, the transmitters, and the receivers move around freely so that they can kinetically interact with one another by changing their relationships to one another and to their surroundings repeatedly over time.
In CONCILIATION OF SFERICS, Kogawa shows us how kinetic interaction with the material conditions of radio can change perceptions of the airwaves by giving us the chance to virtually perceive what he perceives during his performance. By filming his performance with a bodycam, Kogawa gives us the uncanny ability to virtually experience his kinetic interactions with airwaves from the comfort of our own home (or wherever we might watch this). In this way, Kogawa makes it possible for us to perceive this performance from the perspective of its producers. In a recent email discussing this performance, Kogawa explains his reasoning for this aesthetic decision:
I would like to finally say adieu to the sender-receiver theory. In communication, the popular ‘throw-catch relationship’ never happens. The point is mutual transmission and resonance. I am trying to talk about this not only in radioart but also in terms of perception in general.”
As we move through our daily lives, we encounter material objects, energies, and ideas, each of which literally and figuratively resonates in its own way. Kogawa’s work and his concept of radioart demonstrates how these interactions have the potential to reveal something new, change our perception of the world, and alter the many habits that make us feel at home.