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ACOUSTIC SPACE: RT32: live today


honor <[log in to unmask]>


honor <[log in to unmask]>


Thu, 22 Jul 2004 08:51:37 +0300





text/plain (210 lines)

Dear All,

Please find below the webcast announcement for an event that RIXC are holding here in Latvia today entitled: ACOUSTIC SPACE: RT32.

Taking place at the site of the RT32 radio telescope, the event will feature a experimental music concert and conference celebrating the 10th anniversary of the conversion of this former military surveillance station into a scientific research facility.

Check online for the live stream details.

Hope this is of interest to some of you and you'll be able to join us for the event.
Sincere apologies for cross-posting!

Very best wishes

Honor Harger

r a d i o q u a l i a



Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the conversion of the RT32 telescope at VIRAC
A collaboration between VIRAC, RIXC & r a d i o q u a l i a


VIRAC, RIXC & r a d i o q u a l i a invite local and international guests to join us ONLINE for a unique event:


Date:   22.07.04
Time:   0945 - 2130
Streaming from: 1400 Local time (1100 GMT)



0945 - 1000: Assemble at the Academy of Sciences Building
1000 - 1300: Excursion from Riga to Irbene
1300 - 1400: Welcome, tours of RT32 telescope & coffee
1400 - 1500: VIRAC Press Conference & Scientific Introduction 
1500 - 1615: Acoustic Space Conference
1615- 17:00: Dinner & Reception 
17:00 - 18:30: Acoustic Space sound performances 
1830 - 2130: Excursion from Irbene to Riga

NB: The bus from Riga to Irbene will be leaving at from the Academy of Sciences Building. Akad_mijas laukums 1, Riga.  
All those wishing to take the bus, must assemble at 0945.


On 22 July 1994 a very special event in recent Latvian history transpired. The Soviet military returned a previously clandestine radio antenna, which had been concealed in the forests of Western Latvia, to the Latvian people. The 32 metre wide radio antenna, christened RT32, turned out to be one of the most significant technical facilities for listening to high frequency radio communication in Northern Europe.

Ten years later, RT32 has been converted from military to scientific use, and is being managed by the Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre (VIRAC) <http://www.virac.lv>.  Now, rather than listening to earth-bound data, as it did during its espionage days, RT32 turns it's face toward the sun, listening to planets, stars and the moon.


Acoustic Space: RT32: Orchestrating the Solar System is a special event organised to celebrate the conversion of RT32 from military to scientific use. It will highlight VIRAC's scientific achievements, and also address VIRAC's important role in bringing cultural concerns, tactical media and art into the sphere of astronomical operations. 

Acoustic Space: RT32 will feature an excursion from Riga to the site of the telescopes at Irbene, a press conference by VIRAC scientists, a panel discussion with astronomers and artists, a drinks reception, the launch of an installation by RIXC, a preview of the project Radio Astronomy <http://www.radio-astronomy.net> by r a d i o q u a l i a, and performances by sound artists, including a special appearance by the Solar System Orchestra Ensemble.


In 1994 the existence of RT32, plus two smaller dishes, and a communications centre was revealed to the Latvian people. The facilities formed the communication and command centre, 'Zveolsdoshka' - Russian for Little Star. Zveolsdoshka was built by the Soviet military and was used by the KGB to spy on data transmissions between Europe and North-America during the Cold War. Zveolsdoshka was kept secret for most of its existence. Normal citizens of Latvia had no idea it existed and the whole area around it was closed to the public.

When the occupying forces of the Soviet military withdrew from Latvia in 1993, they abandoned Zveolsdoshka. The military were reluctant to give these technical resources to the Latvian Government, and entertained the idea of blowing up the satellite dishes. Pressure from the scientific community dissuaded them, but RT32 was sabotaged by the retreating forces. Acid was poured into its motors; nails were driven through the electrical wires, and all the technical plans and schematics explaining how the dish worked were removed. The dish was effectively ruined.
Since this point, a small group of Latvian scientists have dedicated themselves to the restoration of RT32. Working without any technical specifications, and with minimal financial support, they have managed the remarkable feat of restoring the dish back to working order. 

Acoustic Space: RT32 will celebrate their achievements and give the scientists at VIRAC an opportunity to discuss their work to a local and international audience.


* VIRAC Press Conference and Scientific Introduction
VIRAC will deliver a press conference to invited local and international journalists highlighting the work involved in converting RT32 from military to civilian use.


Welcome & Introduction (5 mins)
Edgars Bervalds, (VIRAC), Rasa Smite (RIXC), Honor Harger (r a d i o q u a l i a)

Moderator's Introduction (5 mins)
Juris Ekmanis, President of Academy of Sciences

Keynote Presentation
Edgars Bervalds (10 mins)

Science Presentation
Karlis Berzins (10 mins)

Talis Millers, First President of the Academy of Sciences (5 mins)

Janis Vaivids, Former Government Minister (5 mins)

Discussion (15 mins).


* Acoustic Space Conference
VIRAC have played a pioneering role in bringing science and art closer together, through its collaborations with RIXC on the production of the Acoustic Space Lab, and other activities. The panel will feature presentations by local and international speakers, which illustrate the way that radio astronomy can be used in artistic and cultural contexts. 

Moderator's introduction  (5 mins)
Stephen Kovats, V2 & Intertwilight, NL

Acoustic Space Lab (10 mins)
Rasa Smite & Raitis Smits, RIXC, Latvia  

Creating Radio Astronomy (10 mins)
Honor Harger, r a d i o q u a l i a, NZ  (10 mins)

On Music and Radio Astrophysics (10 mins)
Gavin Starks, musician & astronomer, UK  (10 mins)

Presentation (10 mins)
Lauris Vorslavs, Clausthome, musician, LV  (5 mins)

Tactical Satellite Usage 1992-2003 (10 mins)
Marko Peljhan, Projekt Atol, Slovenia  (10 mins)

Presentation (10 mins)
Ewen Chardronnet, Ellipse, France  (10 mins)

- Discussion  (15 mins)

* RT32 DVD Installation
RIXC's DVD production, RT32 charts the history of the RT32 antenna and the other facilities at Irbene, as well as summarising the activities of the Acoustic Space Lab event. The DVD has been screened at museums, festivals, and universities internationally. Acoustic Space: RT32 will host a reception to celebrate the installation of the RT32 DVD as a permanent display at VIRAC. 

* Preview of Radio Astronomy Project
Radio Astronomy is an art/science project by r a d i o q u a l i a developed in collaboration with NASA's Radio Jove Network (USA), the Windward Community College Radio Observatory (USA) and VIRAC. It will enable listeners to tune into different celestial frequencies, hearing planets, stars, and the constant hiss of cosmic noise. It will reveal the sonic character of objects in our galaxy, and in the process perhaps make these phenomena more tangible and comprehensible. The project is indeed radio astronomy in the literal sense - a radio station devoted to broadcasting sounds from space. Acoustic Space: RT32 will preview the VIRAC component of the project.

* Acoustic Space Sound Performances
The showpiece of Acoustic Space: RT32 will be a unique concert on the dish structure itself.  The concert will comprise soundscapes, electronic music and sound art created using audio captured from the VIRAC radio telescope and other radio astronomy sources.  The imposing structure of RT32 will create a dramatic backdrop for performances by:
- Claustrum (LV)
- r a d i o q u a l i a (NZ/LV)
- Flow Motion (UK)

- a unique appearance by the feted Solar System Orchestra Ensemble (MW).

Check: http://www.radioqualia.net/rt32/ for updates to the programme


Signe Pucena
Ph: +371 7228478
Email: [log in to unmask]


Honor Harger
Ph: +371 6391619
Email: [log in to unmask]

Riga Centre for New Media Culture RIXC
11 Novembra Krastmala 35 - 201
LV 1050 Riga


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

honor harger

r a d i o q u a l i a:

current work: radio astronomy

Acoustic Space: RT32

present location: riga .lv
email: [log in to unmask]
mob: +371 6391619

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