In 2014, we bought an ENG news van for our coast to coast mobile tour from a broadcast gear broker in LA. The van as it came to him, was a kind of Frankensteinian Austin based news van turned Time Warner van, turned who knows what. Thus it sat in the brokers lot until we stumbled across it and somehow fell in love. We noted “Unit 11” written on material in the van, so we gave it its name (we also call her Blanche). After new tires, a serpentine belt, battery, locks, and steering wheel we then took everything out, down to the racks themselves. We noted the van had a working mast, lights, interior system, working art monitors, and a sound board. Using what we could, we slowly built out the rest.
Today, Unit 11 is a mobile studio that focuses on transmission based research and practice. It has been re-outfitted with analog electronic tools for the focus and exploration of electro-magnetic signal based media. Broadcast grade analog video editing and manipulation equipment pair with modular video and sound equipment via a series of patch bays that also allow for multiple auxiliary inputs and outputs. CRT monitors line the back wall of the van framed by playback devices ranging from VHS, BetaSP, and DV cam. An Otari stereo 1/4" reel-to-reel deck sits on a rack under a custom radioOrgan-a hand-crafted modular FM transmission system built from obsolete electronics, by Ed Bear.
For one month out of the year, the van becomes a residency for artists who work in expanded cinema, video, sound, broadcast, or other areas of experimental transmission. The residency is site specific, partnering with a geographical area or institution. Each residency culminates in a live performance from the van at host location that is recorded and broadcast on cable access in NYC via E.S.P. TV.
First location: Pioneer Works, Brooklyn NY July 2015
Upcoming location: Basilica Hudson, Hudson, NY April 2016
This first performance event was held at Pioneer Works with a live radio broadcast recording via Clocktower Radio on July 16th 2016. Performing were featured resident, Ed Bear, Jaiko and Benoit, Joe DeNardo and Ben Greenberg, with sound installations by Emilie Mouchous and MSHR.
There is no open submission for the 2016-2017 year.
This project was launched with the support of a Franklin Furnace Grant, 2015.