In 2014, we bought an ENG news van from a broadcast van broker in Los Angeles for our E.S.P. TV Coast to Coast mobile tour. We noted “Unit 11” written on material inside the van, so we gave the van its due name (we also call her Blanche). After more than 6000 miles in one month, and upgrades to tires, serpentine belt, battery, locks, and steering wheel, we then gutted the old down to the wall racks and built out the new. The van had some working elements that we've kept in place such as a working mast, lights, interior power system, CRT monitors, DV deck, and sound board. Using what we could, we slowly built out the rest with items from our studio as well as custom made instrumentation.
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 Manhattan on our E.S.P. TV program with Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN).
First residency partnership was artist, Ed Bear at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY. A live broadcast performance was held after a month of building and fine tuning the radioOrgan inside the van, at Pioneer Works on July 16, 2015. Performing were featured resident, Ed Bear, along with Jaiko and Benoit, Joe DeNardo and Ben Greenberg, with sound installations by Emilie Mouchous and MSHR. A live radio broadcast recording of event was aired and archived with Clocktower Radio.
The second residency partnership was with artist, Katherine Bauer at Basilica Hudson, Hudson, NY. Bauer's project, "Moon Returns" featured video and analog mixed documentation of varying landscapes around Hudson, NY, inspired from a story of the Moon returning to Earth. A live broadcast performance was held as part of 24 Hour Drone Festival on April 23, 2016. The performance, featured Bauer along with Scott Kiernan on modular video synthesizer, and Victoria Keddie, and Rose Kallal on modular sound synthesizers.
This project was launched with the support of a Franklin Furnace Grant, 2015.
Artists are by invite only. There is no submission for 2018 year.