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KD2MFV ~ Lost in Transmission

In 2015 I made a photo-book called 'Transmission' – a message from our future to our recent past – printed by antiquated fax machines. Meditations on the future state of the environment and whether human colonies will exist outside planet earth, led to a discovery of and fascination with the type of technology that enabled the Apollo space mission in 1969, to broadcast humanity’s first step on the Moon live, to our terrestrial televisions. Image transmission using low-energy radio waves, was the type of technology NASA used and that extraterrestrial colonies might use to contact Earth. It is currently employed by the amateur-radio (HAM) community. During my time at SIM, I will use my time in Iceland to advance these themes in my art practice.

Between April 9th - 23rd 2019, I partnered with Jón Þ Jónsson, TF3JA, an Icelandic Radio Amateur to transmit images via SSTV. The images, appropriated from the Reykjavík Museum of Photography’s collection, are of Icelandic glaciers photographed in a time before we were aware of the climate crisis. I transmitted these images section by section to HAM radio operators worldwide and asked them to print out the images received and mail them back to me, using instructions on my website. In exchange, following a HAM radio protocol, once I assembled the printed pieces to reconstruct the whole image transmitted, I made QSL (I am acknowledging receipt) postcards of the completed images, and mailed them back to the participating HAMs. The resulting artwork is a collaborative fine art example of long-range communications between humans, concerning accelerated environmental change.

Each single transmission consisted of 9 or 12 x images, I transmitted 5 different glacier images over 15 days.

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Lucy Helton

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KD2MFV ~ Lost in Transmission

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