When Airwaves Swing is an interactive/reactive
sound installation comprised of a Pathe-Marconi 653CC AM/MW/SW
receiver and a long wire antenna. The antenna serves two purposes
in this arrangement. It not only captures the radio signals,
but it also diffuses the demodulated signal. This is accomplished
by connecting the output of the radio to an audio amplifier that
is connected to the ends of the antenna instead of a loudspeaker.
A strong magnet is placed close to the antenna at one end. The
current flowing through the antenna produces a magnetic field
that interacts with that of the magnet. These magnetic interactions
result in the physical vibration of the antenna. To aid in hearing
these vibrations, contact mics are placed at the ends of the
antenna, whose signals are subsequently amplified and diffused
into the surrounding space.
The installation invites visitors
to sit and manipulate the radio controls as one would do in a
home setting. However, the resonance of the antenna and the surrounding
space transforms the sound into something quite different from
a normal radio broadcast.