The Exchange

The Exchange

The Reconstruction and Performance of Switchboard Synthesizers

May 18 – 29, 2016

The Exchange Project is an installation of repurposed antique manual telephone switchboards converted into a working modular synthesizer system, enabling the user to embody early telephone operator demoiselles at work; to see and touch audio pathways that networks of voices once travelled.

Antenes (Lori Napoleon) will reconstruct a manual telephone exchange office with a new functionality: patchable synth circuits housed in obsolete telephone switchboards. Inspired by how the inventions and uses of early telephony remain in today’s instrument design, this project combines audio synthesis, sculpture, hacking and telephony. Modular synthesizers are enjoying a comeback as seen in the growth of manufacturers, kits, retail and online shops; The Exchange re-introduces a facet of audio history that traces its lineage back to the early telephone industry – reaching into these archives, traversing rural basements of telecom enthusiasts that house dusty, now non-functional relics, and brings them back to a life of patching signals that can be seen, felt, and heard. Antenes will perform daily at the Moog Fest and also provide an interactive demo and Q and A of the process. The conceptual impetus stems from the interplay of human operators with technology, exploring parallels between the musician, the technician, the worker, and the machine as living portal for content to pass. What makes an interface endure for over a century?

Antenes is a NYC-based DJ, producer, and electronics artist. She works in the tradition of object trouvé by following the lineage of synthesizer operation to vintage telephone equipment, and bringing them back to a life of patching signals by transforming them into her self-built laboratory of synthesizers and sequencers. Her solo production debut, The Track of a Storm vinyl EP on L.I.E.S., reveals three tracks of otherworldly techno replete with laser shot synthwork, muscular bass shapes, and ghostly noise layers. Antenes’ electronic excursions have brought her to residencies at Harvestworks (NYC) and Signal Culture (Owego NY) and interdisciplinary venues including Fermilab’s Art Gallery (Batavia IL), Trinity College Dublin’s Science Gallery, Open House London’s Sonic Visitations at Beaconsfield Gallery, UK, the Share Our Sound Series at Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo and The Kitchen, where she led one of her Synth 101/DIY workshops. She is also featured in modular synth documentary “I Dream of Wires.”

Full information about Antenes and The Carrack at Moogfest can be found here.


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