Anna Friz and Coppice performed in their audio installation at Tritriangle on 5/25/2013 in Chicago, IL. The two installations and two live performances occupied the gallery as co-existing organisms. Â Each stemming from Frizâ€™s and Coppiceâ€™s own larger overarching projects, Frizâ€™s Nocturne and Coppiceâ€™s A Vinculum Variation are iterations, though it becomes clear that these iterations are not repetitions, but manifestations of differences in space, time, and materiality. The artists filled the spaces above my head and below/around my feet with sounds produced by other bodies: people, instruments, apparatuses, and radios. The two installations created the terrain in which the live performances inhabited. The earthy landscape, coupled with a cloud of respiration, constituted a world of transmission that enabled relationships to form in and between bodies.
In the space of Tritriangle, tiny blueish-silvery lights floating in air illuminate 82 small silver radios suspended from thin silver wires, a cloud of radios. In one corner of the space is blue light; in two other corners, yellow-gold illuminations. The blue corner holds three hand-built radios by the inventor George Kagan, an accordion, a harmonica, a chair, a mixer, and other sound equipment. Two radio transmitters fixed near the ceiling, send signals on two different frequencies to the 82 suspended radios. The radios, hovering at different levels around my head, emit gentle sounds of an accordian-played melody, breath, and radio static. The golden-brown corner contains a chair, an accordion, a box. Another corner contains a set-up with tape players, speakers, and an inductive mixing table with devices that send signals to the speakers lining the room close to the floor. These speakers emanate sounds of breathing, bellows of an accordion, air passing through processed reeds, the crackling paper inside a shruti box, pressure cuffs, and a funnel. In a third corner, golden light illuminated that illuminates a metal funnel.
A Vinculum Variation; Coppiceâ€™s Archived Air Contours
For the installation and performance at Tritriangle, Chicago-based duo Coppice (NoÃ© CuÃ©llar and Joseph Kramer) created a listening experience that compelled the listener to navigate and inhabit the space of the gallery in a fluid way. Before the performances, the audience could walk freely around the space and stop to observe what was emitting from the various speakers lining the room. During the performance, the audience stilled and the artists and the audio material activated. CuÃ©llar, playing the accordion and free reeds, moved his own body around and through the space, while Kramer used two custom-built apparatuses: his customized inductive mixing table and customized cassette tape player. Kramer, kneeling on the floor, using this table, which â€œredistributes the sounds of the Vinculum archive as they are played back through small speakers resting at different locations on its surface,â€ Â changes the location from where sounds poured. The cassette tape instrument Kramer designed and created is able to â€œmake a record of the sonic space that also reproduces the recording from moments ago while simultaneously recapturing its own output.â€ 
These devices together create space and time that shift and refuse to remain static or linear. The changes in the part of the room that contained the raw recordings from the Vinculum archive created a constantly changing environment of breathing; audio materials from their ongoing-archive emerged in the space and surrounded the audience with breath. CuÃ©llar, changing positions throughout the space of the installation, used the accordionâ€™s keys and bellows to breathe sounds throughout the room. Coppiceâ€™s contribution to the installation as a whole grounded the audience and the space itself creating a material terrain the viewer could navigate and explore.
Coppiceâ€™s installation and performance at Tritriangle emerged from its ongoing project since 2010Vinculum, a constantly shifting index of sounds, bodies, and space that involves isolating and highlighting particular sounds that are specific to Coppice. Sitting down with CuÃ©llar and Kramer in their studio, they describe their interest in the â€œbehavior of soundsâ€ Â and the ways in which different sounds demand a different kind of listening. However, Coppice is not necessarily interested in making the listener more aware of the plethora of quotidian sounds that may surround her. Rather, the listener is encouraged to connect to the collection of sounds Coppice draws from to create their compositions. The work is deeply self-referential in its consistent pointing back to itself, its own self-reflexivity. The recordings, which are used to form Coppice compositions, are stored and categorized as specimens the listener can study and discover within the work. Coppiceâ€™s archival process, which involves recording the sounds and storing them in built containers or vessels – hand-sewn pouches or built wooden boxes (for Vinculum Specimen Edition), produces a peculiar meditation on the nature of cataloguing. What is capable of being stored? What should be saved? The individual entries/specimens can then be accessed and experienced by the listener in a multitude of ways. Coppice encourages the listener â€œto play the discs simultaneously on repeat from multiple players when possible.â€ Â However, the listener has the ability to change the order and method of playback to create her own way of experiencing the archived sounds. The archive is not static and is rather presented as a collection that is open to change and re-arrangement; it is an â€œopen composition.â€ 
Coppice describes the sounds of Vinculum as quiet and having to be found from a particular point of view. Because Coppice is concerned with each soundâ€™s specific experiential condition, the recordings in the archive capture the particular spatial arrangement necessary to recognize the sound, making the archive one of space and the way the listener and the instrument inhabit space. Many of the sounds Coppice finds, makes, and records relate to the human body and its rhythms. The breath that passes through a tube and the air that traverses through the bellows of an accordion or pump organ indicate the necessity of the body to the production of that sound, whether it is the musicianâ€™s breath, hands, or feet interacting with the instrument or apparatus. They claim that it is the â€œair on the edge of thingsâ€ Â that makes its way into the auditory. Coppiceâ€™s sounds that insist on the â€œair on the edge of thingsâ€ found themselves in conversation with Frizâ€™s dreamy cloud of radio breath that floated above their audio terrain.
Nocturne; Anna Frizâ€™s Radiogenic Objects
Canadian sound and radio artist Anna Friz, who is currently based in Chicago, performed second, immediately following Coppice, in the installationâ€™s landscape. While the suspended radios picked up the transmission of an accordion-played melody, Friz began to play that same phrase in the middle of the space. The recordings emanating from the tiny radios and the live instrument in the installation mingled together in a sea of sounds and lights. When the recorded melody ended, Friz used the live accordion with its bellows to create a drone, filling the space. At one point, Friz got up, put the accordion down, turned on the handbuilt radios, picked up the harmonica, and began to play the instrument, sending it through the transmitters to the radios filling the space above my head.
Nocturne is an iteration of her radiophonic installations that began in 2006 with You are far from us, a project she has been transforming since its premiere at Radio Revolten Festival at Ã„rtzejaus in Halle, Germany. The work explores the notion that radio technology is not disembodied, and that it actually holds within it traces of bodies and perhaps even allows us to overcome distance between bodies. Friz materializes the radioâ€™s possible embodiment through voice and its breath, corporeality, and emotion. Breath and radio are intimately linked; Friz describes the phenomenon of the breath and radio static as sharing the same frequency range – a fascinating aspect of radioâ€™s embodiment. She also describes the radios and their tendency to drift from their frequencies as a precarious bodily situation, not unlike human and nonhuman animal bodies that are subject to their environments and situations. The radios are in relationships with each other, though mediated through the multiple radio transmitters that populate the ceiling of the space.
The first manifestation of the installation You are far from us involved four transmitters, 50 radios, and 5-10 hand-crank Grundigs. This installation focused on the disastrous human condition and the ways in which it is transmitted and created through radio. In her statement for You are far from us, Friz asks the question: â€œWhat nearly inaudible signals, transmitted in moments of intensity or crisis â€” what do people seek to transmit, in a moment between the intake of breath and the breath held, waiting, in tension?â€ Â Further, in turning to the specificity of the radio, she states that â€œ[b]uilt on breath and other bodily exclamations typically absent from regular radio broadcasts, the radios operate at the limit of their capacity to transmit emotion.â€ Â This interest in the radio as entity and performer itself is something Friz has been working with, an evolvement of her earlier work which conceptualized the radio as containing within itself people and that â€œthe voices emanating from the radio were the voices of the little people who lived inside. Turn on the radio, the little people begin to talk, change the station and they change their voices. I imagined the radio people waited inside while the radio was off, ever ready to perform at the click of the dial.â€ Â Now, she conceptualizes the radios themselves as the performing entities, not tied to a necessarily anthropomorphic view of the world. This is not to say that the radios are entirely outside the realm of human experience; they experience the precariousness of the world in perhaps a similar way. They tune in to frequencies and then drift off, floating and locking into a new one â€” a new world experience.
Friz describes the radios suspended in the floating cloud as sleeping, experiencing REM cycles, taking in the day and processing it through dreams. Nocturne at Tritriangle is an outgrowth of the section â€œNocturneâ€ from Frizâ€™s previous installation You are far from us, with the sectionâ€™s intent being â€œstilling the breath and relaxing [the radios].â€ Â Friz emphasizes that she chooses to privilege the auditory over the visual in the installation because it helps the listener â€œfocus attention on moving through spaceâ€ Â and instills the notion that the listener is a sensing body. The stilling of the breath and the radios drives home this recognition. When limiting one sense, other senses heighten. The viewer is no longer dependent on the two orbs situated in the front of the head as guides through space. The audio creates spatial relationships that enable the viewer to navigate the space at her own leisure. This navigational drifting relates to the radiosâ€™ own drifts. The radios experience the phenomenon of capture effect, thus causing them to detune and find a new channel to occupy. For Friz, the detuning isnâ€™t necessarily about interference, since the notion of interference corresponds to a cybernetic theory of communication with involves fidelity to a message. Rather, she is interested in exploring “fields of influence.” Â The radiosâ€™ detuning donâ€™t mark a deficiency or breakdown. Instead, the tuning into different frequencies seem to reflect human and nonhuman animal choices to take a turn, go down a different path. The suspension of the inhale,  creates the space in which life is lived, with all of its precariousness.
Coppice and Friz created an environment in which the audience and the device could all breathe together, exchanging exhalations and inhalations actualizing a cloud of respiration. Focusing on the breath allows us to recognize that we are constantly exchanging material from our own bodies with the world. Though, this body in its continual state of exchange shows us that the molecules in our own bodies arenâ€™t static and canâ€™t always belong to us; these molecules are only finding themselves to exist within us for a passing moment in time. â€œThe breath does not belong to the self. It enters and exists of its own accord. It inhabits the empty space of the lungs for brief periods and the same molecules and particles may never enter again.â€ 
 Personal conversation with Anna Friz and Coppice at the performance, May 25, 2013.
Â Coppice,Â A Vinculum Variation,Â http://www.futurevessel.com/coppice/work/performance-installation/a-vinculum-variation.
Â Joseph Kramer, “Episode 31: Porous Notion: Index Fragments and Interpretation,” Radius (Oct. 2012):Â http://theradius.us/episode31.
Â Personal interview with Coppice, June 5, 2013.
Â Coppice, Vinculum, http://www.futurevessel.com/coppice/work/recordings/vinculum.
Â Personal interview with Coppice.
 Anna Friz,Â You are far from us,Â http://nicelittlestatic.com/sound-radio-artworks/you-are-far-from-us/.
 Anna Friz, Who are the people inside your radio,Â http://nicelittlestatic.com/sound-radio-artworks/who-are-the-people-in-your-radio/.
Â Personal interview with Friz, June 8, 2013.
Â Friz describes the inhalation as suspension.
Â Meredith Kooi, â€œAristophanesâ€™ Hiccups and Relational Spasms,â€ given at Location/Location symposium organized for Field Static: A Group Show About the Object, Co-Prosperity Sphere (Chicago, IL: June 6, 2012), 6.
On Saturday, August 13th Penny Duff and Michael Slaboch put together a series of “intimate music and audio art” events throughout Chicago’s Ukranian Village. Various musicians and artists performed between 1 and 6 pm, peppered through the neighborhood on a kind of walking tour.
It began on the front porch of 1042 N Winchester St. A Cheshire Cat made out of stained opalescent glass sat in the window of the front door, just over Plastic Crimewave’s shoulder. Sitting in colored pants and socks, (shoes placed neatly beside him on the edge of the stairs) he played a morning raga on his banjo.
From there, we traveled a few blocks to the backyard of 1032 N Wood and watched a honky tonk band, The Lawrence Peters Outfit. Overhead the sky grew dark. There were rumors of a storm and the telephone lines blew back and forth vigorously as LPO played their set ending with a song about a storm.
At 2:00 we walked over to Corbett vs. Dempsey–a mainstay of neighborhood, experimental music performance–to see Mark Booth’s live collage of “reconditioned and recontextualized aural fragments.” Outside it began to hail and the sky was exceptionally dark. The sound of ice pellets punctuated Booth’s gramaphone samples.
By the time we made it outside the weather had more or less passed. Although it had deterred the in-transit, shopping cart performance by Heartichoke–we still went on to see Andy Slater at 2047 W Walton St. Slater played a homemade monochord slide bass who sometimes mimicked heavy metal riffs on his twangy slab of wood. Dogs wandered around the backyard while he played and people stood around him on all but one side, some (like me) by the back gate, others on the stairs at his back.
Following this were several performances I didn’t get the chance to see: the meme on 2337 W Thomas, Matthew Hale Clark at 2237 W Rice, Piss Piss Moan Moan Moan and Shearing Pinx at Permanent Records and, finally at the Rainbo Club: Judson Claiborne and the Found Sound After Party.
That’s more or less the wrap up. What I wanted to say, though, what it made me think about, was how important interrupting regular experience is. Seeing an organized music event that takes place along a neighborhood walk amplifies your experience of the neighborhood and the music. Like an art show in an apartment, there is something domestic and, even, banal about the setting. With the exception of a block party, these spaces, streets and alleys are not generally intended for a shared, public experience. One’s expectations of the performance consequently and curiously suspended, insecure; anything could happen within this ill-defined and intimate structure. Furthermore, the freedom the audience has to stumble upon the event, or depart nonchalantly: there is no cost, no obvious gain for those organizing the experience. There are free scones on a front porch, new faces come at certain events as others depart, each porch/backyard is organized differently, inadvertently acknowledging the lifestyles of its flanking domeciles. Such moments deeply interest me because their naturalness does not appear, at first, contingent on any audience. Plastic Crimewave might just sit on a porch and play for his own pleasure. We might be just happening upon it. There happens to be a honky tonk band in that backyard. The people in attendance appear to know what they are doing, even though they say very little to one another and stand, for the most part, as strangers do–not touching. This is one of Chicago’s greatest strengths: that people administrate such events and, more so, that a public rallies behind them, activating the potential for aesthetic experiences in banal, everyday settings.