"signal to nose" | April Unblurred at Assemble

April 5-26

Opening Night: Friday, April 5 from 6-10pm

Take a deep breath. 

The air is full of signals. Take another breath. Can you feel it?

As a form of communication, plants release volatile compounds into the air – small broadcasts of airborne information. In moments of stress, compounds known as “green leaf volatiles” waft as warnings to nearby plants and insects. To the human nose, these notes go unnoticed, or register as a pleasant whiff of freshly cut grass. What if we were receptive to these notes of warning, these unseen signals all around us in the air?

In the exhibition space, these same green leaf volatiles released as warnings by plants are broadcast into the air as an olfactory transmission. Alongside this scent transmission is a simultaneous low power FM radio transmission, broadcasting another kind of airborne signal – the voices of youth climate activists. This radio transmission can be heard in or near the gallery by turning on a radio tuned into a designated FM frequency. 

Throughout the exhibition, this radio playlist will evolve with the inclusion of audio collected from the public. What might we broadcast alongside the warnings of plants?

If you are interested in contributing to this ongoing playlist, please email signaltonose@gmail.com with your audio suggestions.

During the opening night, visitors will be invited to contribute to future broadcasts. A simple recording device will be set up, along with prompts for what someone might want to say. Suggestions for pre-recorded audio will also be made available.

The exhibition itself will also have an interactive component, as visitors will be encouraged to listen to the short broadcast using an fm radio with headphones. To get a good signals, visitors may have to move closer or further, adjusting their position to pick up the signal. Visitors will also participate by smelling the scents!

More information: http://assemblepgh.org/event/signal-to-nose-april-unblurred-gallery/

Location Information

4824 Penn Avenue