Signals From Another World, with Darren Ray

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It is rumoured that throughout the early 1970s a group of anarchist proto punks formed a transitory community that lived in woodlands across the Courland region of Western Latvia. As the group intentionally shied away from public scrutiny, little is known about them - there is almost no record of their existence beyond anecdotal stories, and a few unverified fogged images of partially constructed pod-like dwellings, fabricated out of salvaged timber and metal sheeting. The pods were scattered throughout Courland, intentionally hidden from view, in ravines, crevices and wooded areas.

If discovered by locals the pods would be disassembled and moved to a new location ensuring privacy and solitude. The dispersed collective met infrequently and instead used CB radio to broadcast music, stories and poetry and to educate each other in methods of resilience, foraging, fire building, and water purifying - preparations for daily and future scenarios.

These broadcasts would occasionally be picked up by truck drivers travelling between Riga and Roja, and it seems the group were obsessed with reimagining the future through Sci-fi, afro futurism, and electronica. These weird and futuristic stories became a talking point amongst Trucker communities, and the group were given their own handler ‘Signals from Another World’. The last reported broadcast was heard in 1978 and no sound nor sighting of the group has occurred since. 

40 years later this story is little known, and as such is almost erased from public consciousness. Although it exists only as anecdote and rumour, Ray & Webster proposed to use this partial, hidden story as the starting point and catalyst for their project at Roja Art Lab, Latvia.

Their intention was to practically explore this little known narrative by re-fabricating a full-scale escape pod structure, experimentally replicating structures from the photos and documents they had found. Using salvaged timber boarding, recut to size, they basically repurposed a geodesic structure so that it became a pod-like structure. Working with architect Oskars Redbergs and curator Maris Grosbahs, a remote location was found as a place to site the pod and used for daily broadcasts of stories, songs, lectures, and live readings.

Writers, musicians, and artists from Latvia, USA, UK and Germany were invited to contribute materials for the daily broadcasts. Ray & Webster were particularly interested in using the broadcasts to share content which dealt with unofficial stories of and for the marginalised. This included materials that had been overlooked, relics that have been forgotten and ignored and they broadcast these daily as web streams, as “signals from another world”.  

To listen to the daily streams visit: Signals From Another World

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