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Nile Koetting “Apocalypses” courtesy of Yamamoto Gendai Tokyo 2015

Whistler

Free and ubiquitous energy has always been a utopian dream for the technosphere as it confronts the limits of a finite Earth system. In his artistic narration, Nile Koetting cycles through a series of inquiries about free and ubiquitous energy and the spectacle that results.
You think ecologically tuned life means being all efficient and pure. Wrong. It means you can have a disco in every room of your house. -Timothy Morton
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Here in 2016, the Earth is still facing problems involving energy resources and efforts are being made to develop new energy and research ways of saving energy. When was the idea of trying to save energy born? Nikola Tesla, the noted inventor active more than a hundred years ago, reportedly invented a mechanism for an unlimited supply of energy from the air, i.e. free energy technology. Did he have any idea of the energy problems that would arise in the future? My own work titled Whistler, presented at an exhibit in Tokyo in spring 2016, revolved around Thomas Henry Moray, an inventor active in the 1930s who was influenced by the idea of free energy. In addition, the exhibit reflected on bio-ethanol energy technology that arose in the 2000s (for producing energy from corn), Hollywood doomsday movies, and whistlers (atmospheric electromagnetic waves). Whistler was staged in parallel with Magnitude, an installation exhibited at Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum at the same time. Magnitude took a retrospective look at the story of the incandescent lightbulb invented by Thomas Edison along with the history of similar bulbs made by other researchers before Edison. It also focused on the narrative unfolding in the relationship between science and society. If Magnitude were to be likened to a photographic positive, Whistler would be the negative. In the post-apocalyptic situation of the present, how can science, Hollywood, the occult, and meteorological phenomena be positioned and configured on this planet Earth
Free Energy | Earth as a device
Thomas Henry Moray (1892‒1974) was one of the most talented designers of electronic circuitry in the 1920s. In the 1930s, he conducted demonstrations of the Moray Converter, a device of his own invention that produced electricity entirely from a natural energy resource, which he called “radiant energy.” The idea, which was greatly influenced by the notion of “free energy,” was demonstrated by Moray in his laboratory. Eventually, however, Felix Franzer, who had assisted him in its development, took an ax to the device and destroyed it, for reasons unknown. Moray was unable to build another subsequently, because of the prohibitive expense incurred in constructing it initially. Since Moray’s death, no one has been able to determine exactly how the device operated.
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Demo with lights, Henry Moray in the 1930s

"Demo with antenna: Moray gave numerous demonstrations of his invention. All he would ask in return were letters of testimony from the witnesses. Moray had been a crystal radio enthusiast since he was a boy. The challenge in this hobby was to maximize the received signal using a good antenna and ground connection and, most importantly, a good rectifying detector. He often tried out exotic materials: while on a church mission to Sweden, Moray found the mysterious “Swedish stone,” which became the main detector material for his invention. The first device could only weakly light a single bulb. Beginning in 1925, the invention was improved to produce a few hundred watts; and later demos typically manifested about 5,000 watts. Here the device would light a bank of bulbs, power an electric heater, and drive a fan."Moray, B. King. The Energy Machine of T. Henry Moray: Zero-Point Energy and Pulsed Plasma. Adventures Unlimited Press, 2005.
The earth has always continued to supply new materials and energy sources.
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Moray’s Earth is decisively different, however, because the Earth is used as the subject of a device for transmission. This can be gathered from the title of the book authored by his son John Moray, The Sea of Energy on Which the Earth Floats. The main sources of energy up until the eighteenth century were water, wind, and coal. They were followed by petroleum, which was discovered in the nineteenth century; and later by the new materials known as renewable energy that were developed in the wake of the oil crises in the 1970s. Biomass ethanol and other new fuels are produced from corn and other plants. They begin from the cultivation of the Earth’s soil and plant seeds, handling the Earth like a canvas. We start to make a drawing using a solution called “Ethanol” and a brush named “Turbine” ‒ a masterpiece.
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“Financial Crisis” Nile Koetting 2016 (above), fabric, led, plexiglass, corn. “Zero point energy” Nile Koetting 2015 (below), a realization of Henry moray’s “Radient Energy Device” with plexi glass, wire, light bulb, LED. Both courtesy of Yamamoto Gendai
How would this approach to energy refining have appeared to Moray in the 1930s? From the 1920s to the 1930s, when Moray was engaged in his research and development of the radiant energy device, the world was experiencing the hardships of the Great Depression. While prices for all kinds of articles were skyrocketing due to inflation, the price of popcorn stayed relatively stable. A box of salted popcorn cost just five or ten cents, and was a mainstay snack for consumption while watching a movie at the local theater. Corn has become a blurry article interposed between an Earth going to perdition (movies) and a clean world (biomass). This is ever stranger now that Hollywood churns out a steady stream of apocalyptic flicks, generating blockbusters that circle the globe together with popcorn by making doomsday their theme.
Apocalypses | Rendering an imaginary earth
"Well, something like this could only originate in Hollywood, Ha-Ha! But seriously, they've got the earth cracking under their asses already, Bill." - 2012 (2009)
The “end of the world” is an image used since ancient times, in the Bible, as in various other religions. Similarly, the end occurs over and over again in many of the apocalyptic films born in Hollywood. Wikipedia contains a list of disaster films classified into various genres. On this list, the “end of world” genre has the most entries ‒ forty-eight titles, to be exact. In other words, at least forty-eight Earths have ended on the screen.
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"Collage" Nile Koetting 2016

"This is the Earth, at a time when dinosaurs roamed a lush & fertile planet. But the piece of rock just six miles wide changed all that. It hit with the force of ten thousand nuclear weapons. A trillion tons of dirt & rock hurtled into the atmosphere creating a suffocating blanket of dust the Sun was powerless to penetrate for a thousand years. It happened before, it will happen again, it's just a question of when." - ARMAGEDDON (1998)
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"Popcorn" Nile Koetting 2016

The end of the world arrives time and again along with the smell of popcorn in cinemas, home theaters, and on the internet. On the screen, we watch the land splitting in two, magma attacking cities, aliens invading Earth, tsunamis swallowing towns, and people killing each other until no one is left alive.
Sensation | Sensing a globe
Whistlers reportedly were discovered around the time of the First World War, when people who buried electrodes in the ground in an attempt to listen in on military telephone conversations found their eavesdropping was hindered by strange static. Actually, the sound now flowing on this page was picked up with a very low frequency (VLF) receiver.
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Whistlers are a type of ultra-low frequency electromagnetic wave that occurs in nature. They occur when some of the statics (atmospheric electromagnetic waves) generated by lightning discharges pass through the ionosphere, cross the equator, and propagate to the other hemisphere. Although ordinarily they are not audible by the human ear, they can be, upon conversion into sound waves with a VLF receiver. The name derives from the sound that resembles a type of whistling with a descending tone, which results when they are converted to sound waves. Scientists learned of the existence of whistlers in the 1920s.
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The latest whistler log
The whistler phenomenon is constantly occurring around the world. The flow of energy we cannot sense with our bodies can be transformed into abstract sound by means of a receiver.
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The whistler phenomenon is constantly occurring around the world. The flow of energy we cannot sense with our bodies can be transformed into abstract sound by means of a receiver. The Earth is constantly changing its image: heliocentricism, geocentricism, global village, World Wide Web. What kind of Earth are we going to create next? One research project reportedly concluded that there was a probable risk of mass extinction of life on Earth due either to an impact by a huge meteor or by volcanic activity and the subsequent climate change caused by such seismic and tectonic shifts over the course of a few billion years. Who will be filming us and enjoying the scene with a bag of popcorn in hand then?