Transmission Annual: Hospitality
At the end of Nadja André Breton notes an extract from a morning newspaper: a wireless operator in charge of the telegraph post on the Ile de Sable had picked up a fragment of a message. It said ‘Something isn’t right’, but did not give the position of the aeroplane at that moment and due to the very bad atmospheric conditions and the interference produced by them, the operator was unable to make out any other phrase or to enter into communication. The message was transmitted on a wavelength of 625 metres, and given the strength of reception, the wireless operator was able to localise the aeroplane within a radius of eighty kilometres. It was a real press article, from 27th December 1927, and possessed, for Breton, the value of an oracle, revealing what he called ‘le hasard objectif ’ (objective chance). ‘Something isn’t right’, but nonetheless with that message is carried also the message of transmission itself, the act of sending and receiving.
Transmission is the act of passing something on, via a channel. One might make a list of ways of transmission, including wisdom, enlightenment, education, messages sent over a distance through electrical or electronic means, and disease (which has both locus and route). In transmission, there is a move from one to another, and each may be changed in the move, in the encounter. To date, our transmission (or Transmission) has encompassed a yearly lecture programme, an annual symposium, a print portfolio, five volumes of discussions between speakers, both artists and academics, and their audiences (Transmission: Speaking and Listening), an on-going series of books (The Rules of Engagement), and a series of chapbooks (Transmission: Host) produced as an exchange between a host and his/her guest. There is research, there are documents, and these are carried wherever co-respondents announce themselves. There is oral transmission and there are written records; the former may be assumed to be less trustworthy than the latter and also, somehow more true (that it is constructed, subjected to careful editing or victim of lost recordings, is often forgotten).
Transmission Annual, our new locus and route, extends our work, which
has followed a theme, though as a theme it has no rules (does not pathologies
its object), other than those of hospitality (to honour the guest, we
might say, though the guest has his/her own duties and obligations); Transmission
Annual draws on broader horizons, wider paths, diverse fields. It is not
an annual, completing its cycle in a yearly season; its appearance relies
on time, money, and goodwill. However, we aim to produce an account of
the proceedings, a statement of profit.Edited by Michael Corris, Jaspar
Joseph-Lester, Sharon Kivland