Last 30mins

Jim Harold and Matthew Sansom

April 1, 00:00 - April 30, 23:59, 2015
88.0 FM 25mW

From the radiating point of 45º31’49.7186”N 73º36’23.8114”W (position error +/- 213’)
Broadcast location can easily be found by dropping these coordinates into Google maps.

For the month of April, 2015, the 12th anniversary of the Iraq War, The Dim Coast will re-broadcast Jim Harold and Matthew Sansom's remarkable work, Last 30mins as part of our A Year of Radio Silence series of broadcasts now hosted by The Dim Coast.

A Year of Radio Silence was originally a project by Steve Bates that has developed into a series of works by artists working with near silent, or very quiet radio broadcasts.

+ + + + + + + + + + +

The sound work Last 30mins was originally conceived during the Iraq War in 2003 and was first shown as an installation at the Vardy Gallery, University of Sunderland, UK, in September 2003. It was later installed for a two-week period at the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Glasgow in 2004. In 2007 it was broadcast as part of the programme 'In Memoriam' for Giant Ear on free103point9, New York, USA.

Last 30mins is a collaborative sound-work made by artists Jim Harold and Matthew Sansom. It was produced using recordings made during the last thirty-minutes of Iraq Radio broadcasts that were picked up in April 2003 by radio receivers in the UK. All the material used has been taken from a number of tapes provided by the BBC’s listening station in Berkshire. One tape containing material from Uday Hussein’s own radio station 'The 'Voice of Youth'. Uday was, of course, one of Saddam Hussein's sons.

Experiencing the sound work the listener enters a desert-like after-world of silences that is punctuated by muted, distorted and barely intelligible fragments of broadcasts - talk shows, music, news, etc. - that drift in and out of audibility. These sounds cross, layer and at times collide with one another before returning to their separate silences. The work is intended to create a soundscape that is as much about the absence of sound as it is about the audible material, and at times capitalizes on the deterioration of sound caused by the US and UK Coalition's jamming of the original sound broadcasts.

"In the process of making the 'Last 30mins' we have tried to create a meditative work that allows the richness and variety of the original material - the representations and reflections on everyday life; the media intrusions and banalities and what we know of the troubling undertow of political activity - to speak."

Another version of Last 30mins is available for download:

Jim Harold
Jim Harold is a sculptor, photographer and installation artist. For the last twenty years he has lived in Glasgow. In 2002-3 he was Artist in Residence at Durham Cathedral. His work has been shown throughout the UK and Europe, including The Northern Centre for Photography, Finland, Camden Arts Centre, London, Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh, Tramway, Glasgow and The Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Glasgow. Individual works are held in public collections, including the V&A, London, and the Arts Council of England.

Since 1982 he has lectured at a number of University Art Departments across the UK and as a visiting lecturer to institutions in Canada and Europe. Between 1994 and 1998 he was Head of Sculpture at Glasgow School of Art and from 1998-2007 he was a Senior Lecturer, Researcher and Programme Leader in Contemporary Photographic Practice at Northumbria University, Newcastle. He currently works part-time as a visiting lecturer at Glasgow School of Art, and an external examiner for the University of the Highlands and Islands and the University for the Creative Arts (Farnham, Surrey, UK).

He writes and lectures on photography and sculpture, and much of his research and practice has centred on the role played by the dual concepts of Nature and Culture in our understanding of the physical world. He is interested in the way that our understanding of landscape - as both an historical and contemporary artefact within culture - has been continually re-figured within European cultures as a result of the shifting currents of thought that are set in motion by the disciplines of aesthetics, the natural sciences, philosophy, sociology and politics. In this regard his research has focused on the way that 'value' has been placed on certain types of land or landscape experiences and not on others. In particular he has concentrated on the question of marginal spaces and marginality in landscape: those areas or territories (physical and ideological) that exist at the edge or at the limit. Recent research has, in particular, focused on the notion of the boundary as applied to European cultures in relation to those of the Middle East.

Mathew Sansom
Matthew Sansom is an international artist working across a variety of media and contexts including sound, video, sculpture, installation, performance, and musical composition. Working principally with field recordings and found sounds, his work has been exhibited and performed internationally, including the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, National Theatre of Prague, Victoria & Albert Museum, ICA (London), CCA (Glasgow), t-u-b-e galerie (Munich), Korean Institute of Culture, Ely Cathedral. Recent commissions have also included sound-based sculptural installations for Liverpool City Council and an audiovisual work for the Four Seasons Hotel, Shanghai. He is a member of the Landscape Quartet exploring environmental participatory sound art and music, which has held residencies, exhibited work and performed in the UK, Sweden and Vietnam. He holds a doctorate in free improvisation and is a senior lecturer at the University of Surrey teaching computer-based creative practice.

His work explores the connection between the external stimuli of sound and its inwardly activated qualities. This involves listening to sounds and silences, their relationships, contexts and meanings in order to reflect on what they might reveal and say beyond themselves. It is an exploration of the phenomenal experience of sound, the soundscape and its meanings. Meanings related to biological imperatives, others marking out identity (personal and cultural), and finally and of particular interest, inward resonances that shape and colour our inner states. Related themes that emerge from these concerns are: liminality; thresholds and modalities of perception; and the subtle and veiled qualities of particular fields of meaning. By modifying the ways we encounter and re-experience the soundscape, his work seeks to enrich and to question the role and significance of the act of listening.