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signal to nose | April Unblurred Gallery

April 23, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

signal to nose

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!

This is an interactive exhibition created by Lindsey French. An event on April 16, Nonnonsense Radio, will be presented by students from the University of Pittsburgh in conjunction with the exhibition. 
Lindsey is an artist and educator whose work engages in gestures of communication with landscapes and the nonhuman. Motivated by respectful collaboration with the natural world, she makes texts written in collaboration with trees, scent transmissions, and videos made for plant perception.  She has shared her work in places such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and the International Museum of Surgical Science (Chicago), Pratt Manhattan Gallery (New York), and in conjunction with the International Symposium of Electronics Arts (Albuquerque and Vancouver). Her work has been featured in Leonardo, discussed on podcasts for Creative Disturbance and Bad at Sports, and in publications including Why Look at Plants (Brill, 2018) and Botanical Speculations (Cambridge Scholars, 2018). Lindsey currently teaches as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Studio Arts at the University Pittsburgh. She has had the pleasure of working with students in her Non-Visual Arts topics course to develop a one-night show in conjunction with the exhibition.

About the Artists for Nonnonsense Radio:

  • Lucas Franco is a sophomore Studio Arts major at the University of Pittsburgh who works primarily with photography. Born and raised in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Lucas loves to experiment with different mediums, but always finds a way to incorporate his photography into his work when he can.


  • Caleb Kramer is an artist from the University of Pittsburgh. Caleb has experience with drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, and Non-Visual/Visual art. He loves to make art in all forms because it is relaxing and reduces his stress.


  • Caleb Lefever is an architectural studies major with a minor in studio arts. He will be graduating in April 2019 and plans to pursue a Masters of Architecture degree in fall 2020.


  • Brianna Mims is a Psychology and Studio Arts double major at the University of Pittsburgh. She actively seeks new materials and techniques to add to her art practice, but regardless of medium, Brianna looks to her knowledge of Psychology to complement her art making.


  • Shannon Spear grew up in rural Pennsylvania where she explored the land around her and consumed fantasy content in cartoons, books, and video games. This has led to themes of fantasy and nature appearing throughout her own work. Presently, Shannon is studying studio arts at the University of Pittsburgh where she is experimenting with a variety of different mediums.


  • Christina Hansen is preparing to enter her senior year as a part-time, non-traditional student at the University of Pittsburgh. She moved to Pennsylvania after earning her Associates of Arts degree from Palm Beach State College (Lake Worth, Florida) in 2001. She took several gap years to work and establish a life working at D.T. Mistick & Co./Church Restoration Group as an Art Restoration Associate until the company’s dissolution in 2016. With that loss, she was able to return to school to complete her Bachelors of Arts degree. She is focused on completing her History of Art and Architecture major and Studio Art minor in hopes of continuing on a path towards a career in an art conservation setting. She is currently a Studio Assistant in the Frick Fine Arts Digital Fabrication Studio where she explores digital fabrication techniques and processes as well as various material capabilities (which now include the non-visual). In her free-time she makes zines and artist books and is currently pursuing statuary-based provenance and conservation research.


  • Amanda Nichols is a recent Pitt graduate who studied psychology, neuroscience, and studio arts. She is interested in the integration of these disciplines in whatever form possible and mainly focuses on abstract and geometric drawing/painting


  • Emily Robinson is a third year art student at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a food artist and loves to incorporate food into her work any time possible. She likes to push the boundaries of in art with the use of food and incorporating the senses into her work. 


April 23, 2019
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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4824 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224 United States
(412) 661-6111
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