Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Mark Amerika

Second Advisor

Lori Emerson

Third Advisor

Erin Espelie

Fourth Advisor

Michael Theodore

Fifth Advisor

John Barber


Georhythmic Drift Music is an on-going work which focuses on the intersections between deep listening research with VLF [very low frequency] radio emissions, unmanned aerial vehicles, and impromptu listening stations. Running experiments with aerial technology as both a courier system and an “acoustic prosthetic” goes against the grain of current art practices and privileges the use of drones to capture the auditory potential of the atmosphere with the aid of extended antennas.

Employing a combination of FM broadcast and cellular live-streaming platforms, Ruehlen trafficks re-tuned and "prepared" readings of VLF radio weather across the airwaves using D.I.Y. devices. These long range compositions are performed simultaneously in two different locations. At once, the artist transmits from a geographically remote region, while an audience often gather in urban parking lots, tuning in communally through their car radios to sounds otherwise inaudible on an electromagnetic grid infrastructure. VLF is often referred to by radio-hobbyists and scientists as “natural radio” because it acts as a conduit, apprehending and translating weather phenomenon.