Silent Key, Tracy Williams LTD, 2008
Tracy Williams, Ltd. is pleased to present Silent Key, an exhibition of photographs and pigment prints by Los Angeles-based artist, Cindy Bernard. In Bernard’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, the artist utilizes the concept of sound as subject, via a series of pigment prints inspired by her grandfather Bill Adams’ experience as a ham radio operator from 1923 until his death in 1999, when he became a “silent key.”
The series Silent Key maps the communications which occurred between fellow ham radio operators located throughout distant regions of the world, spanning vast political divides and shifts in territorial alliances. Deleted Entities 1925-1996 forms part of this series and is derived from Bill Adams’ archive of 6,000 QSL cards spanning his 76 years working as a radio operator. Within the world of amateur radio operators, QSL cards functioned as a form of identification, and were exchanged to verify two-way contact between hams. Each card contains the ham’s call sign, location and details of communication. Because much of amateur radio is in Morse code, hams use the QSL cards to express their personality and provide information about the region in which they live—resulting in a diverse visual array of graphic, image and vernacular typography representing virtually every country in the world.