(Return to the International Gallery of Electro-Aware Artists here.)
Ethna Monks is an electro-sensitive artist in Ireland, and a member of the Irish Electromagnetic Radiation Victims Network (IERVN). She is preparing to write her PhD thesis on Technology, Anarchy, and Art.
“My electro-sensitivity began as I was commencing the honours year of my art degree. Having received high marks and a merit in my standard degree my honours year saw me struggle, as I practically became disabled. The symptoms were severe sleep deprivation, headaches, nausea, poor concentration, memory loss and a continuous sound/vibration/resonance in the environment. I was living close to a radio mast, but this environmental impairment was triggered by the doubling of the voltage of electricity in the village for new street lighting. Not aware of what was happening to me, I became a nomad, scouring the area through the night for the source of the resonance. In an attempt to get some sleep, I moved into my garden shed, slept in my car, and ended up staying with friends. Later, I was to get cancer from the problem, and felt that I needed to move or die.
“My treatment for cancer has been successful and I moved into the nearest town. Here, there were no problems for eighteen months until the installation of wireless water meters. My problem returned. Since then I have become aware of twenty-seven other sufferers in Ireland, although I am sure that there are many more. I have also discovered that the vibrations relate to the Microwave Auditory Effect. This means that radiofrequency sound vibrates the soft tissue of the brain and travels to the acoustic channels, making it seem like a sound. Another woman in my area suffers with similar symptoms, and she has been living a nomadic life for twenty years.
“Now I spend my time using my skills as an artist, and linking practice and theory, e.g. contemporary theories in relation to the pedagogical turn in art and art as living form.” ~Ethna Monks