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Quindar is a joint project between Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen and historian & curator of modern and contemporary art, James Merle Thomas.

Do you remember the “beeps” heard in recordings of communications with early manned NASA space missions?  We wondered what those were too and learned that they are called “Quindar Tones.”  These beeps let both astronauts and mission control that they were still in contact with each other.  If the beeps went away, that meant that something was wrong with the radio & would need to be addressed or fixed.  These beeps were generated by a very simple, rudimentary synthesizer and yes, we were smitten by the geeky synth part, but that the Quindar tones’ function is to say, “Are you there?”  “Yes, we’re still here. Are you still there?”  And so on…