perspective on radio art”
Hammer, AMK, Damion Romero, Gil Kuno, GX
Jupitter-Larsen and Jessica King
“Everyone knows much
of America is wide open empty space. In much of the nation still to
this day, the only sound you'll going to hear is not wildlife, but that
of radio. That's if you happened to have a receiver handy in the first
Not everyone however, fully
comprehends how, in America, a city can be empty without being a ghost
town. Los Angeles is one such town.
Both bright and dusty, Los
Angeles is a checkerboard of vacant lots and parking spaces. The city
is dotted with both Vacancy and Keep Out signs. Empty maybe, but the
void that is the Los Angeles landscape remains buzzing under a
condensation of radio buzz.
Radio has had a long history of
being that constant reassuring background hum in the pop culture
context of America. In the age of webcasting and digital satellite
transmissions however, analog over-the-air radio has increasingly
become the domain for the outer fringes of special interest groups. The
background static is still there, but the noise is often distance and
Radio, like traffic noise, is
often just more sound pollution to the average listener.
So what are artists to do in
such a cultural context? What is radio art within such a place? How
does one make radio meaningful where there is no community? How does
the artist make radio personal?
In this series I've invited five
Los Angeles based artists to help answer these questions. Each of them
has had an extensive involvement in radio, either by actively
broadcasting over the air, or by repurporting the medium in a larger
artistic frame of reference.
The series starts with Joseph
Hammer taking a look at how cultural identity is manifested by radio.
AMK makes radio his turntable.
He takes radio and cuts it up into little pieces much like he does with
his flexi records in order to play back a very different tune.
Can radio signals physically
change the shape of your receiver? Maybe...
Damion Romero affects resonate
physical space as the tactile edges of harmonic equilibrium are
explored with raw noise and feedback.
Gil Kuno listens in on the local
There are china dolls, and there
are paper dolls. There are also radio dolls, according to Hollywood
based toy designer Jessica King, who will be joining me in a
collaboration for the final broadcast of this series.”