Radio is essential to the global family, integral to the functioning of society, and has sustained itself despite new technologies and convergences. One hundred years on and radio is as strong as ever and technically less complex than internet communications, certainly far more portable. The radio frequency spectrumi was recognised in 2003 as a "finite natural resource"ii by the United Kingdom’s select committee on Culture, Media and Sport. This resource is governed by international agencies, most notably the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)iii, and country specific entities such as the Australian Communications Authorityiv.
Every country administers radio frequency spectrum allocation through government agencies, many of whom are also responsible for the allocation of broadcast licences, from public to private, government to community. The spectrum covers emergency services, defence, air-traffic control and weather forecasting to name a few. From radio's that bring information to marginalised communities to remote sensing satellites that scan the planet for its natural resources, the spectrum and the medium are ubiquitous.
Ryszard Struzak in his paper, Access to Spectrum / Orbit Resources and Principles of Spectrum Managementv, describes radio as much like "the nervous system in a living organism". It is crucial to national and international services, particularly security and economy. It is this notion of radio, integral to the maintenance of an organic system that is surveyed, explored and observed in this five movement radio-phonic work. How best to investigate such a system than to do so algorithmically, or in more congenial terms, generatively.
Generative systems can reflect the ebb and flow of spectrum data allocation, from its early days to the present scarcity, or rather, density of frequencies and the demands put on regulators to exploit them. The Frequency Post is a six movement radiophonic investigation into the complex nature of spectrum allocation, the evolution of the radiosphere and personal accounts within the extremes of economic development and the dead air zones of dense urbanity.
Within the medium of radio-art explorations cross where science and engineering are unable, to draw data from multiple, seemingly unrelated sources, renders new maps, uncharted territories between and beyond the spectrum, just as Fourier (1822), Maxwell (1873) and Hertz (1888) glimpsed the sonic shadow resident with us then, in service to us now.
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