Sunday, 29. August 2010, 23:03 - 23:45, Ö1



“Now That You're Around Me”

by Joseph Hammer


The first part of “Personal radio”, a radio art series curated by GX Jupitter-Larsen, presents a radiophonic exploration of cultural identity and how it manifests itself in radio programs. Joseph Hammer is an artist and musician based in Los Angeles, California. His piece “Now That You’re Around Me” consists of looped sound material recorded in Hawaii.

“The way a society expresses its cultural identity is often difficult to perceive until one travels far enough from one's own geographic region to begin to feel aesthetic differences. Cultural identity often manifests itself in various interpersonal behaviors, dialect, aesthetic choices in graphic
design, color and subject matter, and, of course, music.  These choices are reflected in what we do for ourselves and what we do, both personally and professionally, for others. The growth of media, like newspapers, magazines, television and radio fill a need to communicate within a local community.

The growth of Internet technology has now made it possible for one to listen in to distant voices and view images produced by and for a local cultural community.

In 1989, I traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, for a one-month stay. I submerged myself in the urban environment that grew from the cultural confluence between local culture and colonial influence in a postcolonial era. My experience of cultural identity in my home city of Los Angeles, gave me a feeling a familiarity with these mixtures. I roamed the tourist area of Waikiki, through
aging arcades full of trinkets for sale and tropically themed restaurants, blighted neighborhoods surrounding Pearl Harbor, local eateries serving a variety of ethnic cuisine. I perused thrift shops and used bookstores noting the objects cast off by people to whom this tropical city is home.  I was most fascinated how local radio voiced the sound of the local cultures dialects, announcement of activities and choice of music. The thrift shops provided my art materials, a small monophonic tape recorder, a reel of magnetic tape, and a portable radio. A loop of tape is my sonic canvas on which to paint my impressions in sound.”
(Joseph Hammer)