Free Radio Berkeley's "How To Make a Radio Station"

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See below for an instructional video from Berkeley's pirate radio station Free Radio Berkeley. The radio station is a major hub for information related to community-oriented micropower broadcasting, and they provide free workshops, legal information, and starter kits as part of their mission. In How To Make a Radio Station, FRB's founder Stephen Dunifer outlines how to build an FM transmitter.


How To Make a Radio Station from Free Radio on Vimeo.

(Via free103point9's blog.)

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Turn On Your TV

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On February 17, 2009, the U.S. television broadcast signal will go digital, effectively putting an end to analog television. To mark this moment, The End of Television in Pittsburgh are soliciting videos to air February 17th on the to-be obsolete medium of analog TV. For a full day, submitted videos will be transmitted on Channel 2, and the organizers claim the project "re-imagines the omnipresent idea of 'broadcast yourself.'" One wonders if artists will begin taking over these neglected airwaves once the switchover is complete, an exciting possibility to be sure. The End of Television will be accepting submissions until January 25th.

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Radio Activity

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Video: Yip Yip aliens discover a radio (via free103point9's blog)

Lots of radio-related activity this week. Art collective Finishing School will, um, finish their three-month residency at MOCA on Thursday with their project Finding Joy. The title "finding joy" is a military term for establishing radio contact in battle. In preparation for this one night event, Finishing School conducted and prerecorded a series of interviews in which interviewees discuss what brings them joy. Part workshop and part treasure hunt, participants will be asked to build small DIY radios in order to pick up transmissions of these interviews, which are dispersed throughout the museum. The public is also invited to call in and share their thoughts about joy, and Finishing School have set up a "Finding Joy Hotline" for this purpose.

New York-area freeform radio station WFMU is what brings me joy, and beginning this weekend WFMU will hold a benefit art sale at Printed Matter, accompanied by an online auction as well. This is their 50th year in operation, and as most listeners will agree, WFMU have a long standing commitment to supporting and covering the arts. Tauba Auerbach, Olaf Breuning, Mike Kelley, Christian Marclay, Richard Prince, Gelitin, Swoon are only a few of the artists auctioning work, which is "priced to sell."

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Dear God, It's Me, Tivo

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It's interesting to think of the correlations between religion and reproduction. From illuminated manuscripts to the Guttenberg Bible, sacred texts have pushed reproductive techniques forward. Electronic media have only entrenched the scenario: Televangelism, holy-rolling web rings, and spiritual podcasts might put the script in scripture, but they have also led to what some are seeing as a revival in spiritualism among online consumers, er, believers. In Karlsruhe, Germany, new media place of worship ZKM has mounted an exhibition entitled Medium Religion, which is focused on what happens when religious faith moves "from the private sphere of personal belief out into the public sphere of visual communication." The works they've included--by artists Christoph Büchel, Paul Chan, Wim Delvoye, Valie Export, Omer Fast, Boris Groys, Vitaly Komar, Beryl Korot and Steve Reich, robotlab, and many others--consider the role of images in broadcasting ideology and the structure of mass media's discourse networks. While looking at the link between world views and worldwide transmissions, the show also raises the question of what happens to "minority faiths" and how they weather a ratings or hit-driven communication economy. In addition to the many art projects included, the show features a number of "documentary installations" that provide evidence of spiritual transmissions' popularity, ranging from a roundup of Osama Bin Laden's video messages to episodes of Paul Eugene's Gospel Aerobics. But that raises another question... If the body is a temple, what would god make of the new flesh? - Marisa Olson

Image: Valie Export, Ingrid and Oswald Wiener, Das Unsagbare Sagen, 1992

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Radio Astronomy (2004) - r a d i o q u a l i a

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LAUNCH

Statement: Radio Astronomy is an art and science project which broadcasts sounds intercepted from space live on the internet and on the airwaves. Listeners will hear the acoustic output of radio telescopes live. The content of the live transmission will depend on the objects being observed by partner telescopes. On any given occasion listeners may hear the planet Jupiter and its interaction with its moons, radiation from the Sun, activity from far-off pulsars or other astronomical phenomena.

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Laps (2008) - Art of Failure (Nicolas Maigret and Nicolas Montgermont)

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LAPS 2008 from art of failure on Vimeo.


Artist's statement: Laps is an audio and visual installation that uses Internet as an imaginary space where sound echoes, reverberates throughout the Web. Based on transmission errors, the sound material is shaped by the virtual acoustic space of the network. Sound streams broadcasted within the installation structure gradually echoes the activity of the Web in various locations of the globe. Its analysis in these various points is used to progressively draw the contours of an imaginary landscape inside the installation.

(via Network Research)

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Walker Channel now available on iTunes U

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The Walker Art Center's web casting branch, the Walker Channel, just announced that their broadcasts are now available on iTunes U. The channel provides webcasts of the Walker's programming, including lectures, readings, and presentations involving artists, scholars, and critics of contemporary art and culture. The Walker Channel is an invaluable resource for contemporary art research -- a quick glance through the archives and one will find artists talks with the likes of Cameron Jamie, Thomas Hirschhorn, Raqs Media Collective (conducted by Steve Dietz), Steina Vasulka, Amy Youngs, and much more. Their entire archives are not yet available via iTunes, but hopefully soon will be.

Visit the Walker Channel on iTunes U

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Blue (one second brainwave transmitted to the star Rigel) (1993) - Spencer Finch

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Brainwave generated while looking at Hawaii Five-O, transmitted at the speed of light to the bluest star in the night sky, where it will arrive in about 960 years.

microwave signal at 44mHz, 1 inch x 186,000 miles

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Broadening the Spectrum

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Montreal-based artist Matthew Biederman is daring to speak out about what he sees as military and government hijacking of what is "arguably one of Earth's most important, and only inexhaustible resources": air waves. Whereas radio was once intended as a many-to-many mode of communication, tight regulation of frequencies has led to a scenario in which the few (mostly corporate entities) are entitled to speak to the masses. His project, DAREDX, "seeks to re-establish the public's presence and right of occupation within the radio spectrum." In an effort to restore some of the utopian ideals initially associated with radio, the project will connect the public with the voices that float in the air around them and yet often go unheard: the voices of amateur broadcasters. Working almost like an astronomer, Biederman (under the call sign VA2XBX) will pluck transmissions out of the night sky, playing them back in Montreal's Cabot Square and logging and mapping them online. Drawing a connection between free public speech and the right of public assembly, DAREDX will amplify the voice of the people. Radioheads will be excited to know that non-vocal signals will also be charted, as the artist will "work with digital communications on HF, in order to send and receive SSTV (SlowScan Televsion), WEFAX (from NOAA Satellites), PSK31, Hellschrieber, and many more." In case you don't feel dialed-in enough to understand what that means, consider attending one of the talks, walks, or workshops associated with the project--including the one on how to build and take home your own FM transmitter! - Marisa Olson


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Over the Long Haul

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There never seems to be an ideal time to write about Longplayer. The thousand-year long musical composition, conceived by Jem Finer, has been playing for the past eight years and two-hundred and thirty-one days in the lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London (as well as via Internet stream and at various listening posts throughout the world) and at the conclusion of its first iteration, on December 31st 2999, is scheduled to begin again. While the project continues Finer's concern with "representing and understanding the fluidity and expansiveness of time," it also, on another level, serves as a vehicle to speculate about the trajectories of society and technology in the coming millennium, given that the continuing performance of Longplayer is entirely reliant upon these forces. A computer currently performs the composition, which comprises five transpositions of a piece of source music, played simultaneously and then at various advancements on Tibetan singing bowls, but Finer and The Longplayer Trust (established to oversee the upkeep of the composition) worry about its ongoing reliability, given "how few technologies have remained viable over the last millennium." Possible future alternatives range from a dedicated global radio frequency to "non-electrical, mechanical and organic implementations" of the composition and, most far-fetched, a small, computational device like ones "used in deep space missions," designed to play Longplayer and disseminated in the thousands, thereby preserving the piece by "adopting the biological strategy of survival by excessive multiplication and reproduction." Thankfully, humans have not been entirely ruled out of the equation, and in September 2009, a handful will perform a 1,000-minute section of the composition on six concentric circles of singing bowls. What form Longplayer will take in the centuries thereafter remains to be seen. - Tyler Coburn


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