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Program Information
The Radio Art Hour
A show where art is not just on the radio, but is the radio.
Weekly Program
Introductions from Philip Grant, and Wave Farm Radio Art Fellow Jess Spear.
 Wave Farm/WGXC 90.7-FM  Contact Contributor
Welcome to "The Radio Art Hour," a show where art is not just on the radio, but is the radio. "The Radio Art Hour" draws from the Wave Farm Broadcast Radio Art Archive, an online resource that aims to identify, coalesce, and celebrate historical and contemporary international radio artworks made by artists around the world, created specifically for terrestrial AM/FM broadcast, whether it be via commercial, public, community, or independent transmission. Come on a journey with us as radio artists explore broadcast radio space through poetic resuscitations and playful celebrations/subversions of the complex relationship between senders and receivers in this hour of radio about radio as an art form. "The Radio Art Hour" features introductions from Philip Grant and Tom Roe, and from Wave Farm Radio Art Fellows Karen Werner, Andy Stuhl, and Jess Speer. The Conet Project's recordings of numbers radio stations serve as interstitial sounds. Go to wavefarm.org for more information about "The Radio Art Hour" and Wave Farm's Radio Art Archive.
This week radio art works from Rachel Rosenthal and Michael Trigilio, and introduced by Wave Farm Radio Art Fellow Jess Spear, are featured. First, "filename:FUTURFAX by Rachel Rosenthal. Like the best of dystopian fiction, "filename:FUTURFAX" (1990) at first takes us in with the premise that the future is a technological utopia where problems of hunger, deprivation, uncertainty, and unhappiness have been solved forever. The narrator receives a fax from a future civilization after a great crash, sent through a time warp, written and clarified by a computer operated by a team of scientists sending good wishes. Whispers of uncertainty slip in when you hear that art is no longer made after being deemed superfluous and subversive by the lawmakers (they do tell jokes, however). Recalling 1984 and Brave New World, the future civilization is founded on total technocratic control and scientific progress, having become de-deified and losing religion because they control all the natural functions formerly ascribed to mysterious divinities. And then moral and social decorum are maintained thanks to the implants (should we say that?). Soon its revealed that some people suffer incredible fits of boredom, and some, labeled deviants, even escape to the world outside the domed structures of the SSC (self-sufficient communities). These deviants have set up a parallel civilization, one that our scientist reports with great astonishment appears to worship the very environment, in spite of the great hardships imposed by the natural world and the ruins of 20th century civilization. Humanity, at this unknown future date, is reduced to a population of comfortable citizens living in an environment where every element, including themselves, is controlled, and a group eking out an existence and sacrificing themselves in the work of making amends with the natural world, often becoming sick or dying during cooperative clean-ups of the ruins.



filename:FUTURFAX is emblematic of Rosenthals prominent themes of environmentalism and animal rights in her work, particularly the importance of preserving some areas of the earth from human impact and control. In spite of its initial optimistic feel, the work ultimately served as an expression of Rosenthals despair. When working on the piece, she said in a 1992 interview with OMNI magazine, I was continually sobbing and feeling absolutely depressed by and frightened at what I was saying...I cant bear to see this extraordinary planet lose its wildness and become a human cybernetic machine as it will be if humans prevail. Indeed, the messengers from the future identify the 1980s as the last possible point for positive change, but also recognize that their message wont change the future they live in. Its only in a post-script from the messaging computer that we learn the inhabitants of this future are all women, none capable of reproduction. The extinction of humanity is only a matter of time. - Introduced by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2020/2021, Jess Speer.



Then tune in "The Starve Zone" by Michael Trigilio. Neighborhood Public Radio is a project led by Lee Montgomery, Linda Arnejo, Michael Trigilio, and Jon Brumit that creates short-term microbroadcasting stations in communities and supports community and artist-created content for broadcast. The projects name, acronym, and even logo are intended as critiques of National Public Radio, making the argument that truly non-commercial and community-based programming can be more powerful and meaningful to people than corporate-sponsored public content. In a 2005 interview with Punk Planet, founder Lee Montgomery admitted, on a certain level, what we are trying to emulate is what National Public Radio used to be, contrasting coverage of Vietnam War protests by National Public Radio in the 1970s in which reporters immersed in the protests letting the people around them tell their stories, to contemporary coverage of global protests against the Iraq War consisting of brief reports from journalists in different sites reporting from above the crowd and little more than estimates of numbers of people. The Neighborhood Public Radio project has riffed on other National Public Radio themes, producing a crowdsourced show called American Life that included broadcasts from Portable Radio Instruments (PRI), a riff on distributor Public Radio International and its popular show This American Life.



Since its founding in 2004, Neighborhood Public Radio installations have taken place in galleries, museums, art festivals, and store fronts in a wide array of cities including San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, and Hamburg, and were included as part of the Whitney Biennial in 2008. Installations often include partnerships with local community organizations and artists to create programming, workshops on creating transmitters and other electronic instruments, performances, and interactive broadcasting events that invite the community to be part of the stations content.



Over the course of the 2004 installation at Southern Exposure Gallery in San Francisco, artist Michael Trigilio as his alter-ego, a vitriolic common sense political commentator, Michael Starve, hosted episodes of a call-in political talk show called The Starve Zone. Topics included welfare, religion, poverty, homelessness, and the upcoming election between John Kerry and George W. Bush, including an episode in which he offered live commentary on a presidential debate. In this episode, Starve engages with callers about the lingering effects of war on individuals, societies, and political dealings, and rants about the stultifying effects of mainstream media, including National Public Radio and trivialities presented as front-page news. - Introduced by Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow 2020/2021, Jess Speer.
Wave Farm is a non-profit arts organization driven by experimentation with broadcast media and the airwaves. A pioneer of the Transmission Arts genre, Wave Farm programs provide access to transmission technologies and support artists and organizations that engage with media as an art form. Major activities include the Wave Farm Artist Residency Program; Transmission Art Archive; WGXC 90.7-FM: Radio for Open Ears, a creative community radio station based in New Yorks Upper Hudson Valley; a Fiscal Sponsorship program; and the Media Arts Assistance Fund in partnership with NYSCA Electronic Media/Film. EVERGREEN EPISODE 061.

Rachel Rosenthal, Michael Trigilio Download Program Podcast
A show where art is not just on the radio, but is the radio.
00:58:00 1 March 24, 2022
Produced for Wave Farm in the Hudson Valley in New York.
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