Last year, artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla used micro-radio transmitters to create a re-volt. That is, by helping community members build nearly 500 micro-radio transmitters, they initiated a process by which power was redirected from the corporations who most profit from the publicly owned airwaves to individuals who can express a diversity of commercial-free viewpoints. Their project Radio Re-volt , created during a residency at the Walker Art Center, culminated in October with a narrowcast the length of University Avenue in Minneapolis. More than 50 micro-radio stations aired from homes and businesses along the route for the benefit of their neighbors or anyone driving the avenue with their radio on.
Now the idea is making its way to Siberia. Trans-Siberian Radio—a.k.a. The Train Station—is a low-power FM station that'll operate on the train that runs from Moscow through Novosibirsk to Beijing, during the conference Capturing the Moving Mind: Management and Movement in the Age of Temporary War, September 11–20. Spearheaded by Natilee Harren, independent curator and grad student in art history at UCLA, the station will be a mobile lab for on-air experimentation, featuring music and ideas created collaboratively by passengers on the train and accessible to everyone along the Trans-Siberian route. As Harren writes, the ever-moving symbol of the train fits the conference's theme: "The spirit of the conference is to cross fixed boundaries and to create an environment that is open to the 'contaminating influences' of the communities through which the train will pass. In fact, the point of having the conference on a train is to escape any restrictions relating to a particular time or place." Visit the project's site when the train is rolling to hear—and manipulate—audio clips from the ride.
More on Radio Re-volt at WiredNews. Click here to read an interview I did with Allora and Calzadilla last spring.