New York’s Clocktower Radio, the experimental online art radio station, will host Living Live, a series of twice-monthly radio shows and viewing parties this summer from Red Bull Studios in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The broadcasts (Aug. 6-Sept. 17) will accompany Peter Coffin’s current solo exhibition, “Living,” on view at the space (through Sept. 16).
Conceived by Coffin and Clocktower founder Alanna Heiss, the broadcasts provide an opportunity for viewers to engage with the exhibition’s psychedelic and aural sub-themes, as well as survey the current state of Internet and broadcast radio. Each show will feature DJs, music, interviews and roundtable discussions. On Aug. 6, for example, New Jersey independent radio station WFMU’s station manager Ken Freedman will discuss copyright law, open-source activism and digital distribution with Jason Sigal, the co-founding director, with Freedman, of the Free Music Archive, a digital library of copyright-cleared music and other audio available for download. The interview will be followed by a set of experimental and indie music culled from the Archive.
In a phone interview, Clocktower’s program director David Weinstein explained that the collaboration with Coffin and Red Bull Studios (a multi-disciplinary project space with a gallery, recording studio, lecture hall and performance hall) was serendipitous. After losing its lease at the end of 2013, Clocktower began operating out of several spaces in almost every borough of New York City. A last-minute opportunity to use Red Bull Studios, where Coffin happened to be exhibiting his work, was a “wonderful coincidence,” he said. “In addition to having a nice relationship with Red Bull Studios, Coffin has also worked with us in the past-Alanna Heiss curated an exhibition of his work at MoMA PS1—and Peter is a radio junky. With the move to Internet radio he’s more hungry and more curious.”
“Radio is exploding,” Weinstein continued. “It’s a Wild West out there. The availability of the Internet makes it possible for any two people with a computer to run a radio station. Clocktower’s been doing it for 10 years.”
The broadcasts and viewing parties provide an opportunity for established stations like Clocktower to converse with smaller creative radio stations to discuss the challenges and future of the medium. “We are not really competitors but we’re also not that close,” he mused. “I think it’s really important to forge those connections and get advice from each other.”
The radio broadcasts complement the multi-media exhibition, which includes large works, like an ’80s DeLorean covered in bumper stickers as well as psychedelic sound and light installations. Additionally, invited musicians will perform selections from Coffin’s series of albums Music for Plants inside a terrarium replete with plants, a watering system and grow lights. “It makes sense to add curated sound by people whose job it is to assemble soundtracks or sound installations,” said Weinstein.
Each session is free and open to the public and episodes will be available on Clocktower’s website after airing.