Free Radio

March 22 – May 5, 2012

2012 Open Call Selection

Free Radio, A Primer

Free Radio is a community-based project that will use the CUE Art Foundation gallery as a laboratory in which a different local community will be aided each week with the construction of an on-site radio station and the development of radio programming relative to that community. Each one-week session will be comprised of a series of activities directed toward community building, the development of a voice, archiving that voice, and learning skills associated with radio technology to disseminate that voice. This will culminate in a public broadcast produced entirely by that community and transmitted to the greater New York City Metropolitan Area.


Free Radio, A Manifesto/Mission Statement

Some of the most important things that make a community happen between people; a shared space, a shared cultural ethos, a shared need, a shared mode of communication, a shared voice, and a shared system for the distribution of information. In this age of the decentralized community where we have moved from a band/clan system to a state system it is more and more difficult to see how necessary we are to each other. And, as more of our interactions are mediated by technology, the relationships we have and the information we access in large part end up having to be sought after rather than happened upon. This is the case despite unparalleled access to and prevalence of open source information. In some cases the most common ways we access information is even intentionally limited by outside entities. However, radio is still a place where random knob spinning or button pushing can bare fruit, where something broadcasted is happened upon. Where limiting access to it is significantly more difficult. Where a voice hangs for the taking as a part of the larger fabric of society, where it can be happened upon rather than sought after.

Free Radio was born out of a belief that every community has a voice that could be a relevant part of a larger society, and an investment in the development and proliferation of this voice will make its community richer and in doing so contribute exponentially to a population outside of its own.

Free Radio was conceived of by artists, is sited at the CUE Art Foundation, and driven by the reconsideration of a gallery as a cultural hub altogether so as not only to be a place that uses art to catalyze discourse and the dissemination of information, but also a site for tool building while mining and solidifying the identity of a community.

Free Radio is made possible by an international organization of people ranging from artists and computer hackers to scientists and educators who are in place to work with specific local communities to facilitate community individuation, the development of a voice, and the weekly building of a functioning radio station and culminating broadcast for the dissemination of that voice.

Free Radio is as much about being a witness as it is about being a participant.

Free Radio’s chief concern is the incubation and perpetual broadcast of this process of community individuation and the mass dissemination of a voice, whether live or as an archived loop on the Internet.

Free Radio is about the mass distribution of open-source information, which focuses on the democratization of a technology that is free to access, ungovernable, relatively easy to build, and so useful in a free society, radio. Free Radio hybridizes the idea of a sourdough starter and the notion that teaching someone how to fish is more valuable and resonant than merely giving someone fish.

Free Radio’s ultimate goal is to publicly seed community development and training relative to radio broadcasting so as to make the notion of organizing a community to broadcast its voice something that is both more valuable and accessible to the public at large.

Who is Free Radio? 
-Brian Gillis, Executive Producer
Artist and Educator from Eugene, Oregon    

-Robin Lambert, Executive Producer
Artist and Educator from Alberta, Canada

-Elizabeth Dunn-Ruiz, Director of Programming
Writer and Educator from New York, New York

-Mike Miller, Director of Marketing and Propaganda
Artist and Educator from Springfield, Illinois

-John Park, Director of Technology
Computer Scientist, Artist, and Educator from Eugene, Oregon

-Marc Debernardis, Director of Construction
Owner of Saint James Productions from Brooklyn, New York

The people who have a voice and make up a community, that makes up a town, that makes up a county, that makes up a state, that makes up a country, that makes up the world. 



Liberating the Airwaves: Free Radio’s Broadcasting Communities by Kareem Estefan

Free Radio by Dr. Jim Grubbs