Radio Art: Is There Life After Death?


Radio has been such a neglected medium, and for so long that 'radio art' scarcely exists in the U.S. today. WPS1, a 24-hour internet-only radio station put together by MoMA and P.S.1, seeks to change all that. Drawing on the vast audio archives of MoMA, as well as on the knowledge and collections of their Curator of Contemporary Music - downtown composer/ guitarist Elliot Sharp - and invited appearances by notable DJs and musicians like David Grubbs and Kim Cascone each week, the station finds a way to use radio as more than a transmission device: radio as a means of exploring art. Shows with people like radio-artist Gregory Whitehead confront this problem head-on, while others, like writer Linda Yablonsksy's show featuring famous, creative couples playing and talking about their favorite music, let the sounds themselves tell stories that would otherwise remain secret. After the demise of New American Radio several years ago, the launch of WPS1 provides a viable hope for the future of radio art in this country. - Andrew Choate