soundpocket 2: extremely local radio stations

soundpockets 2 illustration, originally uploaded by hc gilje.

This was the second project I made for urban interface oslo fall 2007.

I collected a library of field recordings I have made over the years. I set up an internet radio station for the project (using Nicecast), and played with different configurations mixing music and the field recordings, but ended up just using my own recordings.
I thought it could be interesting to stream internet radio, a global media, to very specific local areas. I found three locations in Oslo which would serve as the local radio stations. They were somehow connected to a clear visible cue in that location: A huge oak tree, a small sculpture, and a small pound in the roundabout. The range of the local stations would more or less correspond to these visual cues: If you saw them you would be able to pick up the signal from the radio stations. In numbers this would mean a range of 30-100 meters.
My original plan was to use the fm-senders for mp3 players which are mostly meant to be used to listen to the mp3 player through the car radio. This was partly because I was experimenting with solar energy as energy source, and because they were cheap. The range and quality of the signal wasnt good enough though, so I ended up getting the more powerful aareff fm transmitters .
The senders were placed with friendly hosts, letting me use their internet connection to pick up the internet radio stream.

The result was three very local radio stations sending out a continous soundtrack from other locations, so somehow these recorded locations came in dialogue with the physical locations of the radio stations.
The listening involved active participation from the public as you would need to tune in on your own radio to pick up the broadcast.

Soundpockets is a series of projects of intimate sound interventions in public spaces. By using fm radiowaves, soundbeams and miniature speakers to create local pockets of sound, the different projects have different scope and focus: creating private listening rooms, changing soundtracks of a location, displacement of time/or space and a bit of general disruption of everyday life.