[ISEA2014] Paper: Jessamyn Lovell – Lomas On‑Site Listening Station (LOLS): Infrastructure and Visibility in Public Space

Abstract

This paper investigates how FM transmission can contribute to the public understanding of locational identity and agency in urban areas. How have transmission‑based projects developed specifically within cities and how can the appropriation of pre‑existing architecture offer an alternative to the development of homogenous municipal landscapes? The authors have created the media project Lomas On‑site Listening Station (LOLS), a site‑specific, solar‑powered radio transmission installed within an empty billboard located in Albuquerque, NM. A compressor microphone fastened to the appropriated structure of the abandoned billboard picks up ambient sounds such as the hum of traffic along the heavily travelled nearby highways, the wind, and the sounds of passersby. All of these sounds are broadcast in real time on an FM signal within several thousand feet of the billboard, creating a hyper‑local listening station that allows any person to become part of the project if they choose to do so. This work will be examined in the context of other radio transmission art works and projects that appropriate or imitate pre‑existing architectural forms.

  • Jessamyn Lovell, The University of New Mexico, USA