Range: Local, Distant, Fringe is a three-part, location-based series of radio transmissions that explores the phenomenon of signal strength. The series seeks to break, bend, and highlight the economic, political, and technical dimensions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Range uses the criteria found in proprietary mapping software that plots radio station coverage areas to analyze the importance of place for radio broadcasts. This software takes into account transmitter power, antenna height, frequency, antenna pattern, and etc. Commercial and community stations use this data to determine potential listeners.
The coverage areas are defined as:
- Local: areas with very clear reception
- Distant: areas with weak signal
- Fringe: areas with very weak or no signal
A station’s signal strength broadly delimits that station’s territories. These territories further impact policy (i.e. FCC regulation, spectrum licensing), station-specific power (i.e. advertising, tower-space rentals), and public affairs (i.e. community programming, emergency alert systems). Range seeks to challenge these issues of signal accessibility, and question radio’s role as a distribution tool.
Radius has commissioned three artists to create audio works for broadcast that point to issues of proximity in the event of radio transmission.
Local: Emilie Mouchous & Andrea-Jane Cornell (January 2012)
Distant: Damon Loren Baker (February 2012)
Fringe: Rob Ray (March 2012)