Stubblefield’s Black Box: An Intricate Game of Position

Tianna Kennedy

Kennedy writes:"“The black box was the free103studio itself. The Project was a series of broadcasts from our space at 97 s 6th street. The broadcasts were open to the public. The first was live and consisted of the improvisation which occurred in the space within the time-frame of the event. Subsequently, listeners and participants created pieces( the work ranged from music to radio plays, to drawings and projection, mail art and live improvisation) which were mailed to the free103point9 po box, dropped by the event space during the broadcast or performed live. There were no rules. I accepted every contribution. The hope was that the piece would resemble Alvin Lucier's "I am Sitting In A Room" wherein the first broadcast would be a discreet understandable enunciation and the feedback from the listeners in subsequent broadcasts would dissolve the project into noise... It failed in that the responses were all so different and interesting that they were noteworthy in their own right. This proved to me that iterative processes are more interesting with a multiplicity of voices - collaboration in broadcast will always be more surprising and interesting than a single repeated utterance.

The participants walked in off the street. I have no record of who all contributed. I did however use one of the tracks from the broadcast as a piece in one of the free103 dispatches and also maintained friendships with a few of the people i met during this project. The transmission itself was both lpfm and online - so the community reached was both local and networked.

The black box was inspired by Nathan Stubblefield's black box (piction who would demonstrate early wireless communication in Kentucky at the turn of the last century. I did of course also consider the black box recordings”

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