Every Radio Station

2017
Jeff Thompson

"Every Radio Station" is a sculptural sound installation composed of 95 hand-made radios, one for every possible station in the FM band. Each radio is equipped with a speaker, letting viewers experience the entire spectrum at once, walk along it, or come in close to hear an individual station. For each geographical location the piece is installed, a totally different sonic experience results, informed by the number, strength, and kind of stations broadcasting in that area. As the terrestrial radio spectrum increasingly gives way to streaming services, “Every Radio Station” will reflect these changes.

The idea of “everything of something” is a recurring and significant thread in Thompson’s work. He is interested in found materials and remix practice, but also seeks to remove the artist’s hand from his work. By presenting every element from a set at once, the result is a sublime whole that is more than the sum of its parts. In “Every Radio Station” the static of non-broadcasting frequencies, hyper-compression of Top-40 stations, and presence or absence of public and community radio collectively serves as a portrait of both the FM and physical landscapes of the installation’s site-specific location.