At WFMU’s Radiovision Festival, Zeega Hacks the Future of Radio

    by Kara Oehler
    October 28, 2011

    WFMU is putting on a festival Oct. 28-30 to celebrate and probe radio’s future. This gathering of folks brings together the medium’s fans, tinkerers, futurists and broadcasters to talk about what might happen next.


    The opening night of the WFMU Radiovision Festival, featuring radio legend Joe Frank, sold out in a matter of days, but there’s still room during the bulk of the festival on Saturday and Sunday. Participants will hear from a day of talks featuring radio host Tom Scharpling, comedian Marc Maron, Ira Glass of “This American Life,” poet Kenneth Goldsmith, anthropologist Gabriella Coleman, DJ /rupture, journalist and media analyst Brooke Gladstone, and more. The festival runs concurrently with the WFMU Record Fair.


    During day three of the festival, digital storytellers, creative developers and free-form thinkers will come together for a day of hacking and coding called “Re-Inventing Radio.” This isn’t a typical hack day, because there are no prerequisites for participation; you don’t even need to know how to code. Re-Inventing Radio is a forum for creative people of all stripes to collaborate with each other using open-source digital tools. We will share an ultra-early alpha version of the Zeega editor and three projects for people to experiment with at RadioVision. Here’s a preview of what we’re imagining:

    The personal music history


    DJ /rupture

    We all have the music that we listened to over our lives — the songs that were forced upon us by our parents; the albums, cassette tapes and CDs that we listened to obsessively over and over again; the album (or probably more realistically, the song) that we lost our virginity to. Using music archives across the web, we’ll use the freshly created Zeega Alpha editor to create a mash-up that traces our personal music histories. We’ll also invent ways to visualize and move through our combined playlists (like does someone born in the same year as you have a lot of the same songs at age 10, 14, 20?) If we pull it off, we’ll perform some of them publicly at the end of the day and create a space for them online.


    Hacking physical spaces

    With the starting point of thinking that most audio tours suck, we’ll distort the typical audio tour model by creating experiences that involve stickers, text messages, phone calls, and short sound and music messages. Participants will be able to use Zeega to excerpt songs or tell stories of things that happened in a place, write a text message-length detail about the sound, and we’ll build the beginnings of a WFMU Sound Tour of basements, bars, kitchens and other music-filled places in the city. We’ll also be carting down sticker printers from Boston so that people can leave with markers to stick around town to alert people to the places where they can experience the tour.

    What can music look like on the open web?

    In this project, we’ll generate new forms of mash-up music videos. We’ll start with music from the Free Music Archive and add visual soundtracks by remixing visuals pulled from the APIs of YouTube, Google Street view and Flickr.

    The Hack Day is free with WFMU Record Fair admission but priority will go to folks who’ve purchased tickets to the Saturday Symposium.

    A version of this post first appeared on Zeega’s site. Image of DJ /rupture courtesy of WFMU.

    Tagged: coding hacking mash-ups music radiovision festival re-inventing radio wfmu zeega

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