Sunday, 26. September 2010, 23:03 - 23:45, Ö1




von Gil Kuno


In his radio art piece for “Personal Radio”, curated by GX Jupitter-Larsen, the artist Gil Kuno delves into the radio space of the Hispanic community of Los Angeles:

“Radio stations worldwide are losing their younger generation listeners since the advent of the iPod. Apple's (a Californian company) reach in Los Angeles is quite strong as well – the iPod's trademark white earbuds are seen in many an Angelino's ears.

This has resulted in a privatization of music. I can't remember the last time that I was turned on to music that was playing off of a communal radio. This personalization has introverted musical tastes – we are not reaching out to new music, and left listening to music we are already familiar with. This is quite dangerous for the already withering music scene.

However, many from the Mexican community in Los Angeles still embrace their radios and "open air" listening. A quick walk through Hispanic neighborhoods in Los Angeles will turn up many households and shops with radios blaring.

The Hispanics represent a considerable percentage of the Los Angeles population. Last year's census results show that 48% of the LA population is Hispanic. If the survey included the illegal immigrants, the number would easily surpass 50%.

According to Arbitron (a radio monitoring corporation), the leading station in Los Angeles is in fact the Hispanic KLVE (FM 107.5), alone drawing about five percent of the Los Angeles listening market. (Spanish language radio as a whole draws approximately 25% of the radio listeners in Los Angeles.)

For this project, I have chosen to create a soundscape from recordings of various members of the LA Mexican community engaging their radios – at home, at work, and at play.

This is the sound and voice of Los Angeles' underlying majority – one who's voices or identities are typically unheard or recognized. Though the consensus is slow to embrace the fact...  this is the real LA.”
(Gil Kuno)