Radio - Tuner - Thing (2020)
A collaboration with Anthony Forsyth.
The Radio-Tuner-Thing randomly selects URLs from the Shoutcast API directory of 50,000 stations. Though we have deliberately removed any kind of digital interface, the tuning experience has been implemented by creating an invisible landscape of zones that is navigated with the dial. These are represented as circles that are mapped to the board. Only the epicentre of each circle provides clear audio while the space in between plays static. To provide a constraint around the randomness, an element of travel is introduced. With each passing hour, the available stations change to the corresponding time zone (with the stations/ time zone being reset to the home location at midday each day). As the day progresses, the listener will pick up stations from more distant locations. This might mimic the experience of using shortwave radio and evoke how distant stations could be received at night due to changing conditions in the ionosphere (a layer of Earth’s atmosphere which bounces short wave radio transmissions back to surface).
Designing a Radio-Tuner-Thing; Transparency as Metaphor for our Experience of Objects and Things. Anthony Forsyth and Thomas Dylan. Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS' 20 Companion), 445–448. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3393914.3395844