Radio Waves, Digital Art, 2021
In 2021, when I created this digital art version of Radio Waves, if I wanted to know the name of a song I heard on the radio, I summoned apps like SoundHound or Siri to ask the name of the song. I never get tired of this technological magic. When I made this painting in 1988, I had to work hard to find out the name of a song playing on the radio. The announcers often didn't announce the name at the time the song was playing. I often called the radio station to ask for the name. I would write down lyric snippets and ask in the record stores if they knew who did the song. I actually laid in bed wide awake at night plotting some way to find out what that great song I'd heard was named, so that I could buy it. I also searched far and wide to find radio stations that would play the kind of music I wanted to hear. Past favorite radio stations include CHOM-FM in Montreal and WKDU-FM in Philadelphia. In the 1980s, I found almost all the dance music I wanted through DJ Reenie Kane on WKDU.
In 2021, you could listen to radio broadcasts complete with posted playlists on your computer or phone. That was not possible in 1988. I bought a short-wave radio in hopes of picking up some of the best music radio stations in New York City. The idea that amazing music can hurtle toward us from great distances by invisible radio waves has always been fascinating to me.
Radio Waves, Watercolor and Pencil on Paper, 1988