Monthly Archives: mayo 2014

Thank Heaven for 7-11

In this age of trials and tribulations, of terror and turmoil of the soul, we need some common bond, a thing we can share, a place we can go to still the agitated waters of our hearts. Friends, it’s bigger than both of us. No, not Prince, not U.S. Steel: 7-11. How many people can you depend on seven days a week, 25 hours a day? Cindy Lauper? Nastassia Kinski? Do they have a 16-ounce coffee with your name on it?

– Fragmento de Thank Heaven for 7-11, un ensayo sobre 7-11 por Henry Rollins de Black Flag, publicado en el segundo número de SPIN en junio de 1985.

Definition of Freedom

A partir de hoy, en todos los espacios de ELHC suena WFMU:

Freeform Radio: An approach to radio programming in which a station’s management gives the DJ complete control over program content. Freeform shows are as different as the personalities of DJ’s, but they share a feeling of spontaneity, a tendency to play music that is not usually heard. Their ideology tends to be liberal or radical, though their program content is not usually overtly political. Many DJ’s mix diverse musical styles, engage in monologues between music sets and/or accept callers on the air. The only rules that free-form DJ’s are bound by are FCC regulations such as station identification and restrictions on foul language.

The first stations to try free-form programming were a few FM community and college stations around the country in the late Fifties and early Sixties. The first free-form show was John Leonard’s “Nightsounds” on the Pacifica Foundation’s KPFA-FM in Berkel ey, soon followed by Bob Fass’ “Radio Unnameable” on Pacifica’s WBAI-FM in New York. Lorenzo Milam, who founded Seattle’s KRAB-FM in 1962, was an influential free-form pioneer. Milan went on to help build several similar, free-form oriented community stat ions around the country during the Sixties.

Free-form radio had its heyday in the late Sixties and early Seventies. Its implied individualist ethic and its minimal rules resonated with the massive youth counterculture of the time. Some stations, such as Upsala College station WFMU-FM in New Jersey, went completely free-form around this time. Free-form radio has always been more readily accepted in the reserved non-commercial FM band than by commercial stations; its proponents and its detractors agree that it is not appealing to most commercial sponsors because of its iconoclastic reputation. However, in 1967 when the FCC’s “FM Nonduplication Rule” forced many commercial FM stations to change their formats, some decided to try free-form programming because the non-commercial stations proved its popu larity with teenagers and young adults. Commercial free-form stations such as WPLJ and WNEW in New York, KMPX in San Francisco, and WHFS in Baltimore flourished for a few years, but their management gradually reinstated playlists or other controls on the DJ’s. Many of the changes were a voluntary reaction to a 1971 FCC ruling on a Des Moines free-form station, involving “questionable practices”, which implied that stations needed to exercise stricter control over programming.

A few stations around the country continue to air free-form programming. One of very few surviving commercial free-form DJ’s is Vin Scelsa, whose popularity has enabled him to retain control over his shows.; he is now on WNEW-FM in New York. Bob Fass’ “Ra dio Unnameable” currently broadcasts on WBAI after a few absences over the years. A few college stations are completely free-form, such as WZRD in Chicago and KDVS in Davis, California. WFMU, which became an independent community station in 1994, is sti ll exclusively free-form.

Definition of Freedom en la página de WFMU.


A new (cultural) building is no longer primarily seen as the expression of common will, but as just one event among many, designed to fulfill some demand that may yet be generated.

The city and the public sphere are no longer assumed to go hand-in-hand. Culture has claimed its own rather effective space in various media.

Closing Remarks

While the projects shown in Culture:City document the rise and fall of the “Bilbao effect”, its main focus lies in those post-Bilbao strategies that strive for closer integration of cultural institutions into the social structures and creative networks of the city. These are strategies whose physical presence not only offers a landmark for effective marketing, but provides, above all, urban reservations that hold the potential for diverse cultural activities. Here culture and urban sophistication need not be manifested in the invention of ever-new experiences, but essentially in an appropriateness of how something takes place – even if it is only a banal everyday activity. In this sense cultural places can be anywhere, but they have to be created, and their inventors need intuition, empathy, courage, and endurance, as well as a certain readiness for sacrifice; because they are fighting against the inertia of habit and are under constant risk of failure. Here architects have found themselves in a strange role, serving as a kind of glue between bottom-up and top-down, working as privately funded executors of the collective interest and producing artifacts that are a tool for and an embodiment of culture, both enabler and memorializer at the same time. All this happens in the context of shrinking resources, a constantly diminishing economy of attention, and fierce competition between cities and institutions. Despite all this, the built environment, essentially the city, remains the most important manifestation of culture, and it is the tangible expression of our idea of coexistence. To maintain, protect, enrich, and refine this city is the noblest task of all of us, not just for those immediately involved in planning and building.

Matthias Sauerbruch (via uncube magazine)