Micro radio stations have a long history of connecting people within communities. Often, they served as platforms for talkshows where people could call in to a host and anonymously voice their personal questions.
Now, with the rise of the internet, people often turn to search engines (without the need for human interaction).
For this project, we took an expanded understanding of radio as a departure point as digital craftsmen. We dreamt up devices to make radio systems more present and visible and opened them up to critical inquiry.
Using Python, team members aggregated and replayed commonly-googled, often very personal questions. They then played these questions aloud in tandem with a physical representation of a search bar - brought to life with Arduino.
Our team built a transmitter to pirate the other team's signal and audibly respond to their questions in a manner consistent with Rogerian psychotherapy.
Instead of prescriptively responding to the seeker's questions, the respective therapist's voice assumes the role of a facilitator who seeks to promote the seeker's self actualization by discovering answers for himself.
This collaboration was part of a semester-long digital fabrication course at Maryland Institute College of Art involving pairing weaving with digital algorithms, origami with parametric laser cutting, and handwork with cybernetic systems of control. The course draws upon traditional crafts to explore emerging technologies of making.