take over systems, connect systems

Independent media networking

Ein Projekt von Radio FRO
In Zusammenarbeit mit radioqualia
Und Freie Radios aus A, BRD & CH

Kirchengasse 4
4040 Linz
Tel./Fax 0732/717277
Email: fro@fro.at

The Cultural Channel Experimental 24/7 Broadcast System

The Channel will be broadcasted on LT1 (Sun. 2. till Wed. 5. of September, 0:00 till 2:00 AM)


1.-6. September 2001, T.O.C., 1st floor


Each second information is added and deleted to the internet, creating the worlds largest dynamic information mechanism. In this ebb and flow of data it is important to create intelligent points of intersection. Bringing associated content together from this essentially content agnostic mechanism is the new challenge of the information saturated societies. The Cultural Channel intends to do this by organising a wide array of streaming media files already available on the internet, both live and archived, into a comprehensive and intelligent continuous 24/7 online broadcast experience.

There is enough invigorating arts and cultural content available on the internet to actively maintain an exciting and engaging continuous 24/7 program. The Cultural Channel aims to illustrate this by researching, collecting, filtering, and organising the streaming content available throughout the internet to create a dynamically and continuous online cultural channel operating throughout the period of ARS Electronica 2001.

Users will be able to download the Cultural Channel Software (based on the Frequency Clock technology developed by r a d i o q u a l i a) and watch a continuous curated stream of programs/content related to arts and culture.


Despite the hype, there has been no hardware revolution leading the PCs to replace traditional media consumption technologies like the television. However there has been a steady increase in the amount of content created for the Internet that shares the same linear form of traditional broadcast formats. Many individual arts/cultural groups and organisations produce this kind of streaming content on a weekly basis. The Tate Modern, for example produces many talks for online broadcast which would share the same demographic as more experimental streams from groups like Belissima (Netherlands), Location1 (New York, USA) or Re-Lab (Latvia). In addition there is a vast quantity of one-off content being produced from arts/cultural festivals occurring throughout the world. Festivals such as ARS Electronica, Bastard TV (Sheffield, UK), CDAW (Los Angeles, USA), Deaf (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Transmediale (Germany), and ASU (Croatia) occur regularly and provide streamed coverage of their discussions, presentations, and events.

There is also content available in archives such as the Open Video Archive (OVA) database, and databases maintained by individual arts organisations (especially video based arts) like Montevideo (Amsterdam) and The Lux (London), which hold many hours of streaming content that is art or related to the arts. The only method for keeping informed of this content however, is to vigorously mine the relative e-mailouts and websites.

There is no collection point where information about this content can be easily accessed. The Cultural Channel aims to remedy this by researching and filtering this content, adding it first to the database of the r a d i o q u a l i a technology, the frequency clock, and then to a schedule that is dynamically integrated into the Frequency Clock player software (see below). The result for the user is a 24/7 continuous streamed program of arts/cultural content.

Due to the flexibloe nature of the timetabling system, all scheduling will be done oin-site at ARS as there is no need to pre-programme the Cultural Channel. However, to illustrate the type of content we wish to schedule, some of the specifc programs we intend to include are:


Throughout the event, those attending ARS Electronica, are invited to work with or watch the team working with the scheduling mechanisms (and creating content). The studio will be set up as a open walk-through environment, and the team will be available to discuss or explain any aspects of the project. It is intended that there will be several informal workshops on how to use the Frequency Clock software depending on the interest and demand for this activity. The studio set-up will also include explanatory print material, and a television placed central; top the studio so that visitors can see the output of the working process.


One of the key obstacles with working with a diverse range of content available online is the means to coordinate + organise it. The Frequency Clock software (http://www.frequencyclock.net) allows remote development of timetables of content. Timetabling software allows the Cultural Channel team to select from an archive of preprogrammed or live online content and add their own online sound or video material, in order to build a 24/7 schedule of content. Programs can be simply constructed using computers + the internet, allowing the Cultural Channel team to collaboratively build a program of online material at the Cultural Channel studio onsite at ARS Electronica. The Frequency Clock system was developed by r a d i o q u a l i a in collaboration with Nic Limper. the elements in the software are: - frequency clock form a process for entering information about available live + pre-recorded programs, which will be played through the frequency clock online + on-air. - frequency clock timetabler a tool for selecting programs / sound or video works for scheduling into a timetable, which dictates the program experienced online + on-air. - schedule a summary of choices that the Cultural Channel team has made in the construction of the Cultural Channel program timetable. frequency clock player Adam Hyde XS4ALL Internet B.V. mobile : + (31) 06 2903 6248 an automatic playing device which plays the scheduled program, either audio or video, using the real player protocol The Frequency Clock has been deployed in several similar situations for organising diverse content. The most notable example was at the International Festival for Streaming Media, net.congestion (http://net.congestion.org) where the system was utilised to co-ordinate 9 continuous days of streaming video material for rebroadcast on Salto (Amsterdam cable television). During these 9 days internet users could access the online timetable and schedule their own content directly onto Amsterdam Television. The system had no content filters and worked very effectively as an open access collaborative scheduling system.

The Team

The Cultural Channel team will consist of a small working team of skilled streaming media practitioners. The personal will work at ARS Electronica to co-ordinate the 24/7 program timetable as well as producing some on-site material in the form of short interviews of artists and presenters at the event.

Adam Hyde
co-founder of r a d i o q u a l i a, HelpB92, Open Streaming Alliance and initiator of net.congestion. Adam is a streaming media and software artist, presently employed as Manager of Streaming Media, Web Development, and Software Development at XS4ALL, Amsterdam.

Honor Harger
co-founder of r a d i o q u a l i a, HelpB92 and net.congestion. Honor Harger is a streaming media artist, presently employed as Streaming Media Curator at the Tate Modern, London.

Nic Limper
Founder of klari.net and an integral part of the HelpB92 and the Frequency Clock development team. Nic is a asp/VisualBasic Coder of many years experience, currently employed at XS4ALL as A Windows Hosting System Administrator.

James Stevens
co-founder of backspace and rad.spc, James is currently establishing a public access wireless network for internet access in London, UK.

Manu Luksch
ambientTV (http://www.ambientTV.net)

backspace/UK (http://www.backspace.org)