Fre[e]quencies

2.1.18



On January 24, 2008, the FCC auctioned off the rights to broadcast on the 700 MHz spectrum to various mobile communications companies for a total of 19.8 billion dollars. While new licenses are to be utilized for the broadcasting of [private] cell phone signals, the channels were previously used for the broadcasting of [free] analog television signals. Justifying the privatization of an open, free communication network, the FCC claimed that the switch to digital television has made the frequencies “NO LONGER NECESSARY FOR TELEVISION,” and therefore may be more appropriately utilized for the broadcasting of cellular phone signals.

Fre[e]quencies is a critical evaluation of the political and economic agendas which inform the protocol for current communication networks. While contextualizing contemporary political allocations of communications frequencies, the work also seeks to investigate the FCC’s regulatory changes for their economical latencies. The acrylic cell phones are utilized to represent the dematerialization of telephone networks in exchange for their comparable online counterparts. When the barcode on the phone is scanned, a series of links bring you to multiple online services which provide basic voice communication for a fraction of the cost of traditional cell phone providers.

*In April 2011, Fre[e]quencies was exhibited as a part of MASS Potential.