Radio Chigüiro is a community radio station based in Lafayette, Indiana. The station started operating as an archive of recorded public events diffused through an Internet site with a podcast (RSS/HTML), but soon evolved into a social platform for local music distribution. Today, the radio station wouldn't be anything without the community that feeds the events that usually occur at different locations.
The city of Lafayette is full of a young and active independent music scene, mainly represented by genres like Garage/punk, Rock and Roll, Hip Hop and Electronic among others. Unfortunately, this prolific music environment is invisible to most citizens and the local official cultural Establishment. Radio Chiguiro is one of the spaces for the diffusion of the local music culture.
Since the beginning of this year (2007), Radio Chigüiro has been using a device named AUDIO RELAY; a portable radio transmitter designed and created by the Chicago based group of artists, TEMPORARY SERVICES. AUDIO RELAY broadcasts on the airwaves of downtown Lafayette, Indiana on the Modulated Frequency of 88.9. Our programming is continuous and presents local recordings (Demos or Live), podcasts and radio programs from different parts of the world, New Internet-bands, Mash-ups, mix-tapes and whatever people bring us to play. "Hijacked" or illegal sound practices such as bootlegs or playing the Happy-Birthday song constantly, are forms of resistance to the mass media (corporate) and copyright policies. Copyrighted productions that favor globalized mass markets want to homogenize the world and are counter-productive to local culture, people and artists.
The free use of wireless networks re-signifies the commercial use of the airwaves for the social and community uses. The occupation of radio-phonic frequencies subverts the traditional use of information technologies and changes the power relations between broadcasters and listeners. Listeners can become broadcasters.
Radio Chiguiro uses the PHP tool called PODCAST GENERATOR; a free application (GNU/GPL) that allows user to upload audio files to a server. By this means, the radio station became a public radio station on its full meaning, because anyone has the freedom to add or download data from the collective sound database. All the files uploaded to the radio chigüiro archive are public under the copyleft license. Copyleft is a general method for making a program or other work free (public), and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free as well. The spirit of Copyleft is cooperative.
The Radio Chiguiro website allows users to collect and share sound files with the rest of the community that frequently visit the page or are subscribed to the RSS. The website is a collaborative platform where the Individual has an active relation and cooperates with the collective; it's a bi-directional site because users can Read and Write as opposed to Read-only. We use technology to network with local-constituted collectives and take action in our immediate context. We're inspired by Glocalized network models because they're more flexible and equalitarian towards individuals and favor the local needs. We encourage the remix, and re-use of information.
Radio Chiguiro is Hybrid radio: a mix of old and new technologies to foster the exchange and dialog between communities. It is a growing library or open collection of music that operates under parallel systems to the copyright.
With the emergence of this and other alternatives that use models of glocalized networks and the generic public license (GPL/Copyleft), the local artists and community will benefit directly without any intermediaries.