Bass-Station, a music server in a ghetto blaster


The external look of the hardware possesses a strongly symbolic component in the representation of its contents, and the makers of music machines have known this for a long time. Reinterpreting this axiom, the artists Mark Argo and Ahmi Wolf have created Bass-Station, an ’80s-style ghetto blaster which, devoided of its original electronic circuits, contains a computer with a linux file server, mp3 player and decoder and a wi-fi network card. This way its historical role, that is, to broadcast sounds sharing them with the block (ghetto), gains a new life with the additional power given by the possibilities of contemporary computer technology. The local network created by it is automatically accessible to everybody within its range and gives the possibility to share any kind of material. The musical icon of this machine preserves its community values, evolving the interaction to an instantaneous exchange of data and sounds in a urban zone which therefore becomes one of the few really temporarily autonomous zones.