FMwalks (working title)
Udo Noll G
born 1966, media artist & communication technology reseacher, lives & works in Cologne / Germany

"FMwalks" is a project to create, collect & organize sounds, to obtain an constantly moving audible topography, publically accessible on the internet and compiled by various contributors.


topographies, urban, sounds connected to places & spaces, cities, archive, architecture, collecting, sampling, composing, songlines, sensors, body, scanning, sensing, environments, pirate radio, transmitter, movement, cross-project connections, internet radio, mp3, streaming, distributet work, collaboration, text2speech, texts, readings, poetry, ambient sounds, live, dynamic collections, ...
background & details
the idea comes out of a lecture/reading in 1998, which to give i was not very interested in. finally i decided to go there and say nothing, only sitting in front of the audience and listening to radio. what Ihad to say had been recorded, with some surrounding ambient sound samples, on a tape, connected to a home made portable fm transmitter. This sender was placed in the backyard of that gallery space. the pirate was tuned to the frequency of a well known local station, & while the audience was listening to a description of a "travel without moving" on an old 70s transistor radio, probably other people living in that area had a sudden & hopefully intriguing audio experience at home which they did not expect and could not locate, but which was very present.

The transmitter is portable, so reversing the usual concept -- means: moving with it along cityscapes, virtually entering acustic spaces of people at home, or in cars, or with earphones drifting around -- opens up a private/poetic & maybe political sphere for some minutes, shifting with the speed of a pedestrian, quickly fading in & out. walks & words, the moving body along the shapes & path' of our daily surroundings becomes a stream of sounds & maps itself into an acustic space.

"and though on any printed landscape, directions never tell you where to go, maps are an evening comfort to the traveller, a pencil line could quickly take him home"
(recording of an unknown radio broadcast, found by a friend, in a garbage can)

FMwalks tries to extend the idea to an accessible collection/archive on the internet, using recent technologies like web- & streaming-servers, to store and order the material from various sources (live recordings, found pieces, composings, readings etc.). sounds & streams can be compiled out and connected to places and situations, "real" & "virtual", thus describing locations and creating corresponding acoustic spaces, to browse & listen to by an interface on the net. this way, a constantly moving and re-arranging composition can be created by means of time, topics, geography & people. localisation can take place as well as adoptions by related projects.
techniques & technical organisation
SERVER all FMwalks' material, e.g. pieces of sound, related texts, images, links, is organized on an internet database server. The server is a linux box, connected to the internet by a fast broadband connection, with apache webserver, php4 as a programming interface and mysql as a relational database. this combination, all software open source, is used in many technical environments for the creation of dynamic web systems because of its robustness, flexibility and, last but not least, because there's no need for expensive licencing.
FORMATS sounds are preferably stored in mp3 or ogg/vorbis (a new open source streaming format) files, together with other related material like texts (ascii), digital images (gif, jpeg, png) and links to other locations (URLs).
ACCESS sounds can be played on demand, or in case of (live) events, broadcasted by a icecast streaming server. possible input can be static files, dynamically created playlists or live recorded input from various sources. FMwalks will have one or more public and a private interface. the public interface can be accessed by a webbrowser and allows dynamical, maybe individual browsing through FMwalks' content. the private interface provides tools for the organisation of the database and all digital material. it allows groups of interested users to work in a collaborative manner over the network. the private interface is protected by a login screen which requires a name and a password in order to access it.
CONTENT a FMwalks "content object" will consist of one or more sounds, descriptions/keywords and visibly related material. this can be arranged by a web interface. content objects are connected to each other by means of computed relations (keywords and other attributes) or by intentionally linking them together. this allows dynamical arrangements, audible as a series of sounds, depending on the "perspective" of a visitor/listener, or as a common internet radio broadcast experience.
contribution & distribution  
interested people can contribute to FMwalks by getting a login to the database system. they should be able to create & work with digital sounds and have a clue about the net and its methods and technologies, esp. sound and web authoring. FMwalks content objects can be redistributet, linked and included into other related projects. basically everbody can do with it what she wants, as long as she takes care about propper credits. sort of community should take place, by private & public mailing lists and chats, for discussion, development & information.
idea & concept  
udo noll,
media professional works  
managing director of DOM
digital online media
exhibitions / projects  
_   1995-NOW
_"ADELON",web/email project
Video Art Festival Locarno / CH

_"A Description Of The Equator And Some Otherlands"
documenta X Kassel

Saint Gervais Geneva, CH

1st Performance Festival Odense, DK



Society of Exhibitions, Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, BE


FriArt Center of Contemporary Art, Fribourg, CH


Gallery Brigitte Schenk, Cologne, G

_"A Description Of The Equator And Some Otherlands"

WorldWide Video Festival
Amsterdam, NL

_"Beschreibung einer Reise ohne Bewegung", Composition for FM and TCP/IP,

Orangerie im Volksgarten, Cologne/Germany

_"Cologne Sculpture", Otherlands

International Art Fair Cologne


"H|U|M|B|O|T" _

_Alexander v. Humboldt, Netzwerke des Wissens
Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn/Germany

_"H|U|M|B|O|T" , net_condition,
Center for Art and Media Technology (ZKM),
Galerie K&S, Berlin/Germany

Voilà, la monde dans la tÉte _H|U|M|B|O|T
Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris

_"path along figure" La Ville, le Jardin, La Memoire,
Villa Medici, Academie de France a Rome


Biennale of architecture,

"Skytalk" Art and Wind Energy
on the occasion of the World Exhibition

parole ,ISEA,

Inside the archive: poetics & politics of collecting parole,
De Geuzen, Amsterdam,