Tulsa artist, curator and new DJ Lucas Wrench has been exploring local and worldwide streaming radio after COVID-19 disrupted his original idea for his space, OK #1. Check below to find 91.1 FM's full schedule. We touched base with Wrench to see how his exploration into radio has been, what is next for his space and much more.
Tell me about OK No.1 in general, what is it? OK #1 is an art space/ community space/ storefront on Route 66 between Yale and Sheridan which opened last September. The goal is to host projects that wouldn’t otherwise exist in Tulsa, which leaves it pretty open ended. Tulsa has music venues and some art galleries, so OK #1 is there for activities in the 'other' category. With COVID-19 all the public events transitioned online, and the storefront’s become a space for groups that need physical space to meet and organize. The Socialist Rifle Association used it at the start of the pandemic as a warehouse to distribute emergency supplies, street medic groups have been using it as a meeting and training space, and now it’s also HQ for the radio station.
Tell me about the radio station! Where did that idea come from? What difficulties have you faced while trying to create it? The project started when a friend gave me an enormous H.A.M. radio antenna that’d been sitting in their backyard. I didn’t know very much about radio, so I assumed if I had a huge antenna it wouldn’t be very hard to start a pirate radio station. It eventually turned out that the antenna wasn’t the right kind, and everything had to be done from scratch, but by then I was too far gone.
More broadly, COVID-19 necessitates thinking of new ways to present work, and radio is tried and true. KCHUNG is a community-run pirate radio station in LA I was inspired by, and other cities have similar projects. Especially now that music venues are shut down, it seemed like there’d be a lot of interest in that kind of community radio model here in Tulsa.
I’m hoping to get to the point where the station can run on its own, and OK #1 is just providing the space. I don’t want to be determining the content or schedule or who gets a show. The idea is it’s open to anyone who wants to participate.
What plays on the radio station and where can people hear it? Anything the DJs want to play! We broadcast on 91.1 FM, with a range of about two miles from the storefront, but it varies with the weather and elevation and all that. East of the space is downhill so it reaches further. It’s also streaming online worldwide at okno.one. We’re at the point where there’s at least one show a day, and lots more are on the way. There’s no official calendar yet but here’s the schedule so far:
Travis Mammedaty’s Red Road Show on Sunday’s at 4 p.m.
Bad Ground is Sunday at 7 p.m.
DJ No Name is on Monday’s at 9:18 p.m.
Lars Gardner and Noah Beal have a show Tuesday’s at 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s we have Elisa Harkins’ Mvhayv Radio at 5 p.m., Olivia Woodall on at 7 p.m., and Natty Gray on at 8 p.m.
Thursday afternoon from 1-3 p.m. is Food Stamps and Drink Tickets with Kris Rose.
Nathan Young who runs Tulsa Noise is doing a Friday night show at 7 p.m., and DJ $ir Mike is on at 10 p.m.
The worst show by far is my Saturday afternoon talk show where I mostly ramble aimlessly for an hour, and then we have Ghoulie’s Mansion on Saturday night at 8 p.m.
What else is coming in the future from OK No.1? In September we’re hosting a video lecture called ‘Obedient x3’ by Zach Blas, exploring the bizarre mix of ideologies and influences that shape Silicon Valley and the tech industry more broadly. It’s part of a trilogy of queer science fiction Zach’s been working on. The last one imagined Ayn Rand on an acid trip encountering the dystopian future of the Internet, this one will get into the Doors and The Lizard King, nootropics, queer utopias, witchcraft, and more!
And then Crystal Campbell and I are working on a series for the end of the year with a group of artists doing really interesting work around archives and archival practices. But lots more schemes on the way. Stay tuned.
Anything else you want to add? Please don’t report us to the FCC and please host a show! It’s open to all, just get in touch. Also if anyone wants to send us $500, it’d let us upgrade the transmitter to get full Tulsa-wide coverage. PayPal.me/OKno1