Kelly Sears presents scenes from a forthcoming feature-length film that critically reimagines the development and settlement of the American West. This film is a hybrid of animation and live-action visuals, blending histories of the region with fantastic reframings.
A broadcast technician is called in to run diagnostics at an AM radio station experiencing severe frequency disruptions. While analyzing the signal, she finds faint Marxist sermons seeping into the band from a recently shuttered automotive factory. A dead segment of AM call numbers is detected, masking an indigenous pirate radio network’s disruption of pipeline construction. The technician notes a flood of calls while servicing the station; peculiar ailments linked to housing tracts built on a Superfund site are reportedly soothed by the DJ’s broadcasts.
Erratic storms and an overloaded electrical grid make the AM band more vulnerable. As the technician analyzes the spectrum, separate broadcasts fold into one another, and individual resistance begins to shape collective change in the face of crisis.
Excerpts from the technician’s service report appear below.
The radio waves were disturbed; unsteady across the air.
Bands were bleeding, signals sputtering.
Signal irregularities and broadcasting anomalies became my specialty.
Service calls from air traffic control centers, event planners, and security firms began piling up in my service queue.
My monthly quota of repairs fell below target levels.
Warnings came down from corporate.
But the ticket was not yet resolved.