Produced by Alex Beckman, Kaif Ghaznavi, Malak Helmy, Lynne McCabe, Mike Maurillo, Ranu Mukherjee, George Pfau, and Kris Timken for the Wonderland Exhibition, 2009, curated by Lance Fung and hosted by the Luggage Store Gallery/Tenderloin National Forest


Welcome to Tender Transmissions.  The recordings archived here were made for the Wonderland Exhibition, in 2009 and hosted by the Luggage Store Gallery at the Tenderloin National Forest.    The transmissions include conversations about love, songs and poetry, soundscapes focused on the neighborhood's atmosphere, a screenplay derived from conversations with erotic dancers, ambient audio recorded during guided blindfolded walks, and conversations between visiting Japanese college students and local first graders.  It also includes interviews with Wonderland curator Lance Fung, Elaine Zamora of the Tenderloin Community Benefit District and the Homeless Coalition, which focus on issues of movement, migration, nomadism and visibility in relation to current residents, participating artists and potential visitors. The project takes advantage of the intimate and invisible characteristics of sound to create listening environments with potential resonance at thresholds between the public and private. The figure of the network defines the project’s form as well as the set of processes by which the artists engaged with the neighborhood. 

During the Wonderland exhibition these recordings existed as an audio installation in the gallery and forest and were available 24 hours a day on 93.7FM as well as a Guide By Cell phone line.  By working with accessible technologies, combining radio (communal) with telephone (private) transmission and including content in multiple languages, we intended for the network to be available to most residents and visitors during the exhibition period. Tender Transmissions differentiated its style of audio programming from that of a conventional station by pairing discrete content with ambient sounds from the Tenderloin neighborhood.

The dynamic relationship between our base of operations at the Tenderloin National Forest and the larger radius of the neighborhood was a central aspect of this work. Created by artistic directors Darryl Smith and Laurie Lazer of Luggage Store Gallery, this greened oasis and community commons provided a beautiful and open listening environment and a connection to the longstanding artistic communities of the Tenderloin. We were honored to be able to inhabit the forest (in the making since 1989) after its official dedication and opening in May 2009.  We also had the privilege of working with many local organizations including the Glide Foundation, De Marillac Academy, Bay Fitted Urban Attire, Tenderloin Children's playground, The Vietnamese Youth Development Center, Hospitality House, The Arlington Hotel/St. Vincent de Paul Society and The Boy and Girl’s Club Safe Haven Program.