For Josh Short, a creator of fantastical installations and contributing mastermind behind the Cardboard Institute of Technology, clandestine broadcasts — like the time when Free Radio Berkeley was broadcast from a tree — are wholly in keeping with his artistic approach: reave the rubbish and make art in the gaps. While Short is an artist in residence in the Tenderloin, he will build five radio transmitters, disguised to blend with detritus in the neighborhood. Five nights a week, for a month, “aural graffiti” will spread out from Short’s own “Bomb Shelter Radio” — a bunker complete with a sleeping berth, Geiger counter, case of Bud, and 235 back issues of Playboy. When the gallery is not a hub for hardcore bands, talk shows, and audio experiments, it will be transformed into the Tenderloin Self-Defense Club. As a onetime martial arts instructor for America’s Best Karate, Short is uniquely qualified to teach the denizens of the Tenderloin how to defend themselves and kick ass. Which, as Short suggests, is about as American as apple pie and free speech.
Thu., Feb. 2, 6 p.m., 2012