Fashion has had a profound influence on Art Basel Miami Beach since the fair first opened in 2002, and this year is no different, as brands like Dior, Moschino, Loewe, Maison Martin Margiela, Patricia Field and Adidas have all held events — not to mention the opening of the Faena Bazaar, which has culled independent designers like Figue, Mayiet, Edie Parker and Ann Dexter-Jones into an open-air souk with rotating retail concepts.
But when Public School New York designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne were asked to participate in an installation at the newly opened Confidante hotel, they decided to focus less on expected visuals and more on sound. “We didn’t want to create this pseudo fashion art piece,” says Chow. “Instead we wanted to gather our friends, peers and luminaries from different disciplines to form a dynamic mix of people.” The result is WNL Radio, a pop-up installation that features programming intended to show radio as art, housed in a closed radio booth near the hotel’s pool and patio area.
“We thought what better way to address what was happening globally and at home than to have this platform for conversation and dialogue, not only with people that share the same points of view, but most importantly with people that don’t share our point of view,” says Osborne. “We felt that was the only way that we could break down these barriers. And now it’s even more important, more relevant and more urgent to have these conversations.”
The lineup for the weekend-long installation couldn’t be more diverse: In addition to DJs and radio and TV personalities like Stretch Armstrong, Bobbito and Selema Masekela, Chow and Osborne pulled in artists like Jose Parla, Daniel Arsham, Heron Preston and even creative agency Yes Julz to use their scheduled air time to present their own art through sound.
The radio station, which runs through Sunday, also includes music programming, including segments with Akinyele, Twin Shadow, Mayer Hawthorne, Fonzworth Bentley and a special poolside performance by Gucci Mane on Friday. The installation kicked off with a private dinner and party Thursday night and will end with a surprise performance Sunday evening.
This isn’t the first time that the Chow and Osborne have worked with music programming: The design duo have a long-running collaborative relationship with Twin Shadow, who has created the soundtracks for their runway shows for a number of seasons.