Aucocisco Radio Project

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Artist Statement

A couple of years ago, we began exploring the South Portland side of Casco Bay. We decided to just look around and see what was there. Over the course of a summer, we rode our bikes along the coastline and began talking to people who live and work around the harbor. Since we're long-time community radio nuts it seemed natural to craft a radio show for WMPG-FM from our adventures. The idea for Aucocisco Radio was born...
"The "Lighthouse" from choppy waters"

PGM 1 - Ram Island Ledge Light

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same, Year after year, through all the silent night Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame, Shines on that inextinguishable light! -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Is there anything more emblematic of the Maine coast than a lighthouse? The large, unyielding towers lining our coast evoke a history of life on the dangerous seas. The seas are as busy as ever and the work is still dangerous, but these low-tech icons are getting high-tech makeovers making lighthouse keepers obsolete.

Joe Johansen spent two years living at Ram Island Ledge Light for his first tour of duty with the Coast Guard. He lived out there for 24 days at a time with one other person. And since there was no house on the ledge, they lived in the cramped tower. The light was operated manually and required round-the-clock attention. Now, the Coast Guard maintains the electronic light and visits only about every three months.

The computer operated lighthouses require very little attention and there are no staffed lighthouses left on the coast of Maine. Could any 21st century person actually live alone for weeks at a time with no modern conveniences? We may never know.

Listen to PGM 1 - Ram Island Ledge Light

Click Aucocisco Radio Project Homepage for all episodes.