Why Build Crystal Sets?
Larry Solomon, copyright 2006
Of course, anyone can buy a radio for a few
dollars these days that outperforms any crystal set and doesn't need a
long wire antenna -- so why build crystal sets? There are several
reasons, but my goal is to create works of art that may or may not have
a practical function. Most art is useless, has no practical function.
In fact, uselessness is considered a virtue of art. In this case,
crystal radios do have a function, i.e., it is useless, but that is not
the principle reason
for making them. Just as a ceramic, hand-made bowl has a
function, it may also be art. A painting has no practical function, yet
it is normally considered "art". Consider the following image:
This is considered an image of an impossible radio by some
scientists, because it
was designed to receive FM stations. Yet it works! I considered it to
be an artwork that also functions. Primarily, it is an aesthetic
object, and the function, in this case, enters into an aesthetic
principle. Therefore, I do not build crystal sets to listen to them
pick up radio signals, I build them because I like to look at them and
ponder their function.