Sweet and Lo-Fi

Bill Streeter's vlog is how others see us

Usually Streeter approaches artists or musicians and asks permission to film them in action. Tonight he's here at the invitation of Wollaeger, who tracked him down via e-mail after stumbling onto Lo-Fi Saint Louis on his newly acquired video iPod.

"I got a free iPod the other day through one of those bullshit spam e-mails," Wollaeger says. "Lo-Fi Saint Louis was the first [video] podcast listed on iTunes. I was like, 'No shit!'"

After riding the freight elevator to the third floor, Streeter hits the record button and asks the artist to talk about the largely vacant mall his installment's going up in.

Jennifer Silverberg
Jennifer Silverberg

"It was the epitome of the '80s," responds Wollaeger, occupying his hands by whitening Chris Farley's face with an aerosol can. "At the grand opening, they had Tootie from The Facts of Life and Ricky Schroder there in his white cardigan. Then this mall got pretty rough.

"It's an empty mall — what better place for art?"

Wollaeger poses a question to Bowls: "Do you ever find yourself going to a mall?"

"Never," Bowls responds. "I'm a grown man."

When the makeshift gallery erupts in laughter, Streeter stops filming, compelling Wollaeger to second-guess his commentary.

"That was all pretty wack, wasn't it?" the artist wonders aloud.

"Nah," Streeter comforts. "I'll cut it all together to make you sound smart."

This might as well serve as Lo-Fi's mission statement.

"I don't think the rest of the world looks down their noses at St. Louis like a lot of people here seem to think," Streeter reflects. "I don't think the rest of the world has much of an opinion either way. It's really a great place to be and compares well with a lot of other cities, in my opinion. Lo-Fi makes St. Louis look cool because St. Louis is cool."

"There is a lot of interesting stuff going on here, but nobody knows about it," seconds fellow transplant Art Chantry. "San Francisco, in the old days, was just a bunch of small drops that became puddles, which eventually became a pond. We're still building puddles in this town."

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