There is a well-known theory of decomposing spaces of automorphic forms into subspaces spanned by newforms and oldforms, and associated to a newform is its conductor. This theory can be reinterpreted as a local statement, and generalised to GL_n, as distinguishing certain vectors in a generic irreducible admissible representation of GL_n(F), where F is a nonarchimedean local field, and associating to this representation a conductor (or rather, a conductor exponent). Such a local theory was previously not well understood for archimedean fields. In this talk, I will introduce this theory in this hitherto unexplored setting.