BREAKING THE AIRWAVES by Knut Aufermann
This article first appeared in The Wire issue 320 October 2010.
“Here is a positive suggestion,” wrote Bertolt Brecht in 1932, alarmed by the dead hand of centralised control that was being exerted over radio, “change this apparatus over from distribution to communication. The radio would be the finest possible communication apparatus in public life, a vast network of pipes. That is to say, it would be if it knew how to receive as well as to transmit, how to let the listener speak as well as hear, how to bring him into a relationship instead of isolating him.” Nearly 80 years later, if Brecht were to scroll carefully through his wireless dial or search the outer reaches of the internet, he might find his wishes coming true in the works of artists who proceed to unlock the untapped potential of radio. Radio art exists in many different forms and variants. It survives on public radio, thrives on community and campus stations and mutates via internet streams. It invades galleries, music venues and public spaces, spawns festivals and publications. Radio art can be a single
exceptional broadcast or a series of programmes that runs for years; it can take the form of an installation or live performance in front of an audience; even spark public ‘flash’ events or disorder. The transmission is not necessarily tied to a studio any more: live radio art might radiate from a park, a subway underpass or even a moving t tram. Ultimately, a whole radio station might be considered an artwork in itself.
The Full Article here: http://radia.posterous.com/breaking-the-airwaves-0