Bringing Radio Back – Københavns Universitet

ESSA2014: Mapping the Field > Documents > Bringing Radio Back

Bringing Radio Back into Play (Current Explorations in Radio)
Kate Donovan

“Today, new trends in radio programming, controversies over broadcast content and regulation, technologies such as digital and satellite radio, and convergent practices like web‐based streaming audio, Internet radio, and podcasting have brought the long invisible landscape of radio back into public focus. Radio as a medium, thus, stands at a crucial historical juncture, as these emergent technologies and new modes of broadcast delivery challenge the very definition and function of radio.” (Daniel Gilfillan)

This panel would like to present a number of practical radio projects (which could potentially coincide with radio‐based installations/performances) that deal with the intricacies of this “crucial historical juncture.” These could consist of, but are not limited to, explorations of some of the following ideas:

  • Prioritizing the complex connection between production and reception (and perhaps even challenging Brecht’s infamous critique that radio is “one‐sided when it should be two‐. It is purely an apparatus for distribution, for mere sharing out.”
  • Re‐evaluating media theorist Friedrich Kittler’s statement “Nobody listens to radio. What loudspeakers or headsets provide for their users is always just radio programming, never radio itself,” by questioning mainstream programme scheduling, and/or literally bringing the sound of radio back into play.
  • Creatively utilizing/hybridizing various radio technologies to provide meaning for content and/or using innovative ways to create original content.
  • Being aware of, and directly applying, the ability of radio to infiltrate local and international contexts simultaneously.
  • Dealing with the complexity of assimilating theory and practice.
  • Redefining what ‘radio’ is and has the potential to be.

There are numerous current radio projects (and sound art works), which are innovative in terms of content, format, and means of distribution. These projects deserve recognition in the academic field of Sound Studies.

Panel XXI: Bringing Radio Back into Play (Current Explorations in Radio)
Chair: Kate Donovan
Time: Sunday 9-11

  • Frigeri, Jonathan & Laurent Schmid: Unmapping Radio
  • Ottmann, Solveig: The Listener’s Voice: A multimedia radio play project 
  • Haynes, Wade: A “Fingerprint of the Living Mind”: Tape, Recombinant Memory, Different Trains