Lecture Theatre, MacRobert Building. University of Abderdeen

This presentation concerns Streaming Media and Network Radio. Of particular interest to me is the selection of two of my case studies as examples, namely Negativeland and Sam Auinger (other artists selected by Byrne are Katherin Roggla, Bruce Russell and x.y)

playback > > Background level of unknown track

Byrne begins his tracing of the topic with the over-familiar citation of Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto for Radio, La Radio from 1933. This vision is criticised for its rather utopian scope, and the discussion moves on to a consideration of broadcast as a medium and the essential tension between the visionaries of radio, such as Marinetti, and the political reality facing such artists when working in such a capital intensive domain. Early on in the radio’s history, studios and stations became rapidly centralised, moving away from the participatory, many-to-many networks imagined by Marinetti, to become fetishised centres for the dissemination of dominant discourse to societies being organised to maximise consumption and production. Artists who chose to work in this medium worked under highly restricted parameters, including such standardisations as program length, volume, subject taboos, the use of silence, restricted playlists.

E.g.s

Orson Wells – War of the Worlds.
Artaud – Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu (1947)

Of relevance to my work, is the means by which the differences by which radio art and sound art can be distinguished. Key works in this area are Radical Radio by R.M. Schaefer (1987), and ‘Towards a Definition of Radio Art (19xx).

“Radio Art is not Sound Art, nor is it Music. It is Radio”.

“Sound Art and Music are not Radio Art just because they are broadcast on Radio”.

How can these efforts to delineate radio art practice be used to articulate similar efforts in sound art?

Keywords: Kunstradio, Austria, New American Radio.

n.b Both of these work within state infrastructure. What is the significance of this?

e.g. Negativeland – Over the Edge – KPFA, Berkeley, California.

Byrne goes on to consider how web streaming has suggested new strategies and possibilities for the medium of audio broadcast. There are questions; is internet streaming Radio Art? Is it a new form? It certainly is not radio. Let us consider the similarities and differences between the two.

This can be much expanded using Shaefer, and the Micro Radio Manifesto, Italy.

Traditional Radio
Web Broadcast
Single site
Multi-site streams
Regulated
Unregulated
Monologue
Dialogue / Trialogue
Diatope
Polytope
1 hour format
Long duration
Assimilated
Isolated
Owned
Shared
Promoting
Communing
Speakered
Screened
Through Air
Through Wires
Populist
Specialist

Questions – site of reception of both? Listening environments

Keywords

‘Radio Polyphony’ – The Thing, New York
RadioNetz, Berlin
Reboot.fm
WPS1
RadioDays
post.thing.net
Locus Sonus – audio art research group
Art Dirt Redux
Bitforms – podcast
Whitney Biennial mashup.

There is much of interest in this section, and it moves some way to explain the frustration and annoyance I felt at Hanson’s presentation. His view that the studio as object of discourse as relevant and of interest, reveals itself as an ill-informed and obsolete view of sound practice. Issues of portability, and the very examples of artists demystifying their workspaces that he presented, indicate an alternative position.

dematerialisation
influence of Fluxus, land art, Kubisch working in situ.
Sound art for mobile phones – who presented this – get paper  from Bill
Community initiatives

While the artist studio as a trope may well be in evidence in the works he presented, their relevance, and interest is limited in scope, and represents an historically entrenched position, showing little understanding of current practice.