Appel à communication : « Radio as art » (5-7 juin 2014, Brême)

International Conference
“RADIO AS ART – Concepts, Spaces, Practices: Radio Art between Media Reality and Art Reception”

radioIn the age of Twitter and online communication, the perspective on radio’s role as a popular broadcasting medium – and a medium that has also served since the 1960s as a platform for artistic concepts – is changing. Acoustic signals, voice, sound, articulation, music and spatial networking are dispositifs of radiophonic transmission which – since Futurism and by way of Fluxus and Concrete (auditory) Poetry – have brought forth a great number of artistic practices. Up to and into the digital present in the visual arts, radio has been and is employed and explored as an apparatus-based structure as well as an (alternative) model for performance and perception. Whereas on the one hand aesthetical experiments with broadcasting technology triggered collective processes of exchange and cooperation internationally, on the other hand artists discovered radio as a means of disseminating artistic concepts, often also with subversive means and resistive subtexts.

At the same time, from the art-historical perspective, radiophonic art long occupied a peripheral position in the spectrum of ephemeral forms of expression. True, there was a wide diversity of radio art materializations in the form of interaction and installation contexts as well as the integration of the latter in performative processes and social discourses in which the recipients were given the opportunity to participate actively, for example in the Ligna artist group’s Radioballet of 2002. Yet the acoustic and radiophonic contributions eluded the – primarily visually based – knowledge parameters of art-historical methods which had been shaped for the most part by the study of pictures.

To what extent can the terms coined by post-structuralism and in the fields of media, theatre and curatorial studies contribute to deciphering the complexity of radiophonic art concepts and their response aesthetics? In what way does integration in exhibition contexts serve to restructure primarily dissemination-oriented radio art practices, and how do the constitutive components of radiophonic artworks change through these forms of documentary “arrest”? What geopolitical contexts animate artists – and animated them in the past – to work with radiophonic media? Do radio art projects participate in the formation of new forms of community (in the sense of a “Mit-Sein” [“being-with”] as defined by Jean-Luc Nancy)? And how is the abuse of radio art for propagandistic purposes and the impact of the same on a displaced radio public reflected artistically? What role does radio art play for the on-going transformation of aesthetic orders within the framework of a trans-media-oriented and (trans-) cultural global art development? For in the convergence of broadcast, reception, interaction, installation and exhibition, radio art points beyond the media definition of radio, which is always determined in part by politics and society. Within this context, radiophonically disseminated art forms bear a relationship to the interconnections between technology, voice, body and cultural and geopolitical formation likewise discussed in cultural and gender studies. Radio art concepts undermine the spatially regulated dispositifs of art reception and the related locations of the museum and the private reception context. Through the blurring of spatial boundaries with the public sphere, new horizons open and widen, horizons that address the collective, historically anticipate the concept of the network, and to an extent reconnect them with the local circumstances, as in the works of Marko Peljhan.

The sections of the conference will be devoted to various aspects of this spatial-media-based as well as socio-cultural and response-aesthetic framework. The first section will raise the question as to radio art’s various production, presentation and perception spaces. The second section will concentrate on theoretical concepts of an art-theoretical and cultural-studies-based approach to radio art. Network structures and cooperation models in artistic working processes will form the focus of the third section. In the fourth section, the political and societal foundations and influences of radio art will be discussed.

Throughout its sections, the international conference “RADIO AS ART – Spaces, Concepts, Practices: Radio Art between Media Reality and Art Reception” will link conceptual, recipient-response-related, conservatorial and sociocultural issues to matters of relevance to radio art’s mediation. Within a broadly defined reference framework, the results of the research project Radio Art: On the Development of a Medium between Aesthetics and Socio-Cultural Reception History will be put forth for discussion in a circle of international experts. Submissions from art historians, media scholars, art educators, curators, cultural studies specialists, ethnologists and artists are welcome.

Your short biography and abstract for a 20-minute lecture in English should not exceed 350 words.

Conference language: English
Deadline for abstracts: 14 Februrary 2014
Notification by: 1 March 2014

Contact: Jee-Hae Kim / Franziska Rauh / Sarah Rothe

Conference location: Bremen, University Guest House, Auf dem Teerhof 58

Presented by:
Centre for Artists’ Publications, Bremen / Universität Bremen / Universität zu Köln
Sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation


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