radio art – where are the artists?

KunstRadio founder Heidi Grunnman has invited me to prepare a chapter for another book. This will be a lot more complex to write with far less time to write it in. On top of that, the brief is fairly unclear… collectively, the contributors are invited to look at “radio art” and the borderline between it, art and activism and where this may lead… that the notion of radio art itself is in question.

It’s a challenging time for radio and yet I find it the most enduring of communication mediums… I don’t think I want a multi-channel digital service where one can cross reference, cross link endlessly… I want to listen and engage as I please, but effortlessly and intuitively. I don’t want a lifetime of media literacy skills to navigate my listening by…

To make some sense of what I plan to write I made some attempt at an abstract for Heidi to comment on.

The abstract – for a chapter to an untitled book

Where are the artists? Who are the artists? We wanted everyone to have the means to express themselves and communicate their ideas. Are we not all artists or are we makers of media seeking out like minds within the deluge of mediums and media forms that shape many of our lives day in and day out?

Amidst the torrent there is but one medium that persists – radio. Yet even there we are seeing the appearance of the “media maker”, those with sophisticated skills that innovate in faster and daring ways, fusing disparate components into communication mediums that leave one delirious!

Amidst the homogeneity diversity grows still, and the means to communicate and nurture diversity becomes more and more necessary. Radio, the earliest and most resilient of all communication mediums persists. How will it endure the digital migration?

What I’m thinking of here is how radio in its basic form is still powerful in its simplest form, that the complexities we inherit from new technologies may diminish its influence rather than add to it.

Recently I had involved myself, unknowingly at the time, in the sudden creation of what one could describe as a self-initiating community of geographically, culturally and emotionally dispersed people who all found solice, inspiration and support within, believe it or not, Flickr. It all began with a single photograph.

Here, space that was created to share photos in became something other than it was created for. It literally saved people from total despair and created hope where there was little else. Quite stunning…

And it is this that I’m trying to voice in some way through my love for radio in its simplest form. As we know it, it is a one way medium, but for an artist, it is more than that. We take from it and return to it and its audiences over time… this thing that we refer to as time in context with radio is not as immediate as the internet, but it does what the internet cannot do unless one stops, pauses… radio is a contemplative medium for the maker/producer.

It is within this that I am trying to find expression for…

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