Lecture „Catastrophes and the Noises of Radio Art in the Digital Age“

On Tuesday, the 17th of May I will present the current state of my dissertation project at the Research Colloquium of the English Seminar at University of Basel. I am very much looking forward to this event.

Crashing of the airship LZ 129 Hindenburg on the 6th of May 1937 in Lakehurst, New Jersey (USA). Foto credit: Sam Shere

Crashing of the airship LZ 129 Hindenburg on the 6th of May 1937 in Lakehurst, New Jersey (USA). Herbert Morrison’s radio report about the catastrophe is one of the oldest documents of radio history. Foto credit: Sam Shere

This is what my talk will be about:

„The antagonism between the technological development towards perfectly clean digital radio sound and the common idea of radio as a noisy analogue medium is crucial for contemporary radio research. From a literary and media studies perspective this antagonism can be scrutinized very well in the extensive corpus of over 40 radio plays by the German radio artist Andreas Ammer. Especially three of his works, which he created together with the German noise musician FM Einheit, are examined thoroughly within my PhD project. These plays are “Apocalypse Live” (1994), “Deutsche Krieger I – III” (1995/1997) and “Crashing Aeroplanes” (2001). All three of them broach the issue of “the noises of radio art in the digital age” by the means of catastrophic plots.

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A Revelation: Alan Macfarlane On Writing

I have written all my life: articles, features, essays, diaries, letters, columns, seminar papers, speeches, lectures. I have experienced writing as burden and as bliss. Writing never stopped to fascinate me. Still I felt unsatisfied with my way of writing. Most of the time I have written for money as I used to work as a journalist since my teenage years. This is certainly not the worst reason. But I always had this other longing. I wanted to experience a different kind of wirting and yet not a  poetic, fictional one. I was looking and longing for way of writing about the world, about so-called „reality“ as well as about art I neither learned at school for journalism nor at university, especially not at German university. Eventually today a friend of mine drew my attention to this interview on writing with the British anthropologist Alan Macfarlane.

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Tribunal & Clouds: GLOBALE @ ZKM

The  Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) Karlsruhe has opened again after several months of restoration. Within the next 300 days the festival GLOBALE will take place in the former ordnance factory: Many different exhibitions and symposia around the two main topics Infosphere and Exo-Evolution are in the making.

Real Cloud of Exo-Evolution by Transsolar - Foto: Harald Völkl, © ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie

Real Cloud of Exo-Evolution by Transsolar – Foto: Harald Völkl, © ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie

The guided tour through the two clouds – symbolizing Infosphere and Exo-Evolution – which Peter Weibel, manager of the ZKM and media artist, gave to me in advance for Deutschlandradio Kultur can be found here.

Peter Weibel, Vorstand und künstlerischer Leiter des ZKM © ZKM | Karlsruhe, 2014 Foto: Andy Ridder

Peter Weibel, manger and artistic director of  ZKM © ZKM | Karlsruhe, 2014 – Foto: Andy Ridder

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Lecture „The BBC World Service: International Radio – Made in the UK“, 2015-06-18, University of Basel

Thursday, the 18h of June I will give a lecture on the legendary BBC World Service in the context of a workshop at the University of Basel. The workshop will be on international radio stations in the 20th century and is part of the national research project „Broadcasting Swissness“.

The title of my lecture, which will be in German as the whole workshop, is „The BBC World Service: International Radio – Made in the UK“. It is based on some findings of my Seminar „Special Sound“ about the BBC and the inspiring debates I had with my students in class. One of the results of this BBC seminar is our „Hitchhiker´s Guide to the BBC Radio Galaxy“, in which one of course also finds some information in English on the BBC World Service. In my lecture I will focus much more on the different attempts of delivering the identity concept of „Britishness“ via one of the oldest, largest and most famous radio stations to the world.

Update, 05-08-2015: The programme has been published now. Anyone interested is welcome to join, please just do register in advance.

Imagining the Unimaginable

Saturday this week (22nd of November) my seminar „They are amongst us. Towards an intergalactic and interdisciplinary cultural history of aliens“ starts at the department for art research and media philosophy of the art academy HfG Karlsruhe. With art students from different disciplines I will try to find out how and why the unimaginable is imagined the way it is and how, why and when the imagination has changed in history and how all of that depended on the evolution of media.

We will be reading theoretical texts e.g. by Immanuel Kant, Nikola Tesla, Hans Blumenberg, Umberto Eco, Kodwo Eshun, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Joseph Vogl, novels by Stanislaw Lem and H.G. Wells, listen to Orson Welles‘ radio drama „The War of the Worlds“ (1938) and watch movies like „Alien“ by Ridley Scott, „2001: a space odyssey“ (1968) by Stanley Kubrick, „Solaris“ (1972) by Andrei Tarkowski, and „Contact“ (1997) by Robert Zemeckis. Of course this will be for me as a radio researcher one of the highlights:

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Remember

25 years ago we skipped school and climbed on the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate. From up there we were looking down at armed GDR soldiers who didn´t know anymore what to do. One day before they still had the order to shoot anybody from the East who wanted to climb over the wall to the West. And now everyone from the East was allowed to cross the boarder freely and we, the people from the West, were climbing up on the wall  to celebrate freedom and the end of a dictatorship, to celebrate the success of the resistance movement and to welcome the people of the East. Very poignant memories.

Today there are still many walls in this world existing, separating and excluding people, between Palestine and Israel, between Mexico and the USA, last but not least on the outer boarders of the EU between Africa and Europe.

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Bugs & Beasts & Beast: My first scientific publication on Hörspiel – in Portuguese.

I am very happy to announce, that my article „RUÍDO, PEÇA SONORA, RÁDIO EXTENDIDO“ just has been published by Polêm!ca Revista Eletrônica, the online-journal of the State University of Rio de Janero (UERJ). It is the extended version of a case study about the Hörspiel (radio play) „Bugs & Beats & Beasts“ by Andreas Ammer and Console, that I presented in September 2013 at the conferences „Noises of Art“ and „Radio Research 2013“ in GB. This Hörspiel plays an important role for the argumentation of my PhD thesis. My very special gratitude goes to Mauro José Sá Rego Costa, professor at the UERJ with special expertise in radio and media art: Mauro, thank you so much for your enthusiasm, your support and especially all the effort you went through in translating this! Bssssssssh.

Enjoy reading – and listening! I would be delighted to recieve some feedback about my ideas from Brazil – and everybody who understands Portuguese. But please, write in English to me!