Yesterday evening the „Radio as Art“ conference in Bremen (Germany) was opend with a wonderful keynote lecture of Hank Bull, one of the first artists who considered themselfes explicitly as radio artists. The title of the lecture performance: „The Reception of Electricity.“
It was a live radio show at its best that Hank Bull gave to the audience at the Guest House of the Universität Bremen and the listeners of the four webradios that are connected with the live-stream of Mobile Radio (documentation @ SoundCloud). In combination with recalling the history of the legendary „HP Show“ (1976 to 1984) Hank Bull gave a wonderful overview of the history of electricity starting in the 18th century and tracing it up to our presence. In doing so he showed how philosophers like Marx and Nietzsche missed the revolutionary dimension of electricity, that „killed God“ and gave birth to new „Gods“ through the human imagination like Frankenstein’s monster, Nosferatu and the alien voice.
It was Marshall McLuhan who finally realized the potential of electricity. But way before the philosphers it were the artists, as Hank Bull asserted, who enganged immediatelly with the new possibilities of electricity and explored it. Thus e.g. Vicent van Gogh painted the first light bulb and Marcel Duchamp created the first piece of radio art, as Hank Bull proposed with a smile and a wink on his face.
If you get a chance, listen to the pod-cast of his lecture performance, tune in to the live-stream of the conference with many interesting speakers like Anna Friz, Colin Black, Ralf Homann, Philip Glahn, Claudia Wegner, Vito Pinto and many others from all over the world. Or just come by, if you happen to be in Bremen.
I will present my lecture on Catastrophes, Hörspiel-Pop and Radio-Opera on Saturday at 3 pm.