Radia Show 369 | Digging Radio


This week Radia Show is presented by Radio Orange, Vienna, and it was produced by Kristina Fromm, Lale Rodgarkia-Dara and Fiona Steinert.



Yet another annoying piece of radio art?

Here is how the producers describe the work:

In the beginning there was the paraphrase. Starting from the search for radio art events to be reproduced we ended up looking into landmarks of radio history in connection with art - hopping from its beginnings to the digital turn.

Listen to a simulation of history and how it is digged out of its holes.

In search of elements of radio history, we are re-using the key idea of a performance by GX Jupitter-Larsen:

Jupitter-Larsen performed by digging a hole in a garbage-bin full of dirt & small radios. All of the radios were tuned to static. So as the hole got larger, the radio static got louder. Entitled Building Empty Holes, this solo performance lasted fifteen minutes.

The performance took place in Vienna in 1991 at the Museum Moderner Kunst.

The paraphrase alters the original by tuning the buried radios into the transmission of the simulated historical radio events. A mini pirate transmitter is used to transfer the signal from a nearby computer to the radios in the bin filled with soil. We paraphrased the first transmissions - terrestrial and via telephone line - transmitting salon music from the hotel Intercontinental into the dining room in a private apartment and sang the styrian hymn via a pirate radio transmitter.


Layer 1:

The future claims: Radio turns digital on a terrestrial base. Will we lose low tech democratic access to the aether? In a first attempt the digital signals are ignored and being played on an analogue base. Hence, this is how the aether may sound in a couple of years if one refuses to invest in A/D changer. Rhythmic and annoying.


Layer 2:

The first wireless transmission of music and voice was successfully accomplished by the Austrian Otto Nussbaumer from the Technical University of Graz on the 15th of June 1904. Nussbaumer, at this time, was a constructor in the Institute for Physics at the Technical University, where he was employed in the area wireless telegraphy. After a lot attempts he finally managed in 1904, to transmit wirelessly music and voice through a self made transmitter. This transmission was audible for a distance of up to 20 meters through the rooms of the Technical University. For this important and historical moment, Nussbaumer transmitted the hymn of Styria, the Dachsteinsong, which was sung by himself. This led to proof that transmission of sound is possible. This pioneering feat was essential to the further development of radio.


Layer 3:

In 1881, Clément Ader demonstrated the world’s first stereo transmission from the stage. It was transmitted from the Paris Opéra with his new invention: the Théâtrophone. It was a telephonic distribution system that allowed the subscribers to listen to opera and theatre performances over telephone lines. This enabled the subscribers to stay in the comfort of their homes and enjoy their evening meal, while listening to the opera performance.


A Radia Show by Kristina Fromm, Lale Rodgarkia-Dara, Fiona Steinert, supported by Barbara Kaiser, Karl Schönswetter, Sara Norris, Christine Schörkhuber und Judith Purkarthofer.

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