"It was not the public that waited for radio but radio that waited for a public." [Bertolt Brecht]
Social realities, together with online streaming technologies and digital broadcasting formats on the Internet, change how we interact with the medium. Radio is no longer bound up with the idea of a physical device but – much like other technologies – has become mobile, personalised and wearable, as reflected in the large number of Internet radio stations and podcast platforms, and also explored as a theme in theoretical perspectives on radio art. Radio art is seen as a hybrid field within media art in which various media, approaches, aesthetics and perceptual attitudes converge. Thus radio, like today's human, is becoming a cyborg, a creature that combines heterogeneous technologies and realities in one body: "A cyborg is a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality as well as a creature of fiction." (Donna Haraway)
The project RADIO CYBORGS expands on this kind of hybrid radio as part of public (urban) space and investigates the concrete possibilities that emerge for the urban space of Graz. The project involves, on the one hand, the construction and design of an independent infrastructure as a space of realisation and opportunity, in which the transmission and reception of radio in and from public space can be operated on a wireless and mobile basis – installed on a cargo bike as a Radiocycle. On the other hand, radio artists and theorists will receive commissions to develop – with the help of this infrastructure – new ways, possibilities, art forms and approaches: what does radio mean today for people, in a society that is defined by increasing global mobility (for some), and yet also by growing media monopolies? What role do our acoustic environments play for our self-perception as individuals, as a group, as part of a city?
The compositions of Reni Hofmüller and Valentina Vuksic are commissioned by ORF musikprotokoll. The project "Radio Cyborg Transmitter" is a project of esc medien kunst labor in co-production with Kulturjahr 2020. Concept: Reni Hofmüller.