Thesis Info

Thesis Title
The Radio of the Future Redux: Rethinking transmission through experiments in radio art
Anna Friz
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
York University, Toronto
Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Steven Bailey
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Dr. Jennifer Fisher, Dr. Janine Marchessault
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture
Languages Familiar to Author
English, French, German, Danish
URL where full thesis can be found
Communication and the Arts, Research-Creation, Radio Art, Transmission Art, Media Studies, Radio, Micro-radio, Sound Studies, Science Fiction
Abstract: 200-500 words
This dissertation reconsiders radio in order to rethink questions of communication, affect, and historical artistic practices in wireless media. I displace avant-garde preoccupations with radiation, speed, time and space overcome, disembodiment, ghosts, and schizophonia; tempering them with ideas of resonance, slowness, hearing distance and experiencing time, technology as embodied aggregate circuits of humans and things, transception, and minor media. By expanding Bertolt Brecht's notion of transception through a critical theory of technology as a central concept for re-theorizing transmission, communication and media culture, I consider which alternate radio territories might emerge if the utopian desires to exceed our current capacities through wireless technologies are set aside in favour of embodied, transceptive relationships with others, human and non-human. Through the creation of three new radio art installation and performance works You are far from us, Respire, and The Joy Channel (created with Emmanuel Madan), I consider how bodies remain present and affective in wirelessness through choices of circuit, performance strategies, and compositional elements; theoretically and practically reconsidering radio in terms of transmission ecology and minor media. I propose and begin to test the notion of a resonant rather than radiant paradigm for transmission by emphasizing micro-radio narrowcasting and interference in radio art creation, drawing upon contemporary notions of Hertzian space in which humans and things serve as radiogenic actants. This dissertation considers creative practice as research, in which radio art/works function as experiments that aim to generate and contribute to theoretical knowledge. These , which were variably narrowcast and broadcast multi-channel radio transmissions, 'performed installations', and live radio theatre, repurposed very common technology (terrestrial FM radio broadcasting) and reframed the relationships in which transmission takes place. This simple appropriation of technology undermines the broadcast model of radio that has been naturalized for the past century, while providing opportunities in which to imagine future circumstances which could deepen circuits of relationship. If radio to date has largely acted as an accomplice in the industrialization of communications, art radio and radio art continue to destabilize this process with renewed explorations of radio and electromagnetic phenomena, and the softly subversive potential of reverie.