Mobile Radio

art project by Sarah Washington & Knut Aufermann

LISBON September 2008

September 21, 2008 by Mobile Radio

We set off for the Radia meeting and radio festival in Lisbon – RadiaLx 2008 International Radio Art Festival. We also do a Tonic Train performance and present the results of our Mobile Radio adventures at the Goethe-Institut


We step off the train to be placed directly on air at Radio Zero


As the other participants dribble in there is a late-night madcap broadcast from the home of Ricardo Reis (in white)


Much fun is had by utilizing everything we can lay our hands on to make radio. The collective spirit is strong


An important aspect of this get-together is a meeting of the radio art network Radia. The rest of the festival programme was jam-packed with action for a week, so we needed a chart to remind us where we were supposed to be!


Several performances, discussions and debates take place at the Goethe-Institut. Tetsuo Kogawa gives his radio transmitter building performance


The next outside broadcast is done on a ferry crossing the river Tagus, on our way to a sardine lunch


Ah Lisbon! Plenty of time and perfect weather for a broadcast picnic. Here Paulo Raposo chats to (L-R) João c Pinto, Jay Needham and Patrick McGinley


Two nights of performances were held at Fábrica Braço de Prata. Top: Mike Cooper’s live radio play, right: Anna Friz and her multi-transmission performance. Bottom: In the secluded garden of the Goethe-Institut a screening of the film Ich möchte kein Mann sein with sound effects from Xentos ‘Fray’ Bentos and live narration by Alexandra Varela from a text by herself and Ricardo Reis


There are many performances during the festival. Here Sarah and Ricardo join in the Radio Game devised by Xentos ‘Fray’ Bentos. Many radios come to a sudden end due to a combination of lousy luck and lousy sporting skills


We can’t leave Portugal without….. a day at the beach

DANUBE September 2008

September 13, 2008 by Mobile Radio

We were invited to take part in the European Sound Delta project. One boat sailed up the Rhine, the other made its way from the Black Sea delta up the Danube to meet the other boat in Strasbourg. Artists were invited to do residencies along the route. We decided to sail from Linz to Nuremberg and collaborate with the sound artists Dinah Bird And Jean-Philippe Renoult. The reason this stretch of the river interested us the most was because it holds the deepest locks in Europe in the Main-Danube Canal, as the waterway traverses the heights of the European Watershed. We wanted to perform and record on the boat whilst riding up and down the locks. The journey was not without its problems, however we were thrilled to take part in what turned out to be the trip of a lifetime

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Linz is in the throws of Ars Electronica when we arrive. We are unexpectedly delayed for a few days, so we take in some of the attractions. Radio Fro host an interesting series of events, and our friends from Vienna, Noid and Skylla perform. Luckily we manage to catch “the benchmark consort”, a degenerative work for laptops by the Cologne artist Hans W. Koch. There is time to make some microphone tests under the bridge


Sarah’s deep joy on the trip was to be found on the deck of the Ange-Gabriel as we left our berth each day before dawn: sipping the silence of the world as the sun reconstructs it








There was much beauty to be seen en route, from the glorious Austrian hills to the wonderous German cities of Passau (City of Three Rivers) and Regensburg. We also enjoyed the bridges, and our fitting departure point in the industrial outskirts of Nuremberg


The crux of the trip was not the pleasure of slowly cruising along, but to get on and make recordings. We tried different sounds and styles of performance in the locks to see what worked best








Here is a bit of everyday boat life, taking it easy with our dedicated project crew Eve, Vincent and Philip, and Michel our captain. Boat pace suits us fine


Dinah records Michel, so we can play his voice into a lock









Our equipment: various recording devices, microphones, megaphones and battery operated instruments. Just as well we are largely self-sufficient as the electricity supply onboard is decidedly dodgy


An early morning industrial wonderland








Locks, locks and more locks


We save up some electricity for Knut to perform a solo concert on a large PA. Dinah gets in the mood for her vocal performance






Jean-Philippe plays harmonica into the depths. These locks are utterly awesome


We interact with passersby and boat captains. Sarah makes it her mission to get a wave back from absolutely anybody. It works







Some curiosities. Walhalla, would you believe. A true Bavarian wolpertinger. A rare fuel ship. The discovery of the journey – floating bollards. In one lock we simply recorded these as they made a beautiful creaking surround-sound symphony


Our motorway berth, after a difficult stretch of river which slowed us to walking speed. A long day’s work for the captain and pilot







We popped a lot of balloons (to capture impulse responses), recorded from all over the barge, waited for locks and spent all our spare time hanging out on deck. Ahhhh…..


Sunrise, wildlife, gently rocking on water. You can’t ask for more








Did we mention the huge scary locks?