Mobile Radio

art project by Sarah Washington & Knut Aufermann

BERLIN November 2018

 

FMeral was the title of Sarah’s improvised broadcast performance which she gave at the Radiophonic Spaces exhibition opening programme in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.

The remit was to work with the radio art pieces that were included in the exhibition, but by way of contradiction these were restricted for use by copyright issues. Sarah opted to use her own collection of alternative material from artist friends represented in the exhibition, and with a multitude of overlapping tracks created a playful surround mix through a versatile sound system that consisted of three small FM transmitters and a host of transistor radios strewn across the HKW’s foyer.

This set-up proved that the quality of analogue FM transmission with all its imperfections, combined with carefully placed synchronised playback devices (aka radios) spaced throughout the performance area, works perfectly to envelop an audience with sound that offers the intimacy of home listening even in large and acoustically challenging spaces. In this case there was the additional sensation of spatialisation due to variable routing of the source sounds between the three transmitters, allowing tracks to jump around the audience from one bank of radios to another.

Unfortunately the recording of this event was stolen during a subsequent train journey, so this special performance will indeed remain ephemeral. We can however share our radio works that were exhibited in Radiophonic Spaces: