07.05.18 - 09.05.18

Radiophonic Cultures - Sonic Environments and Archives in Hybrid Media Systems

International Conference
Museum Tinguely, Basel

Developed into a crucial form of communication over the course of the 20th century, radio is currently undergoing processes of fundamental reorganization that can be summarized by the byword digitalization. When considered using the much older term radiophonics, these processes unleash conceptual possibilities that far surpass any simple scheme to economize or accelerate production- or broadcasting-forms. In the practices associated with broadcasting and listening on and with electromagnetic waves, noise — i.e. the sonic components not notatable in conventional musical scores—becomes part of the composition.

The “Radiophonic Cultures” Conference assumes that radiophonic art experimentally and self-reflexively negotiates the boundaries of what is defined as music in the following three ways: (1) When understood in terms of radiophonics, the defined limits of music and sound shift. (2) The cultural techniques of radiophonics transform compositional techniques, which concern not only the structure of music but also the spatial effects produced through studio techniques and broadcast structures. For this reason, (3) the concept of radiophonics challenges media-theoretical reflections on the production of collectives, connectivities, and historically-specific subjectivities.

In negotiating these aspects of radiophonics, the history of radio proves itself to be a history of producing the future through experimentation, modelling, and experience. Producing the future (not only the future of radio) is hard work. It is not without reason that in acoustics there is no equivalent for what in the visual realm would be called “vision”. The radio has to be on air, to be at all.

The interdisciplinary conference “Radiophonic Cultures” investigates the history of radio and its sounds as a history of the tensions and interactions among its technical, aesthetic, and political dimensions and thus plumbs the depths of future radio’s potentials.

The conference is organized by the SNF-Sinergia research project “Radiophonic Cultures - Sonic Environments and Archives in Hybrid Media Systems“ at the University of Basel’s media studies and musicology departments, the FHNW Hochschule für Musik Basel, and the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in cooperation with the Museum Tinguely.

The conference is free of charge. Registration is not necessary, but helpful for our planning.

Conference languages: German and English

For further inquiries concerning the conference please contact: Enable JavaScript to view protected content.


May be subject to change

Day 1: Monday, 7.5.

15:30–16:30      Welcome, Introduction
16:30–17:30      John Cage: Radio Music
  Intervention I: Gilles Aubry: Baraka Radio



17:45–19:00      Presentation of the Forthcoming Exhibition Radiophonic Spaces
  Astrid Drechsler, Anja Erdmann, Nathalie Singer

Day 2: Tuesday, 8.5.

09:00–11:00      Panel 1: Broadcasting or Microcasting: Creating Pluralities and Collectives
  With Ole Frahm, Christina Dunbar-Hester, Frances Dyson & Jan Philip Müller (Host)


11:15–13:15      Panel 2: On the History of Knowledge of Listening to Music on the Radio 1920-1960
  With Angela de Benedictis, Andrea Bohlman, Camilla Bork & Antje Tumat (Host)


15:00–17:00      Panel 3: Archive Strategies: On the Future of Radio
  With Michaela Melián, Marcus Gammel, Wolfgang Ernst & Andreas Feddersen (Host)


17:15–18:15      Intervention II: Berit Schuck & Julia Tieke


19:30–21:00      Concert
  Simone Conforti: WeWillNeverBeGreatAgain!
  (for Voice, Recorders and Electronic)
  Duo Valerio Tricoli & Norbert Möslang

Day 3: Wednesday, 9.5.

09:00–11.00      Panel 4: Studio Procedures: Radiophonics as Poesis
  With Julia Kursell, Armin Schäfer, John Dack, Colin Lang & Tatiana Eichenberger (Host)


11:15–13:15 Panel 5: Radiophonic Realities: Fieldwork and Sonic Fictions
  With Eran Schaerf, Eva Meyer, Maren Haffke, Cathy Lane & Tobias Gerber (Host)


14:30–16:30 Roundtable: The Futures of Radio?
  With Christoph B. Keller, Bernhard Siegert, Liselotte Tännler & Ute Holl (Host)