Radio After Radio: Redefining radio art in the light of new media technology through expanded practice

Radio After Radio: Redefining radio art in the light of new media technology through expanded practice

PhD Research Degree

Magz Hall

Completed 2015

I have been working in the field of radio art, and through creative practice have been considering how the convergence of new media technologies has redefined radio art, addressing the ways in which this has extended the boundaries of the art form. This practice-based research explores the rich history of radio as an artistic medium and the relationship between the artist and technology, emphasising the role of the artist as a mediator between broadcast institutions and a listening public. It considers how radio art might be defined in relation to sound art, music and media art, mapping its shifting parameters in the digital era and prompting a consideration of how radio appears to be moving from a dispersed 'live' event to one consumed 'on demand' by a segmented audience across multiple platforms. Exploring the implications of this transition through my radio practice focuses upon the productive tensions which characterise the artist's engagement with radio technology, specifically between the autonomous potentialities offered by the reappropriation of obsolete technology and the proliferation of new infrastructures and networks promised by the exponential development of new media. Switch Off takes as its overarching theme the possible futures for FM radio, incorporating elements from eight 'trace' stations, produced as a series of radio actions investigating these tensions. Interviews have been conducted with case study subjects Vicki Bennett, Anna Friz, LIGNA, Hildegard Westerkamp and Gregory Whitehead, whose work was chosen as being exemplary of the five recurrent facets of radio arts practice I have identified: Appropriation, Transmission, Activism, Soundscape and Performance. These categories are derived from the genealogy of experimental radiophonic practice set out in Chapter One.


A digital copy of this thesis is available from the UAL Research Online repository.

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