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NEW-MEDIA-CURATING  November 2012

NEW-MEDIA-CURATING November 2012

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Subject:

Re: November Theme: Curating on and through web-based platforms

From:

Anna Ramos <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Anna Ramos <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 25 Nov 2012 22:51:19 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (90 lines)

Apologies for stepping in late to respond.

A few emails ago Marialaura asked if we had ever worked with live stream. I wonder if you’re asking whether we have produced a live radio show, probably in front of an audience, which has been streamed. This is a common practice for radio artists (working in the field of expanded radio) and also for the more commercial radio, where very popular shows bring their live shows to theaters as a way of funding their projects and also to please their hardcore followers. This is indeed a challenge, because once you bring voice and sound produced within the radio aesthetics/format into the performative field, the audience expects some theatrical and visual narrative to be added to the formula. Which is perfectly ok for me and on a more personal note (and forgive me for drifting away from the subject) I must admit how much I’d love to attend to one of Garrison Keilor’s Prairie Home Companion shows http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/ - and I strongly recommend the documentary "The Man on the radio in the red shoes".

What Marialaura is asking is quite relevant and it is also a quite common subject of discussion within the Museum as well, where the question turns into the following one: How can we bring our work in the online sphere to the physical one, ie. how can we expand the visitors experience to our Museum galleries with the in depth research of our radiophonic materials? Or how can we insert the radio into the four walls of the Museum Galleries.

I find this issue problematic and challenging. I may sound conservative, since we are all talking about transversal experiences, the diffusion of frontiers, etc., but my argument goes in the following direction: if there’s not a proper space/context for that I ask myself: why should we? I even find it hard to understand where the problem is. We live in this bulimic culture (a term by the Catalan poet Eduard Escoffet) where we expect physical experiences to be as hypertextual and rhizomatic as the online ones, and we feel the urge to facilitate this somehow. Even more so, it may not be enough and we want the digital/online experience (ie. an online radio show) to be brought to the performative field, to the physical realm. I’m very interested in bringing the discursive lines of the radio back to the Museum, but I’m more interested in creating sinergies than replicating or adapting experiences. What I mean is that it would not work for me to do a live show just because. We would have to find the concept/subject where that makes sense.
So far we’ve approached the relationship with the presential experience with a very traditional approach. Here’s an example: in 2008, we held an exhibition called “Possibility of Action. The Life of the Score” http://www.macba.cat/en/exhibition-possibility-of-action, curated by Barbara Held and Pilar Subirà (who were then producing the Ràdio Web MACBA series ‘Lines of Sight’ http://rwm.macba.cat/en/linesofsight-tag/). This exhibition extended their exploration of the concepts of transmission and interpretation into the visual and objectual world, and applied them to musical notation and related forms of expression, as well as some other representations of sound. Within that context there were also a couple of shows which were streamed online from New York to Barcelona, but then again, it was the series the one that was asking for this approach, since the whole issue was about transmission. It made sense and the result was the podcast “Lines of Sight #4. Radio Action III. free103point9” http://rwm.macba.cat/en/curatorial/lines4/capsula.

We’ve also organised concerts and lectures related to our series on the history of sound appropiationism “Variations” http://rwm.macba.cat/en/variations_tag/ and “Memorabilia. Collecting sounds with...” http://rwm.macba.cat/en/memorabilia_tag/, a series that offers an insight into private collections of music and sound memorabilia. But again our goal is not necessarily to bring the radio into the Museum galleries, but to find contexts in which the interaction between the two makes sense.

Another example where streaming made complete sense for me (together with the “Lines of Sight” experience I mentioned) was %rand(), a project by my dear friend and Ràdio Web MACBA collaborator Joe Gilmore (and, his partner in crime, Tom Betts): http://joe.qubik.com/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=main.rand And it worked because it was perfectly aligned with the heart and soul of the project. But then again their idea wasn’t to attach the digital experience with the physical, rather than creating a 100% automated project, a net.radio station streaming realtime generative music. All musical content was generated by computer software algorithms and streamed. It’s a shame the project is no longer available online. I like to think some of the ideas they worked with were later applied to our “Composing with process” series, where Joe Gilmore and Mark Fell explore process and generative systems applied to music.

That said, the answer to Marielaure’s question is: no, we haven’t worked with live stream. But for very different reasons: it’s been mainly because we don’t have the human and physical infrastructure to do so. One of the main values of our project is that we’re producing quite unique podcasts (or so I hope) with an in-depth documentation and research process. We are also very concerned about the aesthetic values we bring to the table, being fully aware that our raw material and vehicle is sound. So to do what we are doing live is not possible.

This reminds me of a conversation that took place two years ago in Supersimetria, in Barcelona, between Curtis Roads, Mark Fell and Roc Jiménez de Cisneros, which was held by Tony Myatt as part of his research for the MRC in York. Roads was asked on his approach to his live show and he explained how it was relegated to the live playback of prerecorded pieces, mainly because he is a studio virtuoso and his signature microsound compositions are simply not doable in real-time. I really respect his approach and honesty, but the truth is that this conception of the live show is still controversial today for a large part of the public.
Last but not least, we are doing what we are doing on the fly, learning by doing it, with no radiophonic infrastructure. Our radio is as small as a DR 100 Tascam digital recorder, a Beyer mic and whatever computer and software our producers own/use, and as big as the huge amount of experiences, stories, intuitions, theses and phobias of those who get into the lab with us: philosophers, curators, artists, activists, musicians, collectors (and even all at once).

I hope I have answered the question somehow.

Best
Anna

________________________________________
From: Curating digital art - www.crumbweb.org [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Axel Lapp [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2012 3:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] November Theme: Curating on and through web-based platforms

Hi Susan, and all:

Having also experienced this piece in Berlin at the time, and having
some very fond memories of it, I can see why we are now placing
historic value on its imperfections, eg the time-lag through the slow
internet connection, and the warbling of the sounds through the
computer reading in a language that made German, the language of most
passers-by, almost impossible to understand (though that it happened
in the window of the British Council offices could at least excuse
that dominance - even if it was US-English). It was the state of
technology and it was a new experience.
But, of course, then, we weren't enjoying it when it didn't work, when
people in the street didn't realise that contact was made, but when a
conversation actually happened.

Today, that conversation would be much easier to achieve. People are
more aware of the technological possibilities, and it would run much
smoother - if still with a time lag, that it just takes to typing a
message. Would it otherwise be different? Would it still not expect
people to accept the offer of a conversation with somebody they cannot
see?

I am not so sure ...

Best,

Axel


Am 23.11.2012 um 14:19 schrieb susan collins:
> This work was in a sense all about the state of the technology
> (both technically and culturally) at that moment in time. The timelags
> (which wouldn't exist now in the same way) becoming a material
> quality of
> the work, and the fact that many of the people experiencing the work
> on
> the street were not online and this was in many cases their first
> internet
> connected (or first chatroom) experience, gave it another quality
> altogether (surprise, disbelief and in some cases wonder), one that
> would
> be impossible now to replicate (online anyway). It may be worth
> mentioning
> that no one at the street end ever saw a computer - nor did they
> have any
> (visible) interface), just a (disconnected) projected mouth to stop
> them
> in the street and keep them standing there long enough for the
> conversation to flow. I showed the work five times in five different
> cities. The first one was Brighton in 1997, the last one Berlin in
> 2001.
> By 2001 the image stream was colour, the passersby more familiar,
> and for
> me the piece did not make sense to show again as it had not only
> materially changed, but the cultural context that it operated in had
> already in those four years changed beyond recognition.

________________________________

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