a telematic radio network project

HORIZONTAL RADIO : A Report by Heidi Grundmann (2)


How and by which artistic means the participants interpreted this theme was completely open. There was no central agency controlling content or form of any contributions. (It would not even have possible to spot contributions differing from regional or national broadcasting laws in time to prevent their live transmission....) Due to this artistic freedom the material used for HORIZONTAL RADIO in retrospect proves to be an unexpectedly rich anthology of international radio- and telecommunications art of the 90s: all possible genres were represented from live-soundscapes to complex tape-compositions, from live-concerts to multi media performances, from moving collages of interviews/sounds/music and literary texts to telematic simultaneous events between some of the participating stations, from soundsculptures to sounds, texts and collages triggered by the Internet etc.

Anything delivered into the Net - sounds, compositions, texts, images - data - turned into material, which could be manipulated and changed by any other user/participant to be sent on and changed again....Our ideas about authorship or intellectual property lost their meaning. In the case of HORIZONTAL RADIO also the most traditional sound-text-compositions, broadcast on the radio, broke down into data, that could be mixed, layered, manipulated live with all the other data arriving simultaneously from other places in the world or recorded in an earlier stage of the event. Parts of the live mixes were picked up by other stations and woven into new broadcasts and so on...No performing rights association will ever get an accurate report on HORIZONTAL RADIO.

A project like HORIZONTAL RADIO is - we thought - only alive as long as the network organised for the event stays active, i.e. for the duration of the time-span negotiated in a complex process between organisers, institutions, technicians, subsidy-givers, sponsors etc. (It is here that analogies of telecommunicatios art to "art in the public space" make a lot of sense.)