sub_ʇxǝʇ is an itinerant platform for research, discussion & sonic knowledge production
How has eradio changed listener expectations in comparison to traditional radio?
“Radio had destroyed the world of his youth, …who cared about that now with radio coming in from everywhere? …Radio gave so much power to advertising and now advertising was everything. The businesses that poured money into radio got rich and the ones that didn’t went nowhere…”
- Ray Soderbjerg, Radio Romance
Accounts of radio from the 1930’s eerily match criticism of (anti)- social media today. Interrupting, obscuring and sidelining the joys of daily life, radio can be said to have triggered one of the final detachments of humans from their local environment. No more.
Eradio, a turn of phrase first used in Berlin by the We Are Born Free platform, maintains the magnetism to draw people together in real life. Given the technical and organisational complexity of delivering live content, we see temporary communities emerge to transmit, witness and support eradio broadcasting. Despite the definitionally remote nature of the medium eradio has argueably begun to return some of the space occupied by traditional broadcasting. Social and communal space that at one time radio was charged with having taken away. In so doing it may also continue to break the alienation fostered by the marriage of late capitalism and web based media. Space is the place. One of the odd particularities for artists using eradio as a medium is its ubiquity. Mimicry or repetition usually threatens to devalue the apparent originality of the artwork. But in detaching content from form or medium from message, the enormous appeal of eradio and podcasting creates, in a sense, an historical moment. For no medium suffers from its reapplication time and again but rather the opposite. Eradio is not diminished by its ubiquity despite the fact that listeners rarely hear the work live. And this is the crux of the eradio enigma; the curious bind between live transmission and lived, physically real space. At a radio of 10:1 listeners to online radio do so after the event. Yet the event is critical to working together and creating that sound, those shared risks, the relationships built and tested around publicity and transmission deadlines. In short, while no fixed physical studio yet exists for the endeavours of the sub_ʇxǝʇ platform, a number of sites have shared in helping to get the message out there. From 199 at New River Studios, London, Adata Island in Bulgaria, d.i.y church, Cashmere Radio or Theatre X in Berlin, Merapi volcano and the North Jakarta Sea Coast of Indonesia, the Gütermarkt (flee market) and our more regular space in the Ständige Vertretung (pictured behind), at ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, Berlin. Each one of these events in collaboration with Threads* has revealed the human joy in social participation and witnessing. The question remains as to how well prepared such micro- communities are in the face of enclosure. With the Soundcloud platform bending to the will of Universal Studios, and Mixcloud signalling its first restrictions on what has been a remarkably copyright-free/different environment, who can tell where online streaming is headed. With this in mind the sub_ʇxǝʇ platform can only continue in a scenario whereby structural threats and opportunities are central to its organisation. And in order to do this the platform must once again return to the nature of what it proposes collaboratively.