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Radio Revolten festival takes to the airwaves in October

Halle's decennial radio festival runs throughout October

More than 70 artists will be participating in the month-long international radio art festival Radio Revolten in Halle (Saale), Germany in October. The festival includes two major exhibitions titled Invisible Waves: The History Of Broadcasting And The Attempt At Its Appropriation In Halle (Saale) and Das Große Rauschen: The Metamorphosis of Radio, as well as a temporary 24/7 radio art station (99.3 FM, 1575 AM, online), daily performances and concerts, three conferences and three workshops.

“In 2006 the festival coincided with the 1200 year celebrations of the city of Halle (Saale),” says Radio Revolten director Knut Aufermann via email. “The theme then was the future of radio. The host of the festival was and is Radio Corax, a free radio station in Halle, and one of the leading examples in Germany of what a third tier (besides commercial and public), non-commercial local radio station could be like. Radio Corax has a grassroots democratic underpinning.

“Rather than speculating on the future of radio as in 2006, we want to make a statement on the current state of our art,” continues Aufermann. “We declare radio art as a distinct form of art, and Radio Revolten as the result of our attempt to represent all variations of it.

“Radio art has come of age,” he declares. “It is time to take stock of all the initiatives that have taken roots in so many different subsoils, be it community, campus or public radio stations, galleries and biennials, communal listening events or staged performances. My feeling in general is that people are open to spend time listening to and engaging with challenging sound.

“For want of a better word for it,” Aufermann enthuses, “radio has magic. Radio is the most exciting medium: ephemeral and deep. Perfect for art.”

Contributions from 70 participating artists will be presented at 15 locations across the city. Other highlights include Radio Oracle (Marold Langer-Philippsen) broadcasting daily from a studio flat inside a church tower 45 metres above the market square, Radio For Plants installation and performance at the Botanical Gardens by Sun Ra alumnus Hartmut Geerken, and a Radiophonic Picnic that features Julia Drouhin spinning records made from chocolate.

Running from 1–30 October, Radio Revolten 2016 is co-curated by newcomers Aufermann, Anna Friz, Elisabeth Zimmermann and Sarah Washington, as well as its 2006 organiser Ralf Wendt. On air, the festival will broadcast on the FM frequency 99.3 MHz in Halle. 35 radio stations across the globe will be broadcasting selections from the programme, with Brighton's Resonance Extra documenting the entire event. Artists involved include Resonance Radio Orchestra, Alessandro Bosetti, Joyce Hinterding, Tetsuo Kogawa, and others.

Knut Aufermann surveyed the decade-long boom in creative broadcasting for a special feature on radio art in The Wire 320. Subscribers can read that feature via Exact Editions.