Project C

Between Epistemology and Ecology of Disturbance: Hybrid Systems of Medium and Message in Radiophonic Arrangements since the 1920s

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Siegert
Theory and History of Cultural Techniques, Media Studies, Bauhaus University Weimar
International Research Institute for Cultural Techniques and Media Philosophy (IKKM), Weimar

Prof. Nathalie Singer
Experimental Radio, Media Art/Media Design, Bauhaus University Weimar

Jan Philip Müller (Post-Doc Project): Experimental Feedback of Radiophonics (SP C2)

Andreas Feddersen (PhD Project): Radiophonic Archives as Experimental Laboratories (SP C3)

Subproject C questions how, through radiophonic events in technical arrangements, medium and message in procedural relationship of transmission and mutual reflection can be determined, and how thereby the theoretical, technical, political and aesthetic dimensions of radiophonics are regenerated. This subproject pursues these questions in a decidedly interdisciplinary manner between media and social science radio research and the artistic design practice of experimental radio at the Bauhaus University Weimar. The methodological, theoretical and historical basic reflection of radio as a procedural practice will be unfolded from the ambivalent status of radiophonics between epistemology and ecology of disturbance. The central focus lies in the dispositives of disturbance, which in communication systems and models of the 1940s, around the threshold between the analogue and the digital, changes from systems transcendency to systems immanency. Before, disturbance was located outside of the system, as hostile, threatening to all transmission. When models of communication are understood as being constituted by a figure of the third, disturbance is integrated into the system. Because communication and disturbance become exchangeable as soon as disturbance becomes immanent to the system, and because their differentiation can now be brought forth within communication systems, a stable epistemology of disturbance can only be kept under the premise that it can continually revert to an ecology of disturbance where the boundaries between environment and system are permanently reconstructed. Radiophonics, according to the resulting research thesis, is characterized through an ongoing differentiation between matter and form, non-sense and sense, technology and culture, news-related knowledge and cultural practices, and in particular through procedural transitions and entanglements between them. In this framework the projects SP C2, C3 and CF tie in, in that they begin from experiments and archives as radiophonic arrangements of sound and knowledge production and focus on the respective dynamics of the reconfiguration of radio both historically and thematically. SP C2 examines the technical, political and aesthetic strategies through which in experimental arrangements between radio and sound art since the 1950s radiophonic spaces have been reconfigured and reflected. SPs C3 und C4 work on the radio art archives currently build up at the chair for experimental radio in Weimar. Thus, the subject ties the questions of the role of the radio art archive for radio research with questions of new radiophonic forms and formats against the background of the digital upheaval.