There is an interview with Vicki Bennett in the next issue of the excellent THE SOUND PROJECTOR magazine, where Radio Boredcast is discussed in great detail. Highly recommended magazine!
We are very pleased to inform you that Radio Boredcast has now been archived in its entirety at WFMU.
Given that Radio Boredcast is a 744-hour online radio project, we consider today (20 June), The Longest Day, a most appropriate time to make this announcement. Curated by Vicki Bennett (People Like Us) with AV Festival, Radio Boredcast responds to our ambiguous relationship with time – do we have too much or not enough? – celebrating the detail, complexity and depth of experience lost through our obsession with speed. BASIC.fm first hosted the project through the duration of AV Festival (1-31 March 2012) and now this unique and colossal archive is accessible for “Listen on Demand” at freeform radio station WFMU.
An impressive list of participants were invited to create new radio shows, audio works and mixes in response to the AV Festival theme “As Slow As Possible” and thematic playlists and contextual programming surround these creations.
The full list of participants are: Carl Stone, Pseu Braun & Alex Orlov, Touch, Rob Weisberg, Nicolas Collins, Andrew Lahman, Chris & Cosey, Jonathan Dean and Transmuteo, Cheese Snob Wendy, Kevin Nutt, Tony Coulter, Daniel Menche, Scott Williams, John Wynne, Chris Watson, Jem Finer and Longplayer, Tim Maloney, Ergo Phizmiz, Matmos, Dave Soldier, Charlie and Busy Doing Nothing, Andrew Sharpley, Nancy O Graham, Gwilly Edmondez, Anna Ramos & Roc Jiménez De Cisneros, Doug Horne, Irene Moon, David Suisman, Radio Web MACBA, Mark Gergis and Porest, Jez Riley French, Don Joyce, Carlo Patrao and Zepelim, Dorian Jones, Jason Willett, Zach Layton, Primate Arena with Alex Drool and Eran Sachs, David Toop, Dylan Nyoukis, Jared Blum and GiganteSound, Ed Pinsent, Adrian Philips aka Mr Rotorvator, Axel Stockburger, Craig Dworkin, Felix Kubin, People Like Us, Language Removal Services, Daniela Cascella, John Levack Drever, Joel Eaton, Clay Pigeon, Gudrun Gut, Charles Powne, Carl Abrahamsson, Andreas Bick and Silent Listening, Phantom Circuit, Patti Schmidt aka Wheelie Houdini, Leif Elggren, Ken Freedman, Erik Bünger, Douglas Benford, Christof Migone, BJNilsen, Andy Baio, Adam Thomas aka Preslav Literary School, Caroline Bergvall, Ken’s Last Ever Radio Extravaganza, Tapeworm, Brent Clough and The Night Air, Ilan Volkov, Nat Roe, Steven Ball, X41, The Long Now Foundation, Sharon Gal, Michael Ruby, Jonathan Leidecker, DJ/rupture, Gordon Monahan, Michael Cumella aka MAC, Lloyd Dunn and nula, DDDJJJ666, and Kenneth Goldsmith.. Thematic playlists run throughout from “Acconci” to “Zzz…” programmed by Vicki Bennett.
This has been a great project to curate and create, and although the theme is Slowness, we urge you to get over there now and have a listen!
Vicki’s blog entry on the AV Festival site avfestival.co.uk/blog/2012/02/19/radio-boredcast-presents
April 28, 2012 – June 2, 2012
Greene County Council on the Arts (GCCA)
398 Main Street
Catskill, NY 12414
Radio Boredcast, or to be more specific, Vicki’s DO or DIY shows feature in the Transmittal exhibition at Greene County Council for the Arts Gallery, Catskill, USA.
Curated/Organized by: Galen Joseph-Hunter
Organized in partnership with Acra-based nonprofit arts organization free103point9, Transmittal, offers Greene County residents and visitors a window into Transmission Arts. Transmittal is curated by Galen Joseph-Hunter, free103point9’s Executive Director and author of Transmission Arts: Artists and Airwaves (PAJ Publications: 2011.) The exhibition features an international and local roster of artists and organizations whose work celebrates the interdisciplinary nature of Transmission Arts and is made manifest in video, sound, radio, installation, performance, and work-on-paper.
Hopefully you’ve been listening all month to the online radio station curated and programmed (and sometimes containing) by People Like Us. It ran through March as part of AV Festival 12, and had 20,000 listening hits over the month.
Throughout the month we’ve been airing specially created shows and recordings as well as carefully selected programmes that reflect the AV Festival theme of As Slow As Possible. You who have listened know that we have really stretched the theme and have been surprised and hopefully delighted by what you have heard.
We will now start to archive the month on WFMU’s servers and make it available in streaming/on demand format. To keep up to date on this you should subscribe to our mailing list on the peoplelikeus.org front page.
UPDATE: Radio Boredcast is now archived at WFMU: http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/ZZ
Radio Boredcast and AV Festival are getting some good press at the moment, here is an Interview in WIRED.
WIRED interview http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/03/slow-radio/
Lots of good press (and hilarious youtube mentality comments) coming in the UK press for AV Festival now. The 7th March Guardian has a very nice review, that includes Radio Boredcast.
The Schedule for Radio Boredcast, running from Noon on 1st March 2012 to Midnight 31st March is now up and is broadcasting online!
Listen at Basic.fm
If you have problems listening through a browser because you are at work etc, you can listen to the mp3 stream here – Just open iTunes, go to Advanced on the Menu bar and Open Stream and past it in.
http://www.avfestival.co.uk/programme/2012 – navigate using the Radio Boredcast link or by viewing each day of the AV Festival calendar in its entirety. Or follow the links below that take you to each day.
Meanwhile, subscribe to the Radio Boredcast Preview podcast – which runs from now until the end of March 2012. Clicking on this link will prompt your computer to open iTunes. This is normal, let it do so.
HERE’S THE FULL LIST OF PARTICIPANTS!
The full list of participants in Radio Boredcast with new and exclusive recordings and shows are Carl Stone, Pseu Braun & Alex Orlov, Touch, Rob Weisberg, Nicolas Collins, Andrew Lahman, Chris & Cosey, Jonathan Dean and Transmuteo, Cheese Snob Wendy, Kevin Nutt, Tony Coulter, Daniel Menche, Scott Williams, John Wynne, Chris Watson, Jem Finer and Longplayer, Tim Maloney, Ergo Phizmiz, Matmos, Dave Soldier, Charlie and Busy Doing Nothing, Andrew Sharpley, Nancy O Graham, Gwilly Edmondez, Anna Ramos & Roc Jiménez De Cisneros, Doug Horne, Irene Moon, David Suisman, Radio Web MACBA, Mark Gergis and Porest, Jez Riley French, Don Joyce, Carlo Patrao and Zepelim, Dorian Jones, Jason Willett, Zach Layton, Primate Arena with Alex Drool and Eran Sachs, David Toop, Dylan Nyoukis, Jared Blum and GiganteSound, Ed Pinsent, Adrian Philips aka Mr Rotorvator, Axel Stockburger, Craig Dworkin, Felix Kubin, People Like Us, Language Removal Services, Daniela Cascella, John Levack Drever, Joel Eaton, Clay Pigeon, Gudrun Gut, Charles Powne, Carl Abrahamsson, Andreas Bick and Silent Listening, Phantom Circuit, Patti Schmidt aka Wheelie Houdini, Leif Elggren, Ken Freedman, Erik Bünger, Douglas Benford, Christof Migone, BJNilsen, Andy Baio, Adam Thomas aka Preslav Literary School, Caroline Bergvall, Ken’s Last Ever Radio Extravaganza, Tapeworm, Brent Clough and The Night Air, Ilan Volkov, Nat Roe, Steven Ball, X41, The Long Now Foundation, Sharon Gal, Michael Ruby, Jonathan Leidecker, DJ/rupture, Gordon Monahan, Michael Cumella aka MAC, Lloyd Dunn and nula, DDDJJJ666, and Kenneth Goldsmith.
Subscribe to the Radio Boredcast free podcast now – it will arrive into your iTunes with previews of show highlights every 2-3 days through the month of March. Subscribe Now and receive a Welcome podcast.
Subscribe via iTunes here –
Or through the apple store –
ANDROID AND iPHONE APP
Radio Boredcast is hosted by BASIC.fm, and there’s a free Android and iPhone app that you can download now as one way to listen to the radio station while on the move. BASIC.fm already exists in it’s own form, and magically will change into Radio Boredcast throughout the month of March.
BLOG POST by Vicki Bennett about Radio Boredcast http://www.avfestival.co.uk/blog/2012/02/19/radio-boredcast-presents
INTERVIEW with Vicki Bennett about Radio Boredcast http://www.thepixelpalace.org/basicfm/radio-boredcast
WIRED interview http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/03/slow-radio/
The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/mar/07/av-festival-as-slow-possible/print
BACKGROUND ON RADIO BOREDCAST…
Time is a curious thing – on one hand we complain about being so busy we just don’t know what to do with ourselves, and on the other hand we literally don’t know what to do with ourselves and say we are bored. Given that we need more time, when we are not killing it, it is also strange that (in the western world) we are so obsessed with speed – the one thing guaranteed to make us miss out on the detail, complexity and depth of experience in exchange for thrills and illusions of gaining something, that “something” often being more time. It is with these thoughts that I’ve entered into curating “Radio Boredcast” for AV Festival 12.
The first thing that struck me is that 744 hours is quite a long time. 744 minutes is a long time. Four weeks lined up in iTunes is a long playlist. It would be easy to think about how to fill this up as quickly as possible, but that’s Speediness rearing it’s rather worn out head again. “Slow” is subtle, it avoids the obvious, the short cut or the first hurdle; it is to start at the end of the race and see where we are running to. The only thing to be stretched is the concept of what Slow actually might be – the only aim to make it an engaging, entertaining and unpredictable a listening experience as possible.
Radio Boredcast has and impressive list of participants, providing content in the form of specially produced new and unpublished works, playlists and regular freeform radio shows, field recordings, interviews and monologues and much, much more.
While listening, you may hear adults talking for hours about slowness and children complaining about how boring it all is, thematic freeform radio shows, mathematical experiments and time-based compositions, field recordings of nature’s cycles and underwater rumblings, musical meanderings through memory and inner worlds of sleepless nights; across landscapes and back through time, discovering the world of ritual and speaking in tongues by way of babbling poets and bubbling brooks full of musical elephants, a voyage into deep concréte through art gallery toilets, scientific discussions on insects and evolutionary biology, ultrasound recordings of bats, journeys through very slow cheese, soundscapes from faraway lands with long phonecalls full of language removal, testcard music and shipping forecasts, vast sweeping summaries of the entire history of everything, and then… Silence. Outside of this will be programming of thematic playlists all the way through “Acconci” (Vito) to “Zzz…” (Leif Elggren & Thomas Liljenberg)
Here’s how the schedule began… on post-its in an A2 notepad.
UPDATE (June 2012): Radio Boredcast is now archived at WFMU:
Vicki Bennett has written the Collateral Damage page for the March edition of The Wire magazine.
It is also available to read in The Wire’s online archive:
Vicki will also speak at Off The Page in Whitstable on 25th February 2012 as part of a panel based around the same column.
In the early 2000s, increased bandwidth allowed recombinant artists to enter the gift economy. It’s a freedom we should defend at all costs, argues Vicki Bennett aka People Like Us
In 1999 I bought my first fast computer – and although it was dying to do speedy things, I was on dial-up, reduced to a crawl when it came to information retrieval. Logged into file sharing communities, I’d sit in the chat and watch people posting files that would take me a day to download, so I’d just read about them. Then I’d go to the WFMU website and try to stream the station and just get blurts and gaping silences. Then I’d visit archive.org and look at all the wonderful synopses for Rick Prelinger’s films, which were too large to access. It wasn’t long, however, before affordable broadband reached my area of London. Then everything changed. Forever.
The biggest improvement that broadband has brought me is access to previously inaccessible content, which I can then work with as raw material. In 2000, Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle asked Prelinger to share his films online, for free. Although Prelinger was initially wary of this suggestion, he did so. By making these films available in good quality and continuing to sell the same footage in high quality, not only did he advertise his commercial archive, but also this generous act had a revolutionary effect on artists like myself who utilise already existing footage to make new works. Before this, I’d approached regional and national archives and either found a total lack of interest in collaboration, or a bigger interest but lack of manpower to liaise in realising the project. The advent of broadband made it possible to share on a massive scale. It changed my life.
With more people producing and distributing for themselves, the dynamic has changed and the focus shifted away from the middleman towards the producer. Since 2000, albums I’ve made with Ergo Phizmiz and Wobbly were created remotely, as a result of being in different parts of the world, through ftping multitracks. Many are surprised to hear that such methods could be successful, but working alone on site, and in collaboration online, can be a winning combination. Once completed, it can be shared online. If you work with the right people you’ll reach thousands of listeners. In turn, some of those listeners will be working in areas where they can offer concerts, commissions, or play you on their radio show. This is called the Gift Economy.
Audio content both for People Like Us and my radio show has mainly been sourced online. This heightened access increased my musical knowledge massively, feeding into my creative process, the palette increasing in size and colour. Access to and hosting by curated servers like UbuWeb has given a wider context to my work, where I’ve found aesthetic similarities to genres that in turn inform my practice. As well as curated music servers, there are now thousands of dedicated, knowledgeable music blogs. A web search for an obscure artist heard on the radio will take you to a blog telling you all about them, sharing out-of-print material, with tags linking to related areas. An adjacent column will have links to 25 other websites and radio stations with similar interests. There then follows a wonderful odyssey into hidden and often forgotten sonic worlds. This is very different from looking in an Oxfam record bin.
As well as being able to access specialist audio and moving images, broadband also made it possible to hear radio on a worldwide scale. Although analogue radio has long served the world over certain wavelengths for larger radio networks, it was an amazing experience to hear smaller radio stations like WFMU, where, as a result, I have been a DJ since 2003. WFMU archives its past shows forever, making them available for free listening. When Googling a little-known artist, the chances are the results will include a WFMU playlist. This helped make the local New Jersey radio station a global concern – and now, more people listen online than through radio receivers.
With this enhanced access in the past decade, one is far more likely to hear more less often than less more often. This shifts the way one listens, as the process becomes more like a ‘one-off’ experience of something that is ‘live’ or ‘unrepeatable’, almost like it was before the age of recording. Cassette sharing has been replaced with links and playlists. The physical experience of holding something as a treasured possession is lost, or it would be if you’d put your laptop or iPhone down. The loss of the artefact in favour of info.txt and jpegs is unfortunate; however, I recall many hours spent in record stores only looking at the covers.
In Klaus Maeck’s 1983 film Decoder, Genesis P-Orridge states, “Information is like a bank. Our job is to rob that bank.” These were prophetic words. Freedom of the internet is under threat – over access to and ownership of information. Although I don’t see sharing and creatively transforming information and content as plundering, I do believe the ‘banks’ have the potential to lock up a lot that should rightfully be ours. When Megaupload was recently shut down for facilitating copyright infringement and money laundering, approximately 150 million users instantly lost access to their files. Carpathia and Cogent, Megaupload’s hosting companies, have been told by the US authorities that they are free to delete the content, but unlike the US government’s approach of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, Carpathia has put together a website (megaretrieval.com) with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) so that affected users can assess the scope of the issue and try to retrieve their data. My focus here is not on the legal aspect of this case, but on how further damage occurs when a heavy-handed approach is taken in dealing with such a situation – millions of users were innocently implicated in this case and the collateral damage is immense.
We may be at the stage where many people don’t even wish to download, and are just happy to listen to Spotify or Last.fm, and much future content will only be on servers, with smaller domestic hard drives. While advocating the sharing ethic, I’m wary of ‘the cloud’ – servers looking after everything for you. Megaupload was a ‘cloud’ – it remains to be seen what happens to users and their data when things go wrong. Intellectual property is a complicated issue with many grey areas, which need to be assessed on an individual basis. If there is the opportunity to throw out the grey with the black, this is often done. My main concern over the cloud is that this ‘automatic and effortless’ experience of access may be improved upon by eventually narrowing down results to only mainstream or sponsored content; in the worst cases, people may find themselves simply shut out.
I can’t over-emphasise how much broadband has improved my life, and although I worry about the control of this ‘free’ space, I remain optimistic of seeing blue sky between the clouds. At present, I am curating and programming Radio Boredcast, a month long online radio station for the AV Festival. All content and submissions reached me by way of that modem sitting next to the telephone socket, which then flew across the living room into my computer. I don’t know how that happens, but I’m glad it does.