Radical Radio

In Western metaphysics, subjectivity has traditionally been conceived of as a paradox, a tension where interiority exists beneath the pressure of exteriority, and where technology develops as a metaphoric appendage of the body. The principal disjunction or aporia  guiding this study is between stream-of-consciousness (dream logic, depth psychology, libidinal primary processes, fantasy, interiorization) and stream-of-existence (aleatory constructs, the concrete, montage, cut-up, structualization). This work, polemical and passionate, is a study of transmission, circuits, disarticulation,metamorphosis, mutation – and not communication, closure, articulation, representation, simulacra.

There is no single entity that constitutes “radio”; rather, there exists a multitude of radios.

Radiophony is a heterogeneous domain, on the levels of its apparatus, its practice, its forms, and its utopias.

A brief, and necessarily incomplete, sketch of some possibilities of non-mainstream concepts of radio will give an idea of this diversity.


Marinetti:                                   “wireless imagination” and futurist radio;

Velimir Khlebnikov:                  revolutionary utopia and fusion of mankind;

Leon Trotsky:                              revolutionary radio;

Dziga Vertov:                              agitprop and the “Radio-Eye”;

Bertolt Brecht:                            interactive radio and public communication;

Rudolph Arnheim:                     radiophonic specificity and the critique of visual imagination;

Upton Sinclair:                           telepathy and mental radio;

Glenn Gould:                               studio perfectionism and “contrapuntal radio”;

William Burroughs:                    cut ups and the destruction of communication;

Marshall McLuhan:                    the primitive extension of central nervous system;

and also                                         the labyrinthine radio narratives of Horspiel;

and …

the diversity of community radios;

free radio;

guerilla radio;

pirate radio;