International Conference
Museum Tinguely, Basel

Developed into a crucial form of communication over the course of the 20th 
century, radio is currently undergoing processes of fundamental reorganization 
that can be summarized by the byword digitalization. When considered using the 
much older term radiophonics, these processes unleash conceptual possibilities 
that far surpass any simple scheme to economize or accelerate production- or 
broadcasting-forms. In the practices associated with broadcasting and listening 
on and with electromagnetic waves, noise — i.e. the sonic components not 
notatable in conventional musical scores—becomes part of the composition.

The “Radiophonic Cultures” Conference assumes that radiophonic art 
experimentally and self-reflexively negotiates the boundaries of what is 
defined as music in the following three ways: (1) When understood in terms of 
radiophonics, the defined limits of music and sound shift. (2) The cultural 
techniques of radiophonics transform compositional techniques, which concern 
not only the structure of music but also the spatial effects produced through 
studio techniques and broadcast structures. For this reason, (3) the concept of 
radiophonics challenges media-theoretical reflections on the production of 
collectives, connectivities, and historically-specific subjectivities.

In negotiating these aspects of radiophonics, the history of radio proves 
itself to be a history of producing the future through experimentation, 
modelling, and experience. Producing the future (not only the future of radio) 
is hard work. It is not without reason that in acoustics there is no equivalent 
for what in the visual realm would be called “vision”. The radio has to be on 
air, to be at all.

The interdisciplinary conference “Radiophonic Cultures” investigates the 
history of radio and its sounds as a history of the tensions and interactions 
among its technical, aesthetic, and political dimensions and thus plumbs the 
depths of future radio’s potentials.

The conference is organized by the SNF-Sinergia research project “Radiophonic 
Cultures - Sonic Environments and Archives in Hybrid Media Systems“ at the 
University of Basel’s media studies and musicology departments, the FHNW 
Hochschule für Musik Basel, and the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in cooperation 
with the Museum Tinguely<>.

The conference is free of charge. Registration is not necessary, but helpful 
for our planning.

Conference languages: German and English

For a detailed program visit our website:

For further inquiries concerning the conference please contact:<>
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