Andreas Broeckmann on Wed, 5 Feb 97 23:30 MET

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nettime: abroeck: net-radio experiments

Net-radio Experiments - how broad do you cast?

Yesterday I went to the C-Base here in Berlin, an independent media space
run by a mixed group who do their projects there and also organise parties
and events from time to time. The interior design reminds you of one of
those enemy spacecraft in Star Trek movies, slightly trashy and
'industrial', with flickering monitors and gadgets all over. Inventive and
charmingly silly. A stage set for an imagined life in Cyberspace? It was
the first time I was there, so I'm not sure yet what they are like, but
it's good to see that the cyberkids don't wait for us to set something up,
which for the time being we don't do.

They were hosting the party-branch of an Internet&radio event with SOS
Radio TNC organised by Radio Fritz (ORB Potsdam, <>) in
cooperation with ORF Kunstradio and Ars Electronica, Hotwired, with another
RL gathering taking place somewhere in San Francisco. There may have been
more players, but it wasn't clear - which I think was one of the problems:
at the C-Base you could listen to the radio programme without getting an
idea of the radio production complex, the live-mixing, intercontinental
relaying, etc. I guess that it is extremely difficult to make this more
transparent, but for the visitor at the C-Base there was neither much
partying, nor attentive radio listening (which, as it turned out later at
home, was perhaps more fun), but a very distracted situation between
monitors where the IRC chat and CUSeeMee were running, active techies and
sysops doing their 'booting and pinging thing', and a lazy Berlin club
atmosphere without music. A definite advantage was that you had free access
to the Web throughout the evening - it is unlikely that many people would
stay online at home for the five hours of the programme, esp. with the slow
transmission rates of the European Net evening.

The programme dealt mostly with the (dare I say) fictitious webcrash that
brought about the SOS Radio TNC project. Listeners were asked to help solve
the mystery of why it happened, and what happened to Cybermind ... The
result was obviously a lot of nonsense and self-referentiality in the
programme itself (we are now connected with SF, this is Berlin, there are a
lot of people here listening, anything important happening in the IRC right
now, etc.), but it seemed that the listeners slowly got into it and towards
the end there were at least some inventive comments and ideas on the topic.
There may, again, have been more channels of interactivity which was not
clear to me. The danger with such a new mediatic situation is that it
easily creates a non-event that serves mainly as a technical experiment for
using the Net for radio and live-links.

I think that it will be necessary to think critically about more practical
uses of the media-coupling, and about what does and what doesn't make sense
in mixing old and new media.

Andreas Broeckmann

PS: Information about V2's Wiretap 3.02 programme (16-23 February) about
Radio&Internet is on:
Comments and additional links/information are welcome.

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