j bosma on Wed, 19 Mar 1997 08:27:46 +0100 (MET)

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nettime: wiretap 3.02: net and radio

Workshop: Radio & Internet, Rotterdam, February 1997

Wiretap 3.02 was a week-long workshop organised by V2_Organisation 
in cooperation with IKON Radio and Press Now. It was supposed to 
investigate the relationship and interaction between radio and 
internet. The public event of Wiretap 3.02 took place on Sunday, 
February 23rd, with a live radio programme from 14.00 till 17.00, 
broadcast on the internet and partly through the national ether. 
The RealAudio signal was picked up and rebroadcast live by local 
ether stations in Amsterdam and Ljubljana. Radio B92 from Belgrade 
was so kind to let us use their RealAudio server at xs4all. You can 
find the recording of the event in RealAudio format at:

These were the participants of the workshop:

Drazen Pantic from Radio B92, Belgrado 
Bojan Azman from Radio Student, Ljubljana 
Edin Karamehmedovic from Radio 101, Zagreb 
Andor Fabian from Radio TTT, Zagreb 
Vuk Cosic and Luka Frelih from Ljudmila, Ljubljana 
Dr. Beeldplaatje from Radio 100, Amsterdam 
Josephine Bosma from Radio Patapoe, Amsterdam 
Reni Hofmueller from Radio Helsinki, Graz 
Martin Schitter from Uni-computerlab, Graz 
Ludwig Zeiniger from ORF Kunstradio, Vienna 

Due to the difficult situation of the station, the representative of 
Radio Zid in Sarajevo could not participate at the last minute. The 
participants from SOS RadioTNC in Paris could not come either and were 
replaced by people from Graz and Vienna.

The week before the broadcast was filled with visits to several places 
in the Netherlands where we suspected experimentation with audio and 
the net. These places were: VPRO Digital Attic,  Dutch World Service,
HKU-artschool media department, Institution for Affordable Lunacy,
The Apollohuis (art&audio experimentation only, no net), Frank
Tiggelaar (SarajevoSatelite Link), xs4all, Desk, Patapoe (pirate radio),
Ronald Verlaan (Packet Radio amateur).

Wiretap 3.02:    Work, Shop or Bust

The initiative by V2_Organisation to organise a week-long workshop 
around the subject of netradio instead of the usual Wiretap format of 
a Sunday afternoon get-together, had quite some interesting consequences.

First of all let's contemplate the phenomenon Wiretap, introduced by 
V2 three years ago. Wiretaps are designed to give the audience, often 
artists or workers in the field of new media in the Netherlands, a 
deeper insight into the workings behind the presentations and artworks 
they see at V2. The Wiretaps are free to attend. It is possible to meet 
and have good talks with the presenters and lecturers, if one has the 
guts or desire to do so.
Wiretaps have offered a change in the approach of art and new media as 
it was common in the conference circuit. They broke down the top-down
hierarchy between the cyber-elite and the audience. They served as an
example for other initiatives like Heath Bunting's anti with e confs
in London. One could say that the style of the Wiretaps is that of the 
trigger, the plotted impulse for future projects and collaborations on 
many levels. They are not just presentations, and they are not workshops. 
They are somewhere in between, for the participant to choose which way 
to tilt the balance.

Now this Wiretap in February 97, 3.02, was a different one. It was
announced as a workshop, and it was not one afternoon of talk, but a 
whole week of talk, work and preparation for a netcast as a public event 
on Sunday, 23rd of February. Somehow the subject netradio seemed to the
organisers too interesting to squeeze into a Sunday afternoon lecture. 
They wanted to do more, and I also started to get involved. We wanted 
people from several former Yugoslavian radio stations to come over and 
exchange ideas, we wanted to explore the medium in an artistic sense and 
for this people from ORF Kunstradio and Ljudmila joined the workshop, we 
wanted to make a map of the Dutch situation in the field of audio and 
internet and share it with the other participants, we wanted a netcast 
as a result and public presentation of the workshop, ..., a question 
could be: did we want too much? I think its good to want much, have high 
aims. The problems you encounter then are somewhat predictable, first
of all with the technology, which is never sufficient or big enough to
make all dreams come true, but we came a lot closer then we expected. 

Most of the participants of the workshop were chosen from a "country" 
that is in a tender state of being, on the edge of war still, divided 
and full of controversy. Media in this "country" are all vital signs of 
the different sides they represent. If an information stream is cut, it 
bleeds so to say. There were several reasons to choose five radio 
stations from there, from the whole spectrum of netcatsts and radio 
stations. Most netradios available on the net now are highly commercial
stations, and most of them are based in the States. It is very necesary 
to create new spaces and links for more alternative broadcasts of any
kind, that make tactical usage of the net for different cultures to 
have presence. I mean culture in every sense of the word, be it national,
artistic or 'underground', to just name a few.
Important is of course that with the broadcast of B92 from Belgrade 
using RealAudio 24 hours a day since last December, for the first time 
internet broadcasting has been of such an enormous influence on local 
politics (as cnn reports). Radio 101 from Zagreb has been able to stay 
on the air by, amongst other things, sending out petitions over the 
several mailing lists as a protest against their closing down, another, 
smaller, victory. 

The Netherlands are not a country in which tactical media are used or 
need to be used in the same sense as in for instance former Yugoslavia. 
Radio Patapoe and in Amsterdam radio history DFM (deformed radio, radio 
that attacks radio like a virus from within) are examples of "decadent" 
artistic usage of tactical media in a decadent society. Decadent in 
this case being used as a proud banner in front of our name. We indulge 
in media but avoid professionalism or the usual notions of quality. 
Before the workshop started this made me wonder whether a cooperation 
between the radiostations from former Yugoslavia, that to me seemed to
be working from a mostly politically tactical background, and us would work. 
The needs for creating radical audioworks or the processes of making 
artworks seem not necessarely the same ones as those of making tactical 
usage of a medium in a sensitive situation. Of course when it comes to 
creative usage of media in any situation, no possibility is excluded
ever and this turned out to be a general opinion. There was no problem
whatsoever about this. We were left with the hard question which of the 
many possibilities of audio on the net to choose for our netcast. 

During the week a couple of times at meetings and in private talks the
sensitive subject of the proper and best usage of the internet for
broadcasting came up. The many angles to approach this subject however,
plus the large number of workshop participants and their different
backgrounds and views, unfortunately or maybe logically made it hard to
produce clear answers. What is interactivity, what is radio, how many 
different options of audio usage on the net do we want to combine and 
can they be combined, were some questions. The first one being the most 
dominant and most difficult to answer. I myself wonder about the second 
one too, what is radio, especially when it is attached to a screen and 
a trillion mixers and dj's at the same time in the case of the kind of
interactivity some people think is a must when playing with the net and
broadcasting. Allthough there was no consensus on these matters, on the 
individual level and in smaller groups insights and new ideas created
a breeding ground for future cooperations and initiatives. It is now up 
to us to investigate all bits and pieces of the different audio and 
broadcast scenario's that passed that week in coming projects.

Some new collaborations have allready been planned. The most exiting
and interesting probably is the fact that Felipe Rodriquez, the director
of xs4all, has become so enthusiastic that he has decided to buy a very
large RealAudio server for alternative interesting radio usage of which 
the Amsterdam pirate stations might very well profit, like B92 before 
them. Links between the former Yugoslavian radiostations have been 
created or strengthened, Ljudmila media lab might do some collaboration 
with B92 this year and exchanges between Amsterdam and Ljubljana will 
happen in the shape of radio programs of different kinds, like 
interviews to be broadcast in Ljubljana to prepare for the upcoming 
Nettime meeting. Apart from this, the contacts will be of great help 
and inspiration for the audio year that is taking shape more and more. 
In other words: its going to be a very exiting year for net and broad-
casting on a more "alternative" level. ORF Kunstradio and Radio Lada 
(Rimini) have been lonesome pioneers for too long now. They are getting 
company. Other initiatives are already existing or being set up, like 
Radio Internationale Stadt Berlin and Riga's E-Lab. A new network seems 
to be emerging. 
I wonder whether something like such fast and deep explorations and 
developments are possible without "workshops" like this one, the meeting 
and working in real life of people specialized in this specific topic. 
At any conference or meeting the subject field rarely is so specialized.
We should have more of them.  

It was a good week, in which hype (of the wonders of net and audio 
to be so easily unfolded and grasped) and reality were nicely mixed, 
cursed and enjoyed.

Josephine Bosma



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