"Media Art" - for the past 40 years this has been an agreed upon term. But how does radio relate to this classification? What makes this fascinating hybrid-medium a cultural institution?
Could it be because the unique aesthetic effect of radio manifests itself simultaneously as an experience of rhythm, narration and sound while paradoxically remaining invisibly ephemeral and - through the voice - acutely physical?
Or is it due to the fact that radio can house the spoken word, be a place for writing that evokes acoustic associations and artistic contemplative thinking - that radio gives room for suggestive, potent sounds and the non-visual structure of music?
Perhaps what is fascinating about a radio transmission is the tension of it working from a distance and - through mass broadcast - touch a vast audience on an intimate level?
All these questions are fundamental to this symposium and must be asked. It is important to highlight that this "hot medium" (Mc Luhan) has always been more than an apparatus for reception:
Radio is a place that equally stimulates, produces and presents the most varied intonations of art, music, literature, performance art, visionary theatre, political and artistic debate, and - not to be forgotten – general entertainment. Functioning as such, radio has always been a magnet for the Arts, a phenomenon that is intensifying of late.
Peter Weibel, artist, curator and theoretician on art and media. From 1964 onwards performative activities which analyse the "media" and interactive electronic surroundings. Activities with representatives of Viennese Actionism, has been working with Valie Export, Ernst Schmidt jr. and Hans Scheugl since 1966 to create an "expanded cinema". Starting 1976 lecturer at various universities, Director of ZKM since 1999. Lives and works in Karlsruhe.