The radio and the beginning of mass media & the »Absolute Radio Art«
The premiere of the piece »Lindenbergpflug« on 27.7.1929, which was broadcast on the radio.
Live discussion in Zoom with Jan Knopf, Carsten Probst and Teresa Retzer
Wed, July 29, 2020 6 pm CEST, Talk

In the years 1920-24 the radio conquered the living rooms as the first purely auditory mass medium. How have radio formats and concepts changed since then, what parallels still exist a hundred years later?

The experts will discuss the historical development of radio, the first mass medium that has been in constant change since its inception. Radio did not – like print media – attempt to recount what happened, but to create »presence« in the sense of »simultaneity«, so that the impression of a present shared by transmitters and receivers was created and continues to be created today. The technical achievements at the turn of the century virtually overtook each other and in the 1920s the moving image, the silent film, moved into the center of public interest and challenged radio medially. By what means was »presence«, »movement« and »simultaneity« created in early radio, and how does radio today establish a connection to its listeners?

The Bauhaus experts also explain the »new discovery« of poetry on the radio. One of the points of departure, in addition to Weill's theory of absolute radio art, is the »word film« as well as early radio and public theories of Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin. Even at the beginning of radio there were various attempts to convey poetry. The possibilities of the new mass medium were assessed and theorized differently, and the many different perspectives continue to produce various radio formats and programs to this day.

With Jan KnopfCarsten Probst und Teresa Retzer


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Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

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