Conditions 2020 — A Live MÆKUR Radio Broadcast
How can radio respond to site-specific needs in useful and collaborative ways? To answer this, MÆKUR (Maiа Urstad, Eva Rowson and Anton Kats) track how new technology outmodes past forms, often repurposing old equipment to make new radio labs, expanding how we listen and programme. The who and why remain critical, as does sensory input – the subconscious sounds absorbed in understanding place and community.
In Conditions 2020 – A Live MÆKUR Radio Broadcast, MÆKUR transforms the space into a radio studio, playfully engaging with FM and AM broadcasting formats. They transmit several scenarios in which the radio of the future takes stage. In their speculative performance they also share excerpts from their first vinyl and digital release, Conditions: 1218 – 0719, which includes recordings from the archive gathered and improvised during residencies at Bergen Kunsthall and Lighthouse, Brighton in the past two years.
MÆKUR is the collaborative project of artists Maiа Urstad, Eva Rowson and Anton Kats. The collective synthesises artistic, sonic, radio and curatorial practices to research and respond to communication technologies, archival practices and ways of listening. As new technological forms open up and others become obsolete, MÆKUR are interested in how methods of self-organising, listening and transmitting as well as the sounds of the technology itself – its errors, interruptions and signals – also evolve. At the core of the MÆKUR collaboration is an ongoing archive, to gather and emphasise multiple soundings of technical development and the different communities that form around it. MÆKUR develop site-specific interventions and research embracing amateur radio networks, concerts, interviews and sound interventions. Previous residences include Bergen Kunsthall in 2018 and Lighthouse, Brighton in 2019 as part of ‘Who’s doing the washing up?’, an 18-month artist commissioning programme on the politics of institutional reimagining, supported by Creative Europe.