Radio Otherwise

Radio Otherwise
Receiving~transmitting. Image: Niko de Paula Lefort
Radio Otherwise is an artistic research project exploring the plurality of experiences involved in radio-making in connection to ecological thinking.

Radio Otherwise
Berlin, Germany
Radio Otherwise is an artistic research project exploring the plurality of experiences involved in radio-making in connection to ecological thinking.
Field of work
Design, Ecology, Communication, Research, Other
Project category
Raising awareness
Project submitted

Our core members are Kate Donovan, Monaí de Paula Antunes, Niko de Paula Lefort and MK, each bringing their own expertise and curiosity from the fields of radio/transmission art, community and free radio practices, field recording, listening, composition, performance, electronic circuitry, DIY/DITWO, pedagogies, spatial design, and critical, decolonial & feminist theories. We seek dialogical relations with environments, and enjoy extending our networks and working with a wide range of people from various fields within our projects.

Main outcomes include:
- “Spree~Channelsea Radio Group”, an exchange project with soundcamp, (2023). Exploring Berlin/London urban rivers through listening, transmitting and sharing; the project also included a Reading~Listening Group in the months leading up to the exchange. Funded by the Cultural Bridge programme.
- “Heckenradio” (2023) with Spore Initiative Berlin. A durational transmission and listening session from the cemetery/garden/old flight path, bringing together artists, workers, locals, and anyone interested to listen, speak, transmit, receive, harvest, cook and eat together.
- “Circling Thresholds” (2022). A durational receiving-transmitting project from a boat-studio along the Spree, focussing on the infrastructures of flow of water and electromagnetic waves in/along the city. Commissioned by Forests of Antennas, Oceans of Waves.
- “Radio Otherwise. Listening, ecologies, cybernetics” (2021). A seminar for and with Master’s students, Institute for Art & Media, University of Potsdam. MicroFM building workshops and critical reflections in and from urban green areas in Berlin.

Alongside this, we have done various workshops for radio-making, field recording and microFM building, at schools, communities (in Berlin’s independent scene), and arts events (Sonic Acts, Amsterdam, 2022; Floating Transmissions, Hamburg, 2023), as well as live radio transmissions (CTM 2023, Archipel Stations Community Radio 2021-ongoing).

Radio Otherwise brings listening together in a constellation with ecologies and cybernetics in an attempt to carefully and critically move beyond a human/nature dichotomy and to deal with messy boundary-crossings in order to recognise situated relationalities with/in place. We seek dialogical relations with environments, through the development of 'media' as well knowledge-sharing and -making processes, encouraged by the boundlessness of radio's artistic and cultural expressions. In this way, listening and radio-making can be methods to also sit with uncomfortable relationalities of the so-called anthropocene.

Radio Otherwise promotes radio's emancipatory potential, inspired by pirate, free and community radios as well as the MicroFM movement, and is supported by decolonial and feminist literatures and practices. Special attention is paid to the spatial qualities of radio and radio-making, from experimenting with nomadic outdoor studios, building small-scale transmission ecologies, to observing how the frequency spectrum is occupied in places of rich biodiversity.

Our work has plurality and the dialogic at its heart, therefore we offer multiple possibilities for relating to the more-than-human through the materiality of sound and radio. We enjoy the collaborative efforts of engaging with groups, organisations, themes and environments and would look forward to developing work based around such parameters.

Among other things, we could imagine facilitating or collaborating on the following:
- Performative radio-making (including durational, collaborative, site- and time-specific transmissions, online and/or on FM)
- Workshops (building microFM transmitters, various receivers and detectors for radio, bats; field recording; listening; composition)
- Reading groups
- Experimental research
- Research and writing
- Speculative aspects
- Radio/audio essays
- Curation
- Audio composition
- Installation (including radio ecologies of MicroFM transmitters)