As if radio.. (AIR)
Sam Baraitser Smith
Soundcamp are an arts cooperative with members in Ireland, Germany, Greece and the UK. Our work is developed through collaborations. It appears as broadcasts, workshops, publications, sound devices and events.
As part of the Acoustic Commons network, we coordinate the long-form radio broadcast Reveil (2014–), and a series of sound and ecology events (soundcamps) on Dawn Chorus day each year.
Recent projects include: Spree ~ Channelsea Radio Group – a transmission project between rivers in London and Berlin (2023); l a g – a residency with Kate Donovan for Sonic Acts’ Inner ear(th) programme (2022); and As if radio.. (AIR): An experiment in ecological activist radio at COP26 Glasgow (2021).
'[D]irect action is the insistence, when faced with structures of unjust authority, on acting as if one is already free.’ [David Graeber]
As if radio.. was an experiment in ecological activist radio during COP 26 Glasgow 2021. For 10 days we operated an open radio station at Civic House, broadcasting live transmissions from actions in the streets, discussions with people coming into the studio, live environmental sounds from the Acoustic Commons network of open microphones, sounds from preparations at Civic House by the Landworkers Alliance and the Indigenous Bloc, together with for radio works and interviews with artists / activists responding to an open call.
AIR aimed to bring the conviviality of Radio Alice and other Free Radio projects together with places of acoustic and ecological significance and testimony from those involved both in protest and long term environmental work / remediation. Coming out of Soundcamp's 10 year practice and Félix Guattari's insistence that ecologies of persons, institutions and environments are inseparable, AIR provided an alternative to conventional media representations of the COP.
AIR has developed in two directions, which we want to hold together:
1) l a g was an experiment in ecological radio with Kate Donovan and others for Sonic Acts, a form of 'radio that matters' at the Het HEM munitions plant. l a g opened the radio studio to participants who could make audio devices and use them to convey live sounds of bats, weather, readings and water during the event.
2) soundcamp.radio is developing ways to relay live sounds of actions between places. People who can't attend an action in situ can come to Work Shop #1 in Loughborough Junction, where sounds streamed live are transmitted over low power FM for collective listening, and archived at Wave Farm in Acra NY.
We see the future of this work as developing transmission ecologies and public spaces to support and document minor acts of resilience.