Transmitting across borders and institutions

IP3: Transmitting across borders and institutions investigates how encounters between nations, cultures and institutions are managed in collaborative radio transmissions between more than one national broadcasting company. Such co-transmissions have been a feature of broadcasting in Europe since the first decade of institutionalized radio broadcasting in Europe. The project will establish a structural overview of the history of co-transmissions with a special focus on pan-European co-productions mediated by international organizations such as the (pre-war) International Broadcasting Union (IBU) or its post-war successor, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). To capture in comparative perspective the dynamics of institutional, technological and aesthetic transformation, the IP will focus on selected cases from the pre-WWII years and from the early years of digital radio that saw a revival in the idea of co-transmissions. Particular focus will be given to the role of music and artistic experiments in radio.

Infrastructures and public spheres: The project will map the spatial and historical features of broadcasting organisations like the IBU, EBU, OIRT as well as relay networks and committees, and trace the ideologies of public spheres and public service intersecting in official documents, listener addresses and in listener responses. Combining knowledge on national radio reception and genre development (Poulsen 2006, Scanell & Cardiff 1991) and new research on the history of European radio infrastructure (Lommers 2012) with archival work in the EBU-archives, the project will deliver a structural overview of the formats of transnational co-transmission. Aesthetics and Territoriality: The project will articulate some typical and specific features in the organization and combination of radio content, specifically real sound and music. It investigates the production of national, trans-national and international acoustic signs on the levels of indexical sound (environment), iconic sound (sound mark) and symbolic sound (jingle). Drawing on forthcoming work by Bijsterveld & Fickers, Kreutzfeldt, Föllmer and Sangild the IP will deliver new work on the aesthetics of radio in an international perspective and will include that in the TRE exhibition. Archive and cultural memory: The project will locate rare material in archives and trace a transnational history rarely told. It investigates the organisation of and access to transnational media productions and asks how transnational and digital archives could be designed in the present day public service media-landscape.

The IP delivers a digital platform for sharing files and metadata between researchers and archives working on the open access Chaos system, and collaborates closely with the involved archives in delivering suggestions for best practise in archival collaborations involving radio.