On the project

An introduction –
collecting and imagining voices and words on travelling radios

The project seeks to follow the history of radio in India as a story about an object on travel. Me and a diverse group of collaborators and participants seek to make audible an imagination of postcolonial technological modernism. It is an attempt to compare radio objects itself to an everyday circulation of „voices and music through media objects“.

Videostill, inside the G.D. Naidu Museum, in view: Ad photography for the 100-RS-Radio (1954/55), from the film “about constructing”, Dina Boswank,
Coimbatore and Berlin, 2012, CC license applies

Where does it appear, if a radio is more of an invisible, untouchable transmission? Who listened to it? Was it needed? Where was the programme produced, under which circumstances and especially in the early years, with which live musicians? How is radio as a „medium or storytelling object“ narrated in museums, schools, archives?

RADIO as a question to the history of voice&speech as well as technological autonomy.
MIXED SIGNALS as an online repository for a selection of photographies / text /sound recordings, that will grow with sound and text contributions. Through workshops, performances and additions hold by the authors of the page and its new and old content the collected materials will start circulating on a wider basis. 

Ravikant (Associate Professor, bilingual historian, writer, and translator) reading a speech by Humayun Kabir, given at Gopal Bagh Radio Theatre in Coimbatore (India, Tamil Nadu) in 1948

Website and Workshops on letters, readings and voices
In an interactive participation as well as anonymous access through small applications inserted within the tags and categories being found, the website will be open for up/downloads, whereas the WordPress functionality will have to be tested slowly: EDITING through comments, EDITING through E-mails, EDITING through voice messages, EDITING through login and down/upload and via invitation, EDITING through new scripts embedded in the wordpress pattern and open for all.

The accessibility to both historical narratives, its creative and open availability is a main isue. Old archival footage, sounds and pictures from the G.D. Naidu Museum (Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu), the place where India’s first and cheapest radio was invented, is meant to become the base to develop browsing categories for the website. The users will be able to navigate through images transformed by sound experiments and old letter conversations, on an intuitive level. We want to create a shiftable experience leading to re-use of the proposed material in an art-tech understanding of its materiality. To ensure a good repository of tutorials in the beginning it is a planned proposal to connect to the workshop materials of the Indian Sonic Research Organisation.

To give an idea of the resources and work being done to have all archive materials available, me, Dina (initiator and one author of the page) want to give a short review of the long-term project „about constructing“, in which I am reading, recording and transcribing letters of G.D. Naidu, a Tamilian Indian and radio inventor, who collected and published an assortment of conversations reflecting his failing entrepreneurical career, which entails a provocative destruction of his radio builds, in times of Indias partition (1948/49).

„In the experience of half a century what I have learnt in advertisement and in boasting, is very little. I could have blown my own trumpets in a better manner than some others, I have failed in doing so.“

G.D. Naidu, 1949.

This archive, compiles research material of various origin. Those materials were collected during two stays in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India in 2010 and in Bangalore, Karnataka2012 as well as through further research in Germany in the scope of a PhD program affiliated with the Bauhaus-University in Weimar. Further research was conducted at the Sarai Institute in Delhi, India in 2015/2016 as well as during the symposium “Creative Encounters in Science and Technology” at the Kochi Biennale, Kerala in 2017.

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