These short text prompts, along with their audio and video interpretations, are the products of our collaborative imagining in the Radio Deprogramming workshop. Deprogramming, we decided, can mean many things: disrupting routines, inverting diagrams, restoring relations to space, rupturing the ordinary, transporting while disorienting, flipping what’s public and what’s private in listening, offering footholds in the unscalable walls of communication systems, or perhaps dismantling the very medium-ness of a medium. The prompts are event scores, creative strategies, poetic ruptures, productive ambiguities, speculative fictions, project plans, and counter-imaginaries.
Time sensitive news. Attach a wick to the bottom of the newspaper with instructions to lite the wick before reading.
Broadcast sounds rather than voices
Make a website that can only be accessed in one location.
Broadcast sound collaged commercials of concepts and ideas. (eg. Capitalism, Neoliberalism, Freedom, etc)
Assume the radio is the audience
Read a news story while pronouncing every printed letter phonetically, even the the “silent” ones.
Wipe your contacts, then try to reach out to them under a completely unfamiliar address.
Move your station into the cloud. Drive to the nearest data center and stream your conversation with the security guards as you explain why you need to set up your transmitter there, where your sound files reside.
Visit stations at neighbouring frequencies while on air: ask about their day, complain about a noise, or ask if they have any spare piece of equipment that you need.
Create an archive (or an item for an archive) of forgetting. Is it possible to create an audio recording of someone forgetting a thing?
Entirely UNedited pre-records; keep all the ums and fumbles.
Constantly set up the story/segment, never do it, and then end
Speak without using your voice.
Take the first paragraph of a news article and translate all nouns into French
Ubiquitous : Using several physical studios that are streaming live sounds, an online mixer allows to plays on each studio independently.
purchase 5 helium-filled balloons large enough to levitate 1 of the solar-powered AM/FM receivers up into airspace. each ballon should have a 1-meter long string attached tied to the antennae of one of the receivers. tune the radio to the clearest station possible. attach a note to the radio with instructions to detune the station if found. release the ballon/receivers early in the morning of a sunny day. attempt to follow on foot the airborne receivers as far as you can.
Take the first paragraph of a news article and replace all vowels with the letter “E”
Build a radio transmission tower that regularly, but randomly, narrowcasts the radio signal to smaller and smaller areas, like neighborhoods or even just blocks or specific homes.
Make a website that you have to print out to use.
Compose something - melody, riff, song - using something other than your primary instrument. Or, take a composition/idea and remove the primary instrument that you made it with.
Cater the size of your broadcast to exactly match the size and shape of a family member or friend's current or past residence.
Alternately broadcast into outer space and inner space, in sync with your exhales and inhales.
Take the first paragraph of a news article and transcribe the partial article into a perspective of an octopus
Languages spoken on air are directly proportionate (i.e. airtime per day) to demographics of languages spoken in the broadcasting region.
Fallback : when there is no signals in the radio, use a fallback mode that is playing random files in a folder. These files are produced or selected in the context of a sound residency of one month, by an artist changing every month. (https://p-node.org)
Broadcast live from the loudest place in your neighbourhood.
Choose any colour, go for a walk and whenever you see that colour, take a photo of whatever you imagine that colour is 'looking' at.
place 3-5 solar-powered FM or AM receivers, with the volume up, and place the receivers high up in several different trees located in a public greenspace - face the radios towards the sun. tune the receivers within a few degrees of one another such as 90.1, 90.2, 90.3, etc avoiding clear commercial broadcasts. sit under the trees and listen.
Extend your station identification by noting the problems that arise when you only name your transmitter's municipal location. Instead describe in detail each spot of land, sky, and water that your signal reaches. Start over at the top of each hour.
Each time you receive a new voice message, replace your existing voicemail greeting with it.
Select a recent front-page newspaper article (above the fold). Using the context of the article as inspiration – create an abstract visual, sound, dance, or performance interpretation of it – and document it in any form.
Conduct important interviews only during the graveyard shift.
Make the mass or weight of each bureaucratic form you submit directly proportional to the potential consequences it will have on your life or finances.
Select the first paragraph from a current newspaper article and record yourself reading it backward ending with the headline.
Select the last paragraph of a magazine article. Leave the first word capitalized but make all the other capital words lower case. Remove all of the spaces between the words and all of the punctuation except a period in the end. Create something with this final product.
"YouTube-ify" community radio. Instead of pushing out station produced content to the community via radio transmission, pull it directly from the local community — allow them to upload audio programming, field recordings, meetings, conversations, etc, directly to a server and then broadcast it. Aim to become a user-generated audio streaming service that aggregates and collects community created audio for broadcast.
Under a pseudonym write a short review (300 words max) of your real or imagined artwork for a major publication.
Hand the microphone over to the audience
Variation: Create one news story that includes a sentence (or just a word?) from every article in one day’s newspaper.
Phone first : when you call a specific phone number, you automatically go live on air, bypassing any show that was playing. (https://nimon.org/en/radio-symetrique)
Broadcast all local high school and amateur sports games (football, tennis, volleyball, etc.) live without announcers and commentators, just the "nat" sounds from the game in real time.
Make a website that you can only see half of.
Make a website through a game of telephone.
Using the automation tool in your DAW, create 'peaks' of any effect (try echo if you can't think of one) every 30 seconds, starting from the beginning.
Move your station into the cloud. Place wires in a puddle to make the electrical connection between your mixing board and your transmitter. Conclude when the puddle evaporates.
Broadcast a slow screen crawl of inane, unrelated technical information during prime-time hours.
A visual exploration: (over)use fonts - change the font (and point size!) repeatedly in every printed story, including the title. The news never looked so good!
Translate a news story into a language you don’t speak and then attempt to read it aloud. (The chosen language could connect with a current refugee crisis.)
Change the mix: music in the front, voices in the back
When it comes time for the news on the hour, no newsreaders; no scripts. Only live crosses to man-on-the-street eyewitness accounts.
prepare a number of cheap solar-powered AM or FM radio receivers with magnets on the back of each receiver. turn the volume up as loud as possible, tune each receiver to the weakest station, attach the prepared radios with magnets to the outside surface of 2-3 public transportation busses. take one of the buses and ride it to the end of its route.
Starting from the printed page (or print out any news article,) cut up and reassemble the sentences into something new. Attempting to make the new version sensical is optional.
Play a piece backwards (not the words, but just the story)