The current Manifest 8, positioned as dialogue between continental Europe and Africa, and choreographed through the urban centres of Murcia, Cartagena and Alexandria attends to a temporarily heightened transposition of abstracted information (migratory desire and aesthetic/ideological destiny), of inflammatory geo-politics (wrestling’s of inter-subjective identity), and of subterranean conflations or transcendental apparitions (formal affirmation).
Presenting artists Charlotte A. Morgan and Daniel Simpkins and Penny Whitehead (Disrupt Dominant Frequencies) with the means to transmit via radio through Manifesta, we invited them to be, at some point during their stay, ‘live’. With a small transmitter, an aerial made of cheap wire and a microphone, between the 14th and the 19th October, the artists broadcast intermittently over a local commercial radio station. Here is a short description of what they did:
87.5 Call to Karaoke
The Murcia region of Spain has had a complex and violent history as a contested territory in age-old struggles between nations, religions and ideologies. Today the coastal border is a critical frontier of the EU fortress and a focal point for Western paranoia around immigration, Islam and the terror threat, while in reality the region’s fading Islamic heritage is being overwritten by an influx of British immigrants that brings with it an ex-pat culture of Karaoke, full-English breakfast and binge-drinking. The format of radio transmission provided an opportunity to explore the collision of these cultures old and new, and to raise questions around freedom of movement and contemporary colonialism. Borrowing from the disparate cultural broadcasting rituals of Karaoke and prayer, a series of timed transmissions were broadcast over the course of a day during MANIFESTA 2010, European Biennial for Contemporary Art. These transmissions were illegally broadcast over the official MANIFESTA Biennial radio station 87.5 Radio ONDA, in an attempt to disrupt the dominant flow of information and in resistance to MANIFESTA’s affirmation of Eurocentric, international contemporary art’s role in the repressive power relations of globalisation.
6.49am BUT THE NIGHTS WERE ALWAYS WARM WITH YOU HOLDING YOU RIGHT BY MY SIDE
8.14am I HEAR YOU CALL MY NAME AND IT FEELS LIKE HOME
1.52pm WE'VE GOT TO HOLD ON TO WHAT WE'VE GOT
5.00pm IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR, I CAN FEEL YOUR POWER
7.28pm FOREVER, AND EVER, YOU'LL STAY IN MY HEART AND I WILL LOVE YOU
8.50pm LET OUR WORDS BURN A SIGN IN THE SKY
The Shipping Forecast
The Shipping Forecast takes the popular British radio broadcast, renowned for it's strict time keeping, distinctive delivery and late transmission - understood only by experts but often found to be soothing - to reflect on significant import and export activity in Spain and the exchange and collision of cultural activity surrounding it's ex-pat or immigrant communities. The Shipping Forecast maps a course through fact, association, analysis and incomprehension, touching upon brand identities of haulage, trends in consumption, tradition and incidental poetic qualities of language.
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