Radio Cycle

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Sound Interference

Radio Cycle, produced by Kaffe Matthews and collaborators, is a live radio station that broadcasts your stories, news and favourite sounds directly onto the streets as teams of radio-carrying cyclists map out the East end. It was part of Interference: Public Sound which took place in the UK in 2003. The project brought together a series of sound art projects “that engage with communication and shared memory as well as reflecting the current crossover of art, technology and action.”

“Growing out of a week of workshops in Bow, Radio Cycle’s highlight was a series of pieces that were broadcast and ‘played’ by a group of cyclists carrying radios and following predetermined routes in the area. Citizens out and about in London Fields, Victoria Park and streets in the vicinity would encounter these mobile soundworks as they drifted by on wheels. The local streetmaps, Matthews explains, took on the character of scores for her.

“It suddenly dawned on me that the radio itself is like a mobile stage,” she tells me. “Originally I wanted to have a mobile radio station but we couldn’t do that because you’re not allowed to have a licence and be mobile. Radio Cycle was about this invisible activity, this subtle alteration of what’s going on around you. Which explains the bicycles. You’d be walking down the street and a bicycle goes by. You probably wouldn’t notice the bicycle but you’d notice some sound. A piece of music floating by. Just subtle little tweaks, altering people’s environment to turn them on to what they’re hearing.” Continue reading at Wire feature by Will Montgomery, September 2003.

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