Experimental multi-channel transmission work
The Joy Channel is an experimental multi-channel transmission work that takes the hybrid form of a science-fiction style radio drama and an experimental radio art piece. Three versions of the piece exist. A theatrical live performance using low-watt FM transmission, walkie-talkies, and a four-channel speaker system premiered at Tesla in Berlin in October 2007. A 5.1 surround sound broadcast work was commissioned by Kunstradio for the Austrian national cultural channel in May 2008. The third version is, a stereo recording intended for CD release and radio broadcast.
Originally commissioned for Radio Tesla’s RadioVisionen 250 Jahre Radio, The Joy Channel proposes that the radio of the future will no longer be characterized as a primarily sonic medium, but rather as a means of transmitting neural information in the form of standardized human emotions, or for tele-empathic communion without devices. The piece explores tensions between empathic realization and the neurological manipulation of emotions, the interaction between the listeners as active or passive subjects, and the renewed struggle over access to the airwaves. The Joy Channel seeks to represent a new form of radio (“empathy modulation”) using a diverse range of existing radio forms, from easily recognizable broadcast formats to CB and ham radio conventions, to walkie-talkies and theremin).
Of great interest to Friz and Madan is a conceptual move away from radiation and towards resonance as a key paradigm for transmission. While radiation is emblematic of systems of command and control, resonance directs awareness to an experience of co-presence within immersive conditions in which vibrations take place, whether that be the literal physical environment of transmission or resonance within the cultural imaginary. The radiophonic subject as empathetic is also resonant: if we believe that radio must not represent so much as enable encounters, empathy becomes the ground zero for the “becoming radio” of human community.
Credits – The Joy Channel Performance
The theatrical live performance of The Joy Channel was commissioned by Radio Tesla in Berlin as part of RadioVisionen: 250 Years of Radio.
Physical performers: Florian Bilbao, Sybille Müller
Vocal performers: Victoria Stanton, Vince Tinguely, Randy Peters, Nika Khanjani and Lorrie Edmonds
Lighting Design: Lucie Bazzo
Graphic design and projections: Glenn Gear
Prop design: Steve Topping
Project curator: Martina Groß, Radio Tesla
Performance technical crew: Mario Arnold, Nir Moses, Maximilian Stelzl
Credits – The Joy Channel 5.1 radio broadcast
The 5.1 radio broadcast of The Joy Channel was commissioned by radio art programme Kunstradio for broadcast on the Ö1 network of Austrian State radio (ORF).
Producer: Elisabeth Zimmermann, Kunstradio
Recording engineer: Anton Reininger