Signals and Connections: Archival Processes Karen Werner and Maia Urstad

Created and produced by Karen Werner and Maia Urstad.
Mastered by Njål Paulsberg

Signals and Connections: Archival Processes

Maia Urstad and Karen Werner are both radio artists creatively interacting with archives. Urstad’s radio art practice draws on her extensive practice of recording and collecting radiophonic signals, morse code transmissions, time tones and multiple languages heard on the radio. In 2017 Urstad also worked with the archive of Deutsche Welle, a German state-run broadcast station, to create a 40 channel sound installation and radio broadcast called “Zeit-Ton-Passagen.” Werner’s “Strange Radio” project brought her to the Archive of the Jewish Community of Vienna and to the Phonogram Archive of the Austrian Academy of Science to create a set of broadcasts and public sound installations. As the 2019-2020 Wave Farm Radio Artist Fellow, Werner also recently curated a living radio art archive.

In this sonically rich dialogue, Urstad and Werner weave together insights about archives and air waves as private and public spaces; about intuition in collecting and responding to archival research; about archiving as a speculative practice; about listening and vulnerability; about radiophonic experiences of time and space and about utopian longings for connectivity.

Source sounds: (in order of appearance)
“The Future of Radio” (2006, inspired by V. Klebnikov’s 1921 manifesto) by Miguel Molina & Leopoldo Amigo, released on Baku: Symphony Of Sirens. Sound Experiments In The Russian Avant Garde
“Signals and Connections” (2009) by Halim El-Dabh, released on Total Satisfaction
“Biegga, jietna, mikrofuvdna ja mobiilatelfovdna/ Wind, voice, microphone and mobile phone” (2019) by Elina Waage Mikalsen, with permission of the artist
“Zeit-Ton-Passagen” (2017/2018) by Maia Urstad, commissioned by Bonnhoeren and Beethoven Foundation.
“Lecha Dodi” (1913) sung by Viennese cantor Jakob Bauer, Number 1752, Phonogrammarchiv Wien Archive
“Exodus” (1911) sung in Palestine, Number 1804, Phonogrammarchiv Wien Archive
“Haus, Part 1: Covenant of the Tongue” (2017) by Karen Werner with artistic contributions by Reisa Mukamal and Yuval Katz
“Haus, Part 2: Zirkus” (2018) by Karen Werner with artistic contributions by Benjy Fox-Rosen, Elisabeth Kelvin, der Sprechchor directed by Bruno Pisek, Marion Werner and Reni Hofmüller, commissioned by Tonspur Kunstverein Wien.
“Ether / Stations” (1998) by Maia Urstad
“Meanwhile in Shanghai” (2011) by Maia Urstad

In response to the limitations in our live program capabilities in 2020, Bergen Kunsthall has produced a new series of recorded talks and readings with local and international artists and writers, developing a dialogue surrounding our exhibition program and exploring practices of local artists which we will be presenting to wider online audiences.

This new series utilises the input of artists and writers to initiate dialogues in connection with our current exhibition program and expands upon themes socially and politically relevant within their own studio practices. Artists invited in the series include Annette Kierulf, Kobie Nel, Elsebet Rahlff and Maia Urstad, with three readings provided by Lisa Robertson, Elvia Wilk and Rebecca Tamás.

Part of Re-Imagine Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Re-Imagine Europe is initiated by Sonic Acts (NL) and coordinated by Paradiso (NL) in collaboration with Elevate Festival (AT), Lighthouse (UK), INA GRM (FR), Kontejner (HR), Landmark / Bergen Kunsthall (NO), A4 (SK), Disruption Network Lab (DE) and Ràdio Web MACBA (ES)