Histri[s]onics Meshwork Radio

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Histri[s]onics Meshwork Radio proposes to work in the overlap of sound, text, performance and code. It will utilise free open source software and draw on maker/hacker ethics, migrant media networks and sound enthusiast practices.

Over 2019 I will develop a series of works for radio, such as recordings, scripts and scores for sonic-social happenings, that reflect diaspora experiences. I am specifically interested in South Asian and Black expressions in music and broadcast media, which often come to ground as localised sound cultures. I am curious to investigate local DIY music scenes, experimental artists, irregular music formats, zine makers, instrument builders, field recording specialists and sound system obsessives.

A ‘meshwork’ is a means of organising a local network via independent, possibly roaming, nodes rather than from a centralised hub. The stability and reach of the meshwork is determined by the number and distribution of these nodes. By emphasising the cultural aspects of open source movements I want to explore what can happen when people gather to perform a temporary experimental media infrastructure.

My recent residency at Procomum LABxSantos Brazil (2018) rekindled my earlier interests in public sound culture. I learned that popular music forms, such as Samba, Funk and MPB (pop), defiantly convey suppressed histories and beliefs, and penetrate all facets of life. This was especially pronounced during the October 2018 presidential elections. Whilst producing my project Lunch Against Work: Almoço Contra o Trabalho, I was exposed to the legacies of state backed initiatives to develop open source software and culture in the early 2000s. This was taken up by many as a struggle for the commons and aligned with Indigenous and (post-slavery) Black struggles.

Early net cultures’ optimism about the emancipatory potential of the internet has withered in the current era of networked governance, digital surveillance and data extraction. Revelations about state spying and allegations that data analysis firms, social media corporations and telcos colluding to influence politics have dispelled any illusions about the democratic potential of the World Wide Web.

At the Alchorisma workshop organised by Constant (Belgium 2018), we discussed the asymmetries of power embedded in networks and in the logics of binary code, and the familiar human prejudices arising in Artificial Intelligence systems. We devised conceptual software solutions and performed code as critique. Consequently, Histri[s]onics Meshwork Radio seeks to bring together open source, migrant media and community radio practitioners to engage in modes of post-internet social critique. Rather than asking participants to relay or receive media, I am interested in how meaning arises in a bio-technical assemblage.

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