Thursday 19 January 2012

Radio Ligna - Radio Ballet

Exercise in lingering not according to the rules

A Radio Ballet is a radio play produced for the collective reception in certain public places. It gives the dispersed radio listeners the opportunity, to subvert the regulations of the space.

The Radio Ballet “Übung in nichtbestimmungsgemäßem Verweilen” took place in the main station of Leipzig, Germany, a former public space that is under private control of the German railway company (Deutsche Bahn - DB) and it ́s associates since the mid-nineties. Like every bigger train station in Germany it is controlled by a panoptic regime of surveillance cameras, security guards and an architecture, that avoids any dark and “dangerious” corners. The system of control is designed to keep out every kind of deviant behaviour. People, who sit down on the floor or start to beg are detected immediately and instantly expelled.

The Radio Ballet brought back these excluded gestures of deviant behavior into the main station. Around 500 participants - usual radio listeners, no dancers or actors – were invited to enter the station, equipped with cheap, portable radios and earphones. By means of these devices they could listen to a radio program consisting of a choreography suggesting permitted and forbidden gestures (to beg, to sit or lie down on the floor etc.). These suggestions were inter-rupted by reflections on the public space and on the Radio ballet itself.

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