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Welcome to RE:SOUND, the 8th International Conference on the Histories of Media Arts 2019 - Aalborg, Denmark. RE:SOUND is part of the Media Arts Histories conference series, bringing together leading researchers, artists, and scientists on a series of interdisciplinary topics for over 14 years.

The RE:SOUND conference will take a specific interest on the theories, practices, histories, etc., of art and technology which are focusing on, concerned with, reflecting on, including, mobilising and/or working with sound as a main component or an integral part. RE:SOUND will host four days with 10 tracks of paper sessions, panels, workshops, practice-based interventions, exhibitions, performances, poster sessions, a PhD workshop and keynotes.
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Tuesday, August 20 • 21:00 - 22:00
Freedom Highway (2001-2004)

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FREEDOM HIGHWAY is a transmission art work initially created from 2001-2004, which the artist is currently revisiting in the contemporary political and social climate. In the lead-up to the invation of Iraq (2002-2003), I made numerous road trips across the United States during which I recorded radio programming in the format known as talk radio. Talk radio in the US is heavily skewed towards the right wing; dominated by ultra- conservatives politically and evangelical Christians religiously. Since the 1990’s, the culture of talk radio has been at the vanguard of legitimizing and mainstreaming the ideological beliefs and policy priorities that now hold sway in the current US administration. In the present political moment, this normalization of vehement nativism and xenophobia seems increasingly overwhelming. This is why for the past two years I have been revisiting the work, which I first performed extensively in the US, Canada and Europe from 2004-2008. In North America, the roots of xenophobia and nativism run very deep. The widespread glorification of these destructive tendencies which we are witnessing today are not without precedent. Understanding the current episode in American public discourse and media requires a renewed examination of the politics of the spoken word. FREEDOM HIGHWAY is an audio composition constructed around a multi-voiced spoken narrative, composited from hundreds of speakers recorded in about twenty American states: right-wing call-in hosts, radio preachers, shock jocks and sports commentators as well as their guests and callers. Radio interference and static are also used extensively throughout the piece to create additional spaces besides the ones (radio studio and telephone) inherent in the programming itself. The resulting audio footage is then assembled into an audio performance and a gallery installation, a deeply troubling “audio self-portrait” of America as rendered by the nation’s political and religious radio broadcasters, and as overheard or intercepted by a listener who is not the intended audience of these broadcasts. FREEDOM HIGHWAY has been performed, broadcast, and exhibited in gallery installation form regularly since 2004. It has been heard in the US, Canada, and Europe.

avatar for Emmanuel Madan

Emmanuel Madan

National Director, IMAA
Emmanuel Madan is a composer, sound artist, and curator based in Montréal. He studied electro-acoustic composition in the early 1990s under the direction of Francis Dhomont. He then spent five years working in community radio broadcasting as an engineer, journalist, and producer... Read More →

Tuesday August 20, 2019 21:00 - 22:00 CEST
Upper Foyer Stage - Musikkens Hus Musikkens Pl. 1, 9000 Aalborg, Danemark

Attendees (8)