"Meanwhile in Shanghai..." at Flanders Festival, Kortrijk (NE)

In 'Meanwhile, in Shanghai ...', voices of radio announcers from around the world are mixed with other typical radio sounds. The polyphony of voices, tones and noise fill the exhibition space through dozens of radios suspended from the ceiling. 

The title is taken from one of the thought bubbles in comic strips  and could just as easily been: meanwhile.., little further away ... a little later ..., the next day in Hilversum ..., short after ..., at the same time .. ., - just somewhere else at the same time.

In 'Meanwhile, in Shanghai...', Urstad collects details about time and place from local radio stations around the world; '23 Uhr in Deutschland, Cinco de la Manana en Madrid, Hilversum 16:00, Saint Johns 7:30 while 7:00 in Nova Scotia', and put them together with other radio-specific sounds in a polyphonic sonic image - like a phonogram of a 24-hour cycle on the air. 

Some 80 portable radios transmit sound via local FM-frequencies, composed of pre-recorded radio transmissions from around the world. The polyphony of voices, tones and white noise forms a backdrop for on-air specifics explorations about time and place. These sonic images are transmitted wirelessly via local FM transmitters to the radios that are situated as objects in the installation/performance. The radios are positioned in the space in accordance with a given system based on the sound they receive. 

CONTEMPORANEITY is the thematic point of departure for Meanwhile, in Shanghai.... The work reflects around the historical relationship between technological development, physical movement and notions of contemporaneity and globality - and our understanding of these concepts today. 'Our living contemporaneity is consciously invoked by the radio. The radio follows the day like a clock, giving us news updates every hour, at regular intervals each day, providing us with a shared routine that synchronizes the rhythm of everyday life'. 
Tuning from station to station, contemporaneity changes with the world[og]rsquo;s time zones; night in Shanghai, day in Copenhagen, each hour of the 24clock has its own distinct character. At any time one can, from one[og]rsquo;s local space somewhere, tune into the daily rhythms of different time zones.  

The term UTC - Coordinated Universal Time - is of recent date. The introduction of a worldwide standard for synchronization of time, was related to technological development, which provided the opportunity to move faster and communicate over ever greater distances - and hence a need to coordinate the time between different geographical locations. Just as the standardization of time leads to the idea of synchronization, the establishment of a universal time creates the idea of simultaneity. Today, we assume without thinking much about it, that the world live in one global time in a universal existence. At the same time, we are also associated with persons who are in completely different daily realities and environments.

More information about the work can be found
HERE - from the exhibition at Singuhr Hörgalleri, Berlin
HERE- interview made by Harold Schellinx
HERE - more information about Sound City/Vlaandern Festival Kortrik
HERE- a Resonance blog
HERE - about the Riga/SkanuMezs exhibition
HERE- exhibition at Lydgalleriet Bergen exhibition

This work was produced as part of the RESONANCE network, a European collaboration that focuses on the production, the presentation, the documentation and exchange of experience in the field of contemporary sound art'. Also supported by Bergen Kommune and Norwegian Arts Council.

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