[spectre] New podcast with Anton Kats on process, liminality, mediation, transmission, radio, resonance, orality, archive, and abundance

Radio Web MACBA rwm2008 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 30 15:39:42 CET 2020

New podcast with Ukrainian artist, mediator, educator, and musician Anton

Link: https://rwm.macba.cat/en/sonia/sonia-305-anton-kats

Process, liminality, mediation, transmission, radio, resonance, orality,
archive, and abundance. In our coinciding and crossing of paths with
Ukrainian artist, mediator, educator, and musician Anton Kats (b. 1983,
Kherson, Ukraine) <https://rwm.macba.cat/en/sonia/sonia-305-anton-kats>,
“the stars aligned” to put prior learning and formats to the test. Three
remote encounters, six hours of recording, and several red-hot scissors
have produced this exquisite corpse in which we explore a discourse and
practice that tend to spill over and exceed boundaries in both nuance and
detail. Anton Kats is pure process, discipline, energy, and empathy.

Ambiguity and transition inform every step of Anton Kats’s practice. From
his lived experience, which includes a rushed migration (and subsequent
assimilation) – from post-Soviet Ukraine to the euphoric, Europe without
borders of the 2000s – and experiences in high academia – with a
practice-based doctorate at Goldsmiths – before landing in the liminal
spaces between the contemporary art gallery, informal education, festivals,
and club culture, where he now intermittently dwells. His vices and virtues
include handling, mixing, and confronting the vocabularies of academia and
everyday life, while trying to strike a delicate balance between the
pragmatic, political, and aesthetic, with his antenna always tuned to the
privileges and possible agencies that open up in the artistic arena and all
the possible complexities that may (or may not) arise from there. Practice
shapes his research, and his projects are produced in spaces and in close
collaboration with specific people and groups, including names like Hiwa K
and the Chicago Boys, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Nabil Ahmed, Janna Graham from
the Centre for Possible Studies, and more recently, Maia Urstad and Eva
Rowson... to mention just a few.

Radio, which is embedded in his background through his grandfather, who was
a field radio operator in the WWII, also plays a prominent role in his
artistic practice, as a mobile, open, mutant, informal device. In his
hands, radio is a user-friendly tool which he uses to reclaim and occupy
public space while connecting formal social structures with the streets –
from Tate Modern, Documenta, Sonic Acts, Lighthouse or Bergen Kunsthall to
grassroots art and education spaces such as Studio 174 in Kingston,
Jamaica. His narrowcasts provide a listening space for voices, needs,
urgencies and non-conformist narratives.

In this podcast we opt for extensive, durational listening, enthralled by
Anton Kats’s verbiage, charisma, and intuitions. We talk about the Europe
of integration through his embodied experience, about memory, dementia, and
different ways of not knowing, about artistic research and art that defies
representation, about site-specific projects and mobile, ephemeral devices,
about narrowcasts and radio as a means of creating common public spaces,
about needs and voices outside of the mainstream, and about fictions,
meta-reality, and re-enactments of historical events that never happened.

This podcast is co-produced by Sonic Acts and part of Re-Imagine Europe,
co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.


00:01 How to be shot from both sides
08:11 Kherson and the collapse of the Soviet Union
09:31 Fighting fascism with a mobile radio station
12:02 Radio as an expression of social power
13:55 Make a move: Dessau, 2000
19:17 Documents of a stateless citizen
23:49 Construction sites and learning facilities
33:39 Combining the pragmatics and the aesthetics
35:11 Goldsmiths, Hiwa K and an extended range of motion
37:22 ‘While we were singing, they were dreaming’
39:48 Misunderstanding as art practice
42:07 Being in academia, making a living
44:42 Centre for Possible Studies and Radio Sonar
49:29 Radio as working social power
53:41 Radio narrowcasts
55:52 Attention and ambiguity
01:00:21 ‘*Mittlungsradio’ *at the Berlin Biennale
01:03:54 Narrowcast in Kingston, Jamaica
01:09:50 Unfolding: institutional time and human time
01:16:05 ‘For a walk with…’: memory, identity and redevelopment
01:28:43 Urban dementia vs. urban amnesia
01:34:16 Amplifying voices
01:37:07 ‘Bridges without rivers’
01:38:54 Research, sound, improvisation: Illyich
01:43:01 Ivan, Vladimir, Anton
01:49:53 Accessibility, agency and electronic music

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