Exchange 2000, 1999-2000, sound project
The project consists of four radio receivers broadcasting
a short programme. It takes the form of a discussion between
six people who talk about the problem of immigrants, racial
prejudice, multiculturalism and the meaning of national affiliation.
The exhibit at first seems spontaneous, but when one of the
participants begins to talk in his national language and the
moderator of the discussion immediately begins to interpret,
the listener has doubts about the spontaneity of the discussion.
As this procedure is repeated to the end of the discussion,
the listener very soon realises that the programme has been
minutely scripted. Thus the question of the objectivity of
radio as a medium is exposed. Marshall McLuhan classified
radio among the cold media. These are the media that normally
involve only one of the human senses, but provide a great
deal of information. Thus they demand only limited human participation,
so that the observer or viewer becomes a passive participant.
Radio undoubtedly falls into this category, as the participant
is only required to listen, and there is almost no participation
or communication. The authors of radio programming can thus
be quite misleading in their broadcasts, which is made possible
by the radio as a non-communication medium. And this is precisely
the shortcoming that the project Exchange 2000 exposes. In
order to prevent this kind of misunderstanding, Bertold Brecht
proposed a new function for radio: it should become a public
communication system with the possibility of active participation
of listeners, who would not merely listen, but would also
have a chance to express their opinion. Daniel Jewesbury considers
radio as a medium with which the listeners prefer to participate,
rather than with some kind of silent monument which requires
thinking or contemplation. For this reason, he prepared the
project Exchange 2000, inspired by a feeling of unease as
a citizen of "righteous" Europe, with four radio receivers.