The mass media are anti-mediatory and intransitive. They fabricate non-communication - this is what characterizes them, if one agrees to define communication as an exchange, as a reciprocal space of a speech and a response, and thus of a responsibility (not a psychological or moral responsibility, but a personal, mutual correlation in exchange). We must understand communication as something other than the simple transmission-reception of a message, whether or not the latter is considered reversible through feedback. Now the totality of the existing architecture of the media founds itself on this latter definition: they are what always prevents response, making all processes of exchange impossible (except in the various forms of response simulation, themselves integrated in the transmission process, thus leaving the unilateral nature of the communication intact). This is the real abstraction of the media. And the system of social control and power is rooted in it.
Jean Baudrillard - Requiem for the Media
Radio Alice was a free radio station in Bologna from 1973-1977. Rather than attempting to objectify events in the world, they set out to create a flow of sounds, information, messages and poetry, silences and abuse. Like the manifestations of Dada, transmissions were seen as immediate cultural subversions.
Bifo, who worked on Radio Alice was interviewed by Carlos Ordonez at the recent conference on Autonomy (’After Marx, April’) in London. The interview was conducted in English.
Q: How did Radio Alice begin, and what experiences did it attempt to address?
Radio Alice started in February 1976 with people who came from the experience of Potere Operaio, a leftist revolutionary group and people involved in the movement of Autonomia. We did not think of Radio Alice only as a political means but, first of all, as a possibility of organising the experiences of a homogenous community. We were speaking of little groups – feminists, gays, workers. I emphasize this ’little group’ character because we did not conceive of the radio as a political organisation that has to ’state decide’ who can speak or can’t speak. We considered the radio as the point of intersection of different experiences – every experience being different from the other. We did not think about attempting to homogenise these different groups and points of view.