On Monday, at precisely 9.02am, in the grainy interstice between the Today programme and Start the Week, the airwaves suddenly filled with a jittery, sampled maelstrom of fragmented interviews, yawns, technical glitches, level checks and incongruous out-takes – John O'Mahony, the Guardian
Open Air was a series of audio artworks by five artists, broadcast to mark the launch of Open – a collaborative open call for ideas by Artangel and BBC Radio 4.
Each artist was given three minutes of airtime straight after the nine o'clock news. At a time when listeners would not be expecting to experience an audio artwork, the airwaves were disrupted each day of a working week. At 11am on the Saturday that followed, there was an omnibus broadcast featuring all five pieces plus interviews with the artists.
Christian Marclay is known for his work The Clock (2010), a 24-hour-long looped video collaged from scenes of clocks from films and television programmes that functions to tell the time.
The first in the series of interventions, Marclay's work is another feat of crafted montage-making. Familiar Radio 4 voices combine and compete in not-so-familiar ways.
As 2012's Beberian Sound Studio made evident, filmmaker Peter Strickland is fascinated by the ways in which the sounds can be manipulated and transformed. From the homely mantra of the Classified Football Results, we enter strange new sonic territories.
The words of Oscar Wilde's aesthetic manifesto take on a new meaning in the week's final piece from Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger.
At first i thought Radio 4 was broken. – Will Matthews, listener comment on the BBC blog
On Monday, at precisely 9.02am, in the grainy interstice between the Today programme and Start the Week, the airwaves suddenly filled with a jittery, sampled maelstrom of fragmented interviews, yawns, technical glitches, level checks and incongruous out-takes – all spliced together by artist Christian Marclay. – John O'Mahony, the Guardian, 28 March 2013
[...] short, visceral bursts of sound art each morning for a week – glitchy, indecipherable interviews by Christian Marclay played on one day, radio static from Peter Strickland on another. – Peter Yeung, Apollo Magazine, 15 September 2015
The broadcast has been sanctioned but not produced by the station, which has bravely handed over artistic licence to Artangel and the artists. The list of leading artists who have agreed to the challenge – from Susan Hiller, to British filmmaker Peter Strickland – promises that, whatever happens, the accumulated 15 minutes of air time will be used innovatively. – Florence Waters, The Telegraph, 25 Mar 2013
At first i thought Radio 4 was broken. Then I thought it was trying to say something. I couldn't tell if it was hackers or aliens. – Will Matthews, listener comment on the BBC blog, 30 March 2013
Who made this possible?
Commissioned by Artangel and produced by Russell Finch and Joby Waldman. A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4. Artangel is generously supported by Arts Council England, and by the private patronage of The Artangel International Circle, Special Angels, Guardian Angels and The Company of Angels.