We are Dougal Verinder Gedge, Carmo Pinheiro de Melo and Louise Gholam. Together we set up RCA VisCom’s radio station Export Radio.
A STATION FOR THE CREATIVE HUB(BUB)
Export Radio was born in the White City campus’ cafeteria. A bunch of Experimental Communication students sat together around one of the livid white tables to discuss the community of experimental practice and what could be done to embody it. We must say that this is one of the most vivid memories we have of this ‘Golden Era’ at the RCA; when we could still access the campus in unrestricted freedom, amidst the whole cohort. The campus was freezing cold due to a frankly nasty heating system failure. Being the only space spared from this condition, the cafeteria was the refuge for (brain)numbed students. Ideas were flying thick and fast in all directions in this gathering space. White City had this really uncanny feeling. These refurbished BBC premises were disconsolately white, just as hospital corridors - although they were constantly buzzing with a crowd of resourceful practitioners, covering all kinds of surfaces with visuals and occasionally ‘painting’ inspirational messages on the walls. A mixture of highly antiseptic rooms continuously disrupted by bursting creative energy. We thought this was rather peculiar not to have a radio station while being located in old BBC radio recording studios.
So the idea was born there!
A COLLABORATIVE SATELLITE
With the global pandemic, we had to adapt our station to the digital realm, turning our bedrooms/living rooms in 'quarantined recording booths' and reaching out to the wider ART SCHOOLS RADIOS' community to keep the contact in these challenging times.
We feared the loss of momentum in the growth of the platform. To bounce back from this rather bleak situation, we drew our stamina from a thriving and generous community. The need and legitimacy of Export’s existence took form because of our lack of physical interaction. As a cohort we still felt like we had to find other ways to connect. The studios used to be our networking core. These got taken out of our hands, leaving us bare and stripped of all supplies to fuel our artistic practices. We had to look for a whole new ‘workshop’ to invest. Somewhere to transfer the creative hubbub and talk to each other. We carried on broadcasting. Week after week. Trials and errors became our companions on the route. Our radio broadcaster-amateur-selves were challenged on a regular basis. At times it felt vain to do so, almost like throwing sonic messages in the open air without knowing if anyone would stumble on our sound waves. But if ONE person was listening then we would have at least reached out to someone else. That’s what mattered. And that’s the raw beauty of live sound broadcasting. You never know who will hear you. All the while we kept our expectation levels high. We had to try! The ‘World Wild Web’ turned into a terrain of exploration and our voices into vessels to reach in and out the RCA community. Eventually Export landed with a clear manifesto emanating from this rocky expedition:
We curate weekly showcases of music, conversation and interview, collected from both RCA students and further afield. Intertwined within the Art/sound scene of today, Export aims to observe experimentation through an International lens. Export Radio represents an opportunity to re-invigorate the public through worldwide collaboration and discussion, building bridges in a post-Brexit, mid-Covid19 environment.
Back in January, we hosted a college-wide series of event to offer visibility to our graduates cohort in the context of the RCA's Work in Progress Show 2021. Taking the form of a 24 hours livestream(insert link 24hours livestream) and an Afterparty(insert link afterparty), we broadcasted a wide range of sonic contributions spanning across spoken word performance, talks, seminars, DJ sets and podcasts.
Joined by 100+ contributors, this WiP takeover by Export Radio was done in tandem with the RCA and reached out to more than 2300 viewers!
RCA’s FIRST SONIC YEARBOOK
Following the success of our RCA2021 WiP Show events, we are preparing a Sonic Yearbook!
Our platform aims to be shared as a legacy project for the Visual Communication cohort at the RCA thanks to this communal publication. 💿💿💿
This collectible includes a collection of CD’s containing auditory work, accompanied by a booklet showcasing students' artifacts documenting their unprecedented graduation environment. 💿💿💿
This yearbook was made possible thanks to the support of The Varley Memorial Award(insert Varley Memorial Award link), which we won in 2020 as a cohort.
THIS IS WHERE WE NEED YOU!
Without financial support, we won't be able to produce these publications. We are presenting you different options to help us creating this VISUAL COMM' CLASS OF 2021 SONIC YEARBOOK!
It will be a precious memorabilia for the cohort to take away with them and a great opportunity for us to present this class to you!
Check our kickstarter campaign over here: http://kck.st/3yAUBoG
We are looking forward to welcome you on board with our next adventures 🙌🏼
Tune in soon 🎧,
(insert)IMAGE 2 - Title: Broadcasting from ‘quarantined recording booths’
(insert)IMAGE 3 - Title: Backstage documentation - Ridley Road Social Club residency
(insert)IMAGE 4- Title: Export Radio’s Sonic Yearbook (Visual Communication year of 2021)
PS: We would like to thank all our past and present collaborators, the ones that made Export alive and thriving! Here they are!
Export Radio’s collaborators and contributors
Dougal Verinder Gedge : Art Director/Graphic Designer at Export Radio (Visual Communication, Experimental Communication Pathway), Carmo Pinheiro de Melo : Programmer at Export Radio(Visual Communication, Experimental Communication Pathway), Louise Gholam : Creative Director at Export Radio (Visual Communication, Experimental Communication Pathway).
The Varley Memorial Award, Ridley Road Social Club, Snap Academy.