Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Medienwissenschaft

Alfredo Thiermann: Radio-Activities (Vortrag)

  • Wann 07.06.2017 von 18:00 bis 20:00
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In 1945 Soviet occupation troops made two important moves in German territory: first was to dismantle the tallest structure standing in Europe, the Deutschlandsender III radio transmission tower; second was to occupy the monumental building designed by Hans Poelzig —Haus des Rundfunks— in Charlottenburg, West Berlin. Symbolically and technically important, these two maneuvers served as the prolegomenon of the forthcoming radio or ethereal war between the Eastern and the Western Block during the cold war. The proposed research intends to study precisely the dialectically opposed and highly material face of this ethereal war. Put differently, I propose to research the buildings, walls, transmission towers, factories and media industries, and territorial organizations that made possible the production, reproduction, and broadcasting of politically-loaded media content across the Iron Curtain. A material understanding of Berlin’s radio-apparatus during this specific period (1945-1989) will likely reveal under-researched continuities between politics, technology, the media, and architecture, helping to reframe notions of performance, functionality, and monumentality. At the same time, it will question the role of the building –and the wall— in the age where the historic solidity of architecture was radically challenged by the entangled development of technology, politics, and media-industry taking the form of an ethereal medium. And by doing so, it projects the same question to our days, asking for the status of the building in our increasingly hyper-connected, and apparently ubiquitous and invisible presence.