128kbs or-bits

There are many varied discourses about the relationship between object-hood, medium and site, starting from Walter Benjamin's observations on mechanical reproduction: from looking at base materiality to social interaction, from the aura of the work of art to the disappearance of medium-specificity. For Maurice Merleau-Ponty “to turn an object upside-down is to deprive it of its meaning” because when confronted with the viewer it loses its spatial coordinates; it loses its “natural position”. (in “Phenomenology of Perception”, 1945). Rosalind Krauss discusses spatiality through looking at the relationship between the object and the viewer's field. When writing about Robert Smithson's mirrors in “Enantiomorphic Chambers” (1964), Krauss states “it is not just the viewer's body that cannot occupy this space, then, it is the beholder's visual logic as well; Chambers explores what must be called a kind of ‘structural blindness’”. (in “Formless. A User's Guide”, 2007). Others, such as writers and critics more concerned with the status of the digital object or those allied with the so-called Post-Internet art, write about objects in connection to current “Internet-users tactics” employed by artists (Artie Vierkant, “The Image Object Post-Internet”, 2010). They focus upon information dispersal, multiplicity of formats and convergence of mediums. “Objects have lost exclusive singular spatial properties. They exist and manifest in fluid forms through different media. In this, there is no moral hierarchy or pure differentiation in authenticity”, as artist Harm van den Dorpel states in the press release of his exhibition “Rhododendron”, 2011.

128kbps objects is a week-long internet radio exhibition which explores ideas of objects in transformation across a variety of artistic practices, mediums and sites.

22 — 28 October 2012 on, daily from 12 noon to 8pm

With new commissioned works by Jamie Allen, André Avelãs, Victoria Bradbury, Helen Brown, Ellie and Oliver, Claudia Fonti, Juneau Projects and Sara Nunes Fernandes; works by artists featured in previous online programmes and events (Angus Braithwaite and Beth Collar, Erik Bünger, Rob Canning, Patrick Coyle, Benedict Drew, Extra-conjugale, Jamie George and Richard Whitby, Emma Hart, David Horvitz, Irini Karayannopoulou and Yannis Saxonis, IOCOSE, Tamarin Norwood, Radiomentale, Adam Rompel, Richard Sides and Simon Werner, Maria Theodoraki, Tonylight, Nathan Witt); works by artists selected from 128kbps Open Call (Sol Archer, Steven Ball, Sarah Boothroyd, Paul Carr, Osvaldo Cibils, Ami Clarke, Richard Crow/Institution of Rot, Steven Dickie,Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh, Adam Knight, Haydn Jones, Scott Mason, Material Studies Group, Chiara Passa, James Prevett, Stuart Pound, Erica Scourti, Andy Weir, Tom White and Mark Peter Wright), along with curated interventions by (CYT), Tim Dixon and Anne Duffau, a workshop by Daniela Cascella, and many other sounds.

128kbps objects presents newly commissioned and already existing artworks in the form of sound works, live performances and recordings, interviews, readings, thematic playlists and music. These works contemplate and expand on notions of object-hood, looking at the potentials of displaying objects sonically, such as exploring ideas related to the erasure of visual language and the loss of direct interaction with artistic content. They also reflect on the characteristics inherent in the medium employed for the exhibition, an internet radio, interrogating the relationship between speed and quality in the transmission of information on the web, where all the sonic data above a quality threshold of 128 kilo bytes per second is cancelled out.

How would an object manifest itself, be described or narrated when its inherent material quality is taken away, when the viewer is not confronted with its visual appearance?
How can an art object be thought of in relation to the nature of its reception and social presence within the context of an internet radio broadcast?

These were the two questions proposed to the artists, curators and writers contributing to 128kbps objects.

What the audience will be listening to throughout the week are explorations of the malleable and fluctuating relationship between object-hood, medium and site, and their possible impact on the listener. This broadcast is an exploration of ideas of objects in transformation that stretches the often rigid borders created by definitions of materiality and immateriality, interrogating a terrain which is, perhaps, that of a “realism without materialism” (Graham Harman, 2011)*.

* In his essay On the undermining of objects: Grant, Bruno, and Radical Philosophy Graham Harman defines his philosophical position as one which “amounts to a realism without materialism”. (in The Speculative Turn, 2011. Melbourne:

Download full radio schedule. For more details about each of the featured artworks and respective artists please browse archive.

As part of the radio exhibition, we invited writer Daniela Cascella to run her Writing Sound workshop at The Northern Charter in Newcastle upon Tyne. For more details please visit our blog.

128kbps objects was supported using public funding by Arts Council England, in partnership with (Pixel Palace) and The Northern Charter.