Itunez, 2013

A radio project
Playlist with collected MP3 Music Files, Interviews and Video

The title “iTUNEZ”  refers to the music organizer iTunes. The idea was to create playlists with music files collected from refugees. The replacement of “s” with “z” signifies the hacking and sharing of copyrighted materials freely across space. The personal “i-subject” is replaced with the communal “immigrant-subject.” The project focuses on the domain of extra-legality, where bodies (refugees) are subjected to both physical and symbolic violence. In that aspect, music traveling in this extra-territorial space offers a cure, a moment of relaxation.

In June 2013, as part of the Radio Materiality project in Bari, Italy, I visited refugee camps and a city park where refugees and immigrants usually hang out in their free time and socialize. With the help of the curatorial team, I interviewed some refugees and asked them to share their music libraries with me. A phone is one of the few items they can bring from their countries. They shared their favorite albums using Bluetooth.

A playlist was played alongside video documentation during the 2013 Athens Biennial as part of the Radio Materiality project, curated by Viviana Checchia and Anna Santomauro.

Radio Materiality, Vessel, Bari, June-July 2013.

Radio Materiality is a public and intangible space, a hub that stimulates communication, exchange and dialogue between Puglia and the Euro-Mediterranean area in order to build cultural and social bridges among the countries of this region.

The aim of the project is to create a common socio-political subjectivity based not only on the common history that these countries have been sharing but also the socio-economic and political transformations happening nowadays in the area. The imagination of this new socio-political subject intends to trigger a dialogue between Puglia and its Mediterranean neighbours and to create a network between them.

Considered the re-configurations of the Mediterranean geopolitical subject the main long-term objective of Vessel, the radio was a way to initiate this process. In particular, Radio Materiality gathers practitioners interested in the diverse processes happening in this area in order to make this interaction viable. The radio was transmitted through different platforms: a series of podcasts on the web and a physical structure built specifically for Bari public spaces by XScape and Momang, a group of architects and designers from the region. The radio is the tool through which Vessel intended to understand and redefine already existing social and geopolitical dynamics through the lens of art and culture.

The Radio was stimulating participatory and multidisciplinary actions in order to expand the knowledge related to the Euro-Mediterranean area, to re-interpret its own identity and to reflect on the way the public sphere is perceived and can be empowered. Thanks to the radio Vessel gave voice to alternative narratives that do not fit into the hegemonic ones: to do so we instigated collaborative and collective artistic practices that involved different points of view and different approaches. In the first place, the radio was the virtual space where many actors (artists, organizations, curators, intellectuals, etc.) met to share ideas, projects and perspectives related to the creation of a new solidarity among the countries of the Mediterranean basin. Simultaneously its physical presence in the city of Bari facilitated the interaction between international practitioners and local communities.

Projects and contributions by:

Bisan Abu-Eisheh (July 11th), Claire Bosi (June 26th), Elena Cologni (July 20th – 23rd), Kari Conte (June 29th – July 6th), Leone Contini (June 6th – 9th), Jaume Ferrete (June 24th – 30th), Hakan Topal (June 29th – July 6th).