“The airwaves are suffering from a shortage of space.” These were the words used by a legal scholar in Cologne, 1969, to describe the conditions for peripheral radio stations broadcasting from artificial islands in the open sea. In Heinen’s radio play Radio Wars, the analog “radioscape” is once again a contested space: In the anthropocene electromagnetic waves are conceived as a natural and immortal resource of importance in terms of both cultural politics and aesthetics. Analog radio becomes more and more powerful in terms of financial strength, and by 2033 radio investors have driven the last independent stations from the market. Radio Wars portrays a small group of radio activists and their struggle for access to electromagnetic space. Meanwhile, the investors have already discovered the aesthetic lure of the quirky, independent radio station. Based on the medium of analog radio, Radio Wars examines possibilities of alternative radio cultures for the analog radio of the future.
Christina M. Heinen has a PhD in ethnomusicology and works as a freelance author and artist. For her website coconut-farm.org, Heinen designs cartoons, record covers, and comics. She regularly exhibits her drawings and works in a variety of musical projects.