Helicotrema 2017

Imaginative Radio Plays

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Imaginative Radio Plays is a sound landscape / poem / radio art work jury selected for Helicotrema Festival 2017, a part of the world renowned Venice Art Biennale. One of eighteen works by international artists selected from one hundred submissions. Listen to Imaginative Radio Plays.

Exhibitions / Publications / Broadcasts

Helicotrema Festival

Helicotrema Festival 2017
(jury selected; 1 of 18 international artists selected from 100 submissions)
Part of the Venice Art Biennale
Palazzo Grassi
Venice, Italy
20-24 November 2017
Event website
My work at event website

Helicotrema presents a program of recorded audio pieces investigating different forms of site-specific collective listening situations inspired by the early decades of radio broadcasts, each experimenting with how the listening experience can be enriched and adapted to different contexts.


Inspired by early radio broadcasts, experimental poetry, and field recording, Imaginative Radio Plays is a 6'00" audio work composed of multiple, simultaneous sonic narratives, another added with each turn of the tuning dial. Rather than disappearing, these sonic snippets combine to build a meta-narrative about collective listening experiences.

At one time, we listened to radio broadcasts in our homes, separated from others also listening in other places, yet connected through our shared act of listening. A favorite was radio plays, where in exchange for entertainment, listeners were expected to listen to the entire work. Despite this expectation, listeners were free to tune the receiver, seeking other listening experiences.

Imaginative Radio Plays imagines what might have been heard as a mashup of sound elements—spoken word, music, environmental and mechanical sounds—and combines these multiple strands into a time-based sound narrative. This work is experimental, both as sound-based narrative, as well as a form of cultural production and experience.

This approach is purposeful, and designed for a collective listening experience where an audience specifically engages with the work. Ideally, audiences will listen to the entire work, consider how it sparks their imaginations over the time of the work, and afterward, discuss what stories they heard.


Helicotrema is an annual festival in Italy that presents a program of recorded audio pieces (timeline-based formats using solely the audio component), that aims to investigate different forms of collective listening inspired by the early decades of radio broadcasts. Listening opportunities are often site specific. Curated by Blauer Hase and Giulia Morucchio, Helicotrema borrows the format of the film festival, replacing the film screening with a program of listening sessions. Blauer Hase is an art collective founded in Venice in 2007 by Mario Ciaramitaro, Riccardo Giacconi, and Giulia Marzin, Daniele Zoico with the aim of proposing experimental forms of cultural production and experience.

Helicotrema moves from the observation that, in the field of contemporary art and—to some extent—of contemporary theatre, the last decade has witnessed a gradual comeback of interest in the forms of audio plays, audio dramas, audio documentaries and various kinds of timeline-based formats based only on an acoustic component.

Such formats share numerous features with classical radio plays, such as: the audience is expected to listen to the whole piece (differently from a gallery-specific sound installation); a precise common gathering for the audience is established (as it happens in film screenings); the piece involves, often, both spoken language and musical or sound elements; the piece presents a (be it fictional or documentary) timeline.

Curators include Blauer Hase and Giulia Morucchio (curators of the festival), Luca Trevisani (artist), Chiara Caterina (artist and filmmaker), Lucrezia Calabrò Visconti (independent curator), Attila Faravelli (sound artist and co-founder of Standards, Milano) and Francesco Bergamo (PhD candidate in Design Sciences).

Selected sound works present a narrative evolution over time such as radio plays, audio documentaries, experimental poetry, field recordings, musical compositions and other timeline-based formats based only on an acoustic component.