Strange Radio, Live! is an immersive lecture-performance in story and sound, part of an ongoing series of experimental radio narrowcasts and broadcasts about the stranger, nearness and distance, forced migration, displacement, home, and the intergenerational transmission of memory. Strange Radio’s point of departure is Holocaust postmemory in Vienna, Austria, a sonic portal for sensing experiences of strangers and strangeness in multiple unfolding contexts across the globe. Strange Radio, Live! weaves together personal documentary; disembodied voices and sounds separated from points of origin; fragile signals transmitted through radios and embodied reflections on memory, place, time, and radio—itself a strange medium. Postmemories bounce against histories, sometimes buried and inaudible, in new locations. Tuned into both utopian longings and wounds, Strange Radio is a fragile signal, a love song to radio as a medium, metaphor, and method of deep listening together.
Karen Werner is an award-winning radio artist, audio storyteller, and sociologist. Her audio pieces have been broadcast on community and public radio stations across Europe, North America, Australia, and Israel. They have also been part of numerous live events and art exhibitions. In 2017-2018, Werner created a series of public sound installations at Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier, including “Covenant of the Tongue” and “Zirkus,” which are sonic autoethnographies about Holocaust postmemory in Vienna. Her recent work is in live performance: sound installation meets documentary storytelling meets narrowcast radio transmission. Werner is a 2019 invited artist at the Kone Foundation’s Saari Residence in Finland and was a 2017-2018 Fellow of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. She received a Tending Space Fellowship from the Hemera Foundation from 2014-2016 for artists with a Buddhist practice. She is on the faculty of the BFA in Socially Engaged Art Program at Goddard College in Vermont.