Christian Marclay the creator of the award winning video installation ‘The Clock’ has launched ‘Open Air’ a series of audio artworks by five artists, broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The collaboration between Artangel and Radio 4 had its first piece performed yesterday morning and was well received by the critics and public alike. Russell Finch, the co-producer, explained more about the unique commissions which you may hear them at 9.02 each morning this week.
“The pictures are better on radio.” In my line of work, I hear that phrase a lot. Strangely though it always seems to come from a radio person. For some reason you don’t get many artists or film makers saying it. The idea behind the project was to select five leading artists – Christian Marclay, Ruth Ewan, Mark Wallinger, Susan Hiller and Peter Strickland – and to give them a blank canvas of three minutes of Radio 4 airtime. Their challenge was to decide what to do with it.
This has all been a part of Radio 4’s wider collaboration with the arts commissioning body Artangel. Open Air is just the first part of Open, an ambitious joint initiative to commission ground-breaking art projects that will transform the UK’s cultural landscape. The transmission of Open Air marks one month until the deadline for artists to submit ideas for Open – 29th April.
What do the pieces sound like? Well, I’m afraid everyone will have to wait until next week to find out – after all, in the art world, a premiere is a premiere. It will be a first for us all – the unveiling of five new works of art, made especially for Radio 4, each morning at 0902.