Fake Radiolab is the name of an ongoing duo performance project in which we interrogate mediated “facts” through explorations in the podcast media form. We adopt the mannerisms and mania of radiophonic personalities and a variety of media genres (e.g., podcasts, YouTube rants, ASMR sessions, self-help narrations, dream sequences, radio plays, nature documentaries) to playfully/seriously jar the clarity and authority imparted to “content” by contemporary audio production. Acting as (unreliable) hosts of a live podcast, we present a kind of musicalized speech performance that juxtaposes multiple modes of audio narration against live synths, processed violin, and sampled audio fragments. During live performance, the opening narration, which is pre-recorded, presents an acousmatic pun to the audience who sees us on stage in front of our microphones; instead, our improvised performance inserts other manipulated material in counterpoint to the pre-recorded “backing-track.”
Our project self-consciously addresses radiophonic matter as both our subject and form. The result is a technologically and culturally hybridized discourse in which power-symbols presented as performative utterances are subsumed within an assault of genres. In particular, we use audio production to highlight and amplify the transformation of text into performance, and performance into text, powerful manipulations which we see as ubiquitous and scarily efficient throughout contemporary media culture(s). Through all the surface misdirection and dislocation, there remains a through-line in the narration of the title track which offers an analysis of the history and present presence of the radiophonic voice.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Akiva Zamcheck, Adam Mirza