Radio Arts Catalyst

Radio Arts Catalyst explores radio as a site of encounter and as a critical space in which to collectively address current social, political and environmental challenges happening on a hyperlocal and a planetary scale. 

Historically, in times of crisis where bodies have been separated – for instance by oppressive regimes, the reinforcement and policing of borders, conflicts and displacement – radio transmitters, occupied airwaves and neighbourhood pirate/DIY broadcasts have provided alternative spaces for collective conversations, creative expression and political organisation.
Whilst the privatisation of common spaces and the dismantling of public infrastructures asks us to unlearn how to be together, there is greater urgency in finding new ways of tuning into each other’s desires, struggles and vibrations in order to reimagine and repair communal spaces, environments, and ourselves. 
According to Brazilian psychoanalyst and theorist Suely Rolnik, one of the key problems that society has been facing in the last decades is “the anaesthesia of our vulnerability to the other,” and the reduced capacity of our bodies to resonate with other bodies, human or non-human. How can we harness the power of radio and broadcast to nurture new relationships between physically distant bodies? What new skills and abilities do we need to cultivate as resonant subjects?   
Approaching broadcasting as an ecology of overlapping spaces for listening, mapping and transmitting, Radio Arts Catalyst is made up of three central elements: an artist residency programme; The School of Broadcasting informal self-education programme; and an evolving programme of artist projects, audio experiments and sonic inquiries connected to Arts Catalyst’s ongoing research strands
The Radio Arts Catalyst website was launched in late 2020, and will act as an evolving toolkit for sonic inquiries, comprising documentation, research and other resources. It's also the place where artistic outputs will be presented.
The Radio Arts Catalyst residency programme supports early-career artists and practitioners who are interested in expanding their practices into sound and broadcasting. Residents are invited to develop experimental sound-based work, test out new aural approaches and pursue sonic modes of artistic inquiry, with mentoring support from artistic advisors and the Arts Catalyst curatorial team. 
Ashley Holmes, Becoming Forest (Breakwater and Cường Phạm), Kaajal Modi and Yussef Agbo-Ola have been selected as the artist residents for 2020-21.
The School of Broadcasting is an informal self-education programme and audio-centric space for exploring the possibilities of broadcasting as a collective practice. The first cohort of participants are joined by mentoring artists Evan Ifekoya and RESOLVE Collective, who will each offer different sonic routes for participants to explore on the airwaves, through a collective process of learning, organising and creating. 
Michael Ajijola, Summer Akhtar, Steve Allen, Pablo Rubio Alonso, Ratiba Ayadi, Ishwari Bhalerao, Anja Borowicz-Richardson, Peter Brooks, Rosie Burslem, Rhona Eve Clews, Mel Davies, Tuna El-salihie, Marina Georgiou, Oliver Getley, Holly Graham, Clara Hancock, Jenny Handley, Quincy Haynes, Catherine Herbert, Alex Hoggett, Toby Kilby-Pollard, Philip Lee, Yen Chun Lin, Mengfei Liu, Olivia Lopez, Antonia Luxem, Katie Matthews, Samra Mayanja, Tyler Mellins, Alisa Oleva, Andy Owen Cook, Christoforos Pavlakis, Lorenzo Prati, Leonie Rousham, Freya Shaw, Nastassja Simensky, Go Sing, Ella Skinner, Rosie Stephens, Charlotte West, Sian Williams
Radio Arts Catalyst is supported by Arts Council England with Art Fund and Sheffield Church Burgesses Trust