Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) is best known for his pioneering work on technology, culture and art, making enduring contributions to aesthetic theory and Western Marxism.
It is less known, that from 1927 to 1933, Benjamin wrote and presented more than 80 broadcasts over the new medium of radio and the surviving transcripts are gathered for the first time in English in a book titled Radio Benjamin. Esther Leslie, Professor in Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck, Gareth Evans, writer and the Whitechapel Gallery’s film curator, and artist Mark Aerial Waller respond to Benjamin’s engagement with the unprecedented aesthetic and political implications of radio to explore the wide-ranging significance of his broadcast texts.
Mark Aerial Waller is a London based artist. His art practice addresses questions of the encryption, transmission and interpretation of cultural data across time, through audio, sculpture, video and event. Earlier this year his work was commissioned by the ICA for Channel 4 and he is currently preparing a three-day live video piece for Hayward Gallery, London.
Gareth Evans is a writer, curator, presenter and Whitechapel Gallery’s Film Curator. He programmes PLACE, the annual cross-platform festival at Aldeburgh Music, is Co-Director of production agency Artevents and has curated numerous film and event seasons across the UK at institutions including the Barbican, ICA, Institut Francais, Arnolfini and Watershed.
Esther Leslie is Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck. Her books include Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant Garde (Verso, 2002), Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry (Reaktion, 2005) and Derelicts: Thought Worms from the Wreckage (Unkant, 2014). She has also published two books on Walter Benjamin.
In partnership with Verso.