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Questions of Practice: Artist Michael Rakowitz on the Live Experience of Radio

Artist Michael Rakowitz wove together the stories of Iraqi refugees and American veterans of the war in Iraq for Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Radio Silence project, which premiered July 29, 2017, with a large-scale performance on Independence Mall. Rakowitz talked with us about how radio can create a live “act of culture” for listeners. “Even though something might be pre-recorded, if I’m hearing that voice for the first time, or I’m hearing that story for the first time, there’s something that is live; it is changing me for the first time,” he says.

With Center support, Mural Arts Philadelphia collaborated with Rakowitz to present Radio Silence, a participatory performance event at Independence Mall and a 10-episode radio program. Watch Rakowitz discuss the process of weaving together the voices of refugees and veterans into a performance and radio broadcast.>>

Michael Rakowitz’s work involving social practice, installation, and performance has been presented at venues such as dOCUMENTA (13), MoMA, 16th Biennale of Sydney, the 10th and 14th Istanbul Biennial, Yokohama Triennial, Tate Modern, and Creative Time, among others. He is professor of art theory and practice at Northwestern University and a visiting artist at the International Art Academy of Palestine, Ramallah.