What is Radio Luftballet?
Radio Luftballet—anchored at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)—is a place for imagining new worlds and sharing people’s stories about how we can contribute to the transition to a more sustainable society. Radio Luftballet hopes to open up connections and collaborations between the many sectors—cultural, commercial, social, political—working on transitions within their fields. In this project we wish to keep alive the historic ambitions of utopian thinking. But instead of creating fiction, we aim to enhance and promote already existing initiatives and bring attention to those at work on their tasks.
What is transition?
Around the world people are searching for pathways out of the carbon-intensive era. Transition takes many forms and is approached from many different angles. There must be a transition not only within the energy sector, but in most aspects of how we live our lives.
Why do we need a transition?
This year atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have surged at a record breaking speed and carbon dioxide levels have reached the highest level in 800,000 years. Humans have played the substantial part in this unprecedented increase. Human-induced climate change affects us all, however, there are a lot of things that can be done and the actions we take over the next few years will have massive consequences for those directly affected by climate change.
Is this an art project?
Within the arts there is a strong tradition of imagining better worlds. Thomas More’s book Utopia, published in 1516, describes an imaginary island without private property and inspired policies and politics for years to come. William Morris, a textile artist and founder of the Arts and Crafts movement, described his craft-rich ideal society in 1888 in News From Nowhere. Ernest Callenbach inspired the politics of the German Green Party through his book Ecotopia (1975), which describes his ideal view of a society located in Oregon.
Is this something more than an art project?
Framed within an art project, this is an interdisciplinary collaboration aimed at developing new forms of Transition Communication.
We acknowledge that climate change is a complex issue that overlaps cultural, political, ethical, and psychological issues, and often appears daunting. We hope that in light of the complexity of transition, stories create a space for making changes in real life. Narratives provide a way for us to imagine our way out of the carbon-intensive era. Radio Luftballet strongly believes that the stories we share are part of the solution.
Who are we?
Radio Luftballet consists of Radio Luftballet initiator, Margrethe Kolstad Brekke, located in Bergen, Norway; Climate Change Management Master’s Program students, Calum Macintyre, Adam Gairns and Victoria Slaymark, located in Sogndal, Norway; and poet Alicia Cohen, located in Portland, Oregon.
We hope the interdisciplinary of the project will generate a creative space from which to take a step back from our professional perspectives. We hope to form common human ground, distill the essence of transition stories and evaluate and discuss what we find to be effective Transition Communication.
Radio Luftballett is produced by Margrethe Kolstad Brekke/KORO Vågestykke.
Soundscapes and jingles by Hilde Annine Hasselberg and Thorolf Thuestad-- based on Jon Gjerde`s recordings of hanggliderloops.