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Screamlines: On the Anatomy and Geology of Radio

Screamlines: On the Anatomy and Geology of Radio

Chapter:
(p.91) 4 Screamlines: On the Anatomy and Geology of Radio
Source:
The Voice as Something More
Author(s):
Neil Verma
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226656427.003.0005

This chapter is a study of the radiophonic scream in radio thrillers and radio art, employing this special type of limit-case performance as an entry point to a theory of radio itself. The argument uses four well-known scream performances as key coordinates: Gregory Whitehead’s “Pressures of the Unspeakable” (1991), Arch Oboler’s “The Dark” (circa 1940s), Antonin Artaud’s To Have Done with the Judgement of God (1947/48) and Wyllis Cooper’s “The Thing on the Fourble Board” (1948). Taking up the theme of the “anatomy” of the scream as a heuristic when it comes to performing for radio, and the theme of the “geology” of the scream when it comes to scream mediation and preservation over time, this chapter considers the scream as a meeting point between the aesthetic and material pressures through which radio is constituted, inscribed, and theorized.

Keywords:   radio, screams, Antonin Artaud, Gregory Whitehead, Arch Oboler, Wyllis Cooper, aesthetics, media theory, anatomy, geology

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