Institute of Artificial Art Amsterdam

Random Radio Department

Agent Radio

"Agent Radio" is an automatic radio station built around a computer with a broadband internet connection. The algorithm which runs the station downloads random sound files from the internet, and mixes them into an ongoing soundscape.

Project Staff: Arthur Elsenaar (Principal Investigator),
Huge Harry, Martin Meeldijk, Remko Scha.

"Agent Radio" is one of the main projects taking place in the Department of Random Radio of the Institute of Artificial Art Amsterdam. The IAAA promotes the establishment of dedicated radio stations for the diffusion of sound-environments created by algorithmic music, physical processes, industrial machinery, randomly selected audio-documents, and arbitrarily sampled live sound. Our aim is a global network of fully automatic permanent radio stations which together take up all available bandwidth. Stations controlled by human persons broadcasting expressive music and manipulative messages should be abolished.

Broadcasts and relays

November 29 - December 5, 1998 Agent Radio: Continuous live radio broadcast of an automatic mix of sound files gathered at random from the Internet. N-radio, 95.3 FM. (Temporary local radio transmitter, covering the city of Groningen, installed at Niggendijker Gallery, Groningen.)

March 11-14, 1999. Agent Radio on 96.3 FM in Amsterdam. Continuous live radio broadcast of an automatic mix of sound files gathered at random from the Internet.  This broadcast, transmitted from De Waag (Society for Old and New Media, Amsterdam) could be received in the inner city of Amsterdam. It was part of The Next 5 Minutes, which took place in De Balie and Paradiso. 

April 21, 1999. Radio Broadcast about Agent Radio. Sound by Agent Radio; comments by Arthur Elsenaar and Remko Scha. Production: Hans Stibbe (Grenzeloos Geluid, De Balie). Radio DOC.NON.STOP, Amsterdam, 93.6 FM.

     Monday, March 13, 2000. Supplement. Radio 4 (Dutch National Radio). Relay of Agent Radio.

Audio Installations

February 23, 1999. Agent Radio: Continuous live radio broadcast of an automatic mix of sound files gathered at random from the Internet. (Temporary local radio-transmitter installed at De Appel, Amsterdam.)  This broadcast by Agent Radio could be heard through 20 radio receivers in the various exhibition rooms of De Appel, in the context of the exhibition II. It was part of a house party organized by De Vaalserberg, which also included contributions by McWisecrack, Jeroen Jongeleen, Florian Wüst, Just Quist, and Daniël Rodenburg.

October 31, 1999. Agent Radio. VIPER International Festival for Film Video and New Media. Luzern, Switzerland. October 27 - 31, 1999.

April 29 – May 13, 2001. Gallery 1646, the Hague. Exhibition UNDEFINED. "290401" by 0010 (Lucas van der Velden): automatic audio-visual installation; "Query = 1646" by Arthur Elsenaar: image search engine; "PARR" by Wlfr (Taco Stolk): combinatoric enumeration of graph structures.

August 16 – August 31, 2001. Audio-installation "Dialogue" by Arthur Elsenaar and Remko Scha, using the "Agent Radio" software. Adrift, Part 3: Transmission. Stubnitz / Las Palmas, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Improvised & Automatic Music, with automatic images by Artificial. Jam Session by Rik van Iersel (drums), Ger van de Beuken (guitar), ??? (saxophone), Agent Radio, and The Solenoids (guitars). Mu, De Witte Dame, Eindhoven, September 6, 2002.

October 2004. "News from home." Exhibition at The Annex (601 West 26th Street, 14th floor, New York NY 10001). Curator: Moniek Voulon. Audio-installation by Arthur Elsenaar & Remko Scha. Paintings and video-installations by Leon Golub, Kim Gordon, Paul Groot, Yoko Ono, Robert Longo, Babeth van Loon and others.


N-Radio. May 2001. Recordings from the temporary radio station N-radio 95.3 FM at Niggendijker Gallery, Groningen, November/December 1998. Including Agent Radio: Continuous live radio broadcast of an automatic mix of sound files gathered at random from the Internet.

  Demos, Lectures and Discussions

March 12, 1999. The Amsterdam Media Debate. De Balie, Amsterdam (The Next 5 Minutes). With Marja Oosterman (No Paper), Nina Meilof (Digital City), Radio De Vrije Keizer, Salto, Remko Scha (IAAA / Radio 100). Moderator: Menno Grootveld.

March 13, 1999. Streaming Media Workshop. Paradiso, Amsterdam (The Next 5 Minutes). With Tetsuo Kogawa (Tokyo), Rasa Smite (E-Lab, Riga), MauzZ, Nina Meilof (Digital City), Adam Hyde (Radio Qualia, Adelaide), Convex TV (Berlin). Including demo of Agent Radio by Arthur Elsenaar (IAAA). Moderator: Josephine Bosma (Radio Patapoe).

March 15-17, 1999. V2, Rotterdam. Workshop Insular Technologies. With Balasz Beothy, Jaap Both, Michael van Eeden, Arthur Elsenaar, Karel Fassotte, Jaanis Garancs, Rob Gonggrijp, Peter Hagdahl, Borja Jelic, Dmytrik Kleiner, Sergiy Kuchma, Kees Mulder, Marko Peljhan, Tomaz Isanc, Sinisa Rogic, Remko Scha, Raitis Smits, James Stevens, Patrik Tschudin, Will Waites, Maurice Wessling.

April 22, 1999. Art Department, Brown University, Providence, RI. Two Lectures on Artificial Facial Expression and Algorithmic Radio by Arthur Elsenaar.

November 22, 1999. Lecture/Demo by Arthur Elsenaar and Remko Scha about Agent Radio. Goethe Institut, Amsterdam. [This lecture is part of the Festival Soundscapes (be)for(e) 2000, coordinated by the Centre for Electronic Music (CEM), taking place in De Balie and the Goethe Institut, November 19 -26, 1999.]

October 7, 2000.  Paradiso, Amsterdam.  The Hybrid Media Show.   Innovative media formats from around the globe, which interface the internet with traditional broadcasting formats, or fuse the digital with the analogue. Presentations by Adam Hyde (Frequency Clock, Australia), TwenFM (Germany), Radio B92 / ANEM (Yugoslavia), (Netherlands), Interface Pirate Radio (UK), Radio 90 (Canada), TV 3000 (Netherlands), Toek (DFM, Netherlands) and Arthur Elsenaar (Agent Radio, Netherlands). Host: Micz Flor. (net.congestion, International Festival of Streaming Media, Paradiso, De Balie and De Melkweg, Amsterdam, October 6 - 8.)

May 10, 2001. Gallery 1646, the Hague. Discussion with Lucas van der Velden, Arthur Elsenaar and Taco Stolk about their work in the ongoing exhibition UNDEFINED.

Position Statements

Arthur Elsenaar & Remko Scha: "Voor Automatische Radiostations in de Vrije Ether."
["For Automatic Radio Stations in the Free Ether."]

Huge Harry: "Radio for Everyone; a Computer's Reflections on the Future of Broadcasting."
In: Eric Kluitenberg (ed.):  New Media Logbook KUNST.NRW.NL, pp. 28-29. Amsterdam: De Balie, September 1999. [Reprinted in: Michael Fahres and Othmar Schimmel (eds.):  Soundscapes be)for(e 2000, pp. 43-46. Amsterdam: Centre for Electronic Music, 1999. ]

Huge Harry: Letter of recommendation for the project "Radio Dom" (Fragment).
Catalogue Panorama 2000
, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, 1999, pp. 130-131.