Helen Thorington

Writer, sound and radio artist, composer, and net artist Helen Thorington is a central figure in American radio art. According to artist Jacki Apple, without Thorington, there may not have been a field in this country at all. A writer by training, Thorington began composing works for radio broadcast in 1977. In 1981, Thorington founded New Radio and Performing Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to funding, commissioning, and distributing radio and other new media artworks in the US and abroad. She then served as executive producer of New American Radio, a weekly showcase of experimental radio produced by NRPA beginning in 1987. New American Radio was distributed by tape and satellite to public radio stations in the U.S. and abroad, including KPFA, Berkeley; KOHM, Lubbock; KGNU, Boulder; WORT, Madison; as well as The Listening Room in Australia; Internationale Digitale Radiokunst in Berlin; and Kunstradio at ORF in Austria. Between 1987 and 1990, New American Radio commissioned over 300 works by radio artists. The archive is held at the Library of Congress and can be found online at somewhere.org.

In addition to her radio work, Thorington performed her works live, composed for dance and film, created artist books, and in the mid-90s began working in net art. In 1996, Thorington founded Turbulence.org, an offshoot of NRPA that showcased and supported new media artworks particularly networked, web-based, and mixed-reality art."

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