Radio Theatre: Lichtenberg, A Cross-Section
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“Lichtenberg: A Cross-Section” (written by Walter Benjamin) is a science-fiction narrative about a society of beings on the Moon who conduct surveillance of humanity, and in particular the 18th century German experimental physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg. These Moon beings are especially interested in observing and cataloguing the various activities of humans, and also express a psychoanalytic perspective; they focus on Lichtenberg in order to draw out lessons about the unhappiness they observe in humanity.
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was a literary critic, essayist and philosopher born in Berlin, Germany; he spent most of his early life in Germany, and subsequently he lived itinerantly throughout Europe. Benjamin had a complicated and largely unfruitful relationship with the German academic establishment, and resulting from this and the scattered nature of his work in WWII-era Europe, his writings (which have had a large impact on studies in the humanities and the arts) have been mostly published posthumously. His scripted work for the German radio during the years 1927-1933 has only recently been translated and published in English.
“Lichtenberg: A Cross-Section”
Radio play written in 1932-33 by Walter Benjamin (never broadcast in Germany)
Translated by Lisa Harries Schumann, published in “Radio Benjamin”, Lecia Rosenthal, editor
Voices: Cara Kinnally, Greg Simpson, Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler, Toby Kaufmann-Buhler
Music: Wayne Robert Thomas
Additional music: Greg Simpson
Produced at Velour Underground Studios (Lafayette, Indiana), by Greg Simpson & Toby Kaufmann-Buhler
Originally produced for the exhibition "The Name of the Machine from the Moon" by Toby Kaufmann-Buhler, at Listen Hear / WQRT 99.1 FM Indianapolis, May 3-22, 2019 More information: self-surveillance.tumblr.com
This project is made possible by support from the Indiana Arts Commission.