magi*k – an interactive exhibition made in collaboration with Zeppelin Association about the history of mass media emergence in Bucharest. We begin with the art deco radio antennas and reach the contemporary era, when the city is plugged into the global network.
Today we see a diversity of antennas on rooftops in Bucharest which seem meaningless objects but they speak about the technological phenomenon with the greatest impact on society: the emergence of media culture. This history starts in the 20s when the radio appeared in Bucharest and the antennas where a symbol of an epoch-making technological advancement, proudly displayed in the art deco architecture and on modernist buildings. After the war, when radio and tv became mainstream, in Romania of the communist buildings appear makeshift antennas, crafted to access as many posts as a form of resistance to the country’s political isolation. Right after the 90s they are replaced by parabolic antennas and subsequently by cable and, today, optical fiber.
The expo-documentary highlights both the architecture and the artifacts of those times – radios and appliances, advertisements that show the domestic universe created by technology. Pointing out links between various moments in time and architecture (modernist villas, apartment blocks etc) and the visual vocabulary of antennas, we also bring forward the connection between various creative practices, form architecture to product or graphic design, and deeper cultural layers – social practices and rearrangements of domestic life.
The visual history of the city written in antennas and cables is complemented by installations that will make us experience the buzzing of the signal and of the invisible waves that carry information and changed our lives.