By Alison Cooley
What does it mean to receive Radio Equals? claude wittmann broadcasts his interpersonal egalitarian experiment (one-on-one interviews recorded inside a small, closet-like room) over the radio and online. As I listen, I am receiving a private conversation, I am being enfolded into a broadcast moment of incredible intimacy.
It is rare to receive the words of someone whose bodily attunement is as precise, as honest as wittmann’s. It is utterly striking. wittmann monitors and relays his changes in breath, in voice, the opening of his throat and jaw. He catalogues them as changes in spirit.
When we receive Radio Equals, we also receive a deep, embodied knowledge.
I find myself self-conscious, evangelistic, even. To write about Radio Equals with such embrace, to write about receiving
(receiving the word, receiving knowledge, receiving the gift, receiving fulfillment)
—to write about being receptive to these conversations of wittmann’s, spoken measured and low, deeply felt, is to feel as if I am bowing to the conventions of writing about religious teachings. Humans seem to have new potential to be generous with each other.
Today, again, wittmann and his guest stray from the particularities of specific political scenarios, and focus, instead, on the equality that sits between their two bodies.
“What if I said that I don’t believe that we feel completely equal?” wittmann asks.
“There is no such thing as an uninterrupted feeling of equality,” suggests his guest. “We are exchanging ideas, and as we respond to each others’ ideas, equality flows between us.”
“Until now,” says wittmann. “I thought it could only be death that would make us equal.”
Today when I receive Radio Equals, I sense I am receiving not something natural, instinctual, but profoundly learned: a listening I did not know could go so deep.
claude wittmann’s performance, Radio Equals, recurs daily at 3 pm until November 1 and is broadcast on 93.1 fm. The preceding is a short dispatch in response to today’s session.