This film was made in collaboration with members of Ikon Youth Programme in Birmingham, produced through a year-longresidency titled Scarcity Radio and distributed online. Explicitly informed by contexts of government cuts toeducation and austerity measures, the project partly investigates how pirateradio stations of the 1980s were connected to periods of recession and socialunrest, exploring what the contemporary resonance of this might be with a group of young people without the memory of these events.
Filmed in a quiet geology museum, The Cognitive Radio addresses links between mining and telecommunications in order to tackle our understanding of so-called scarcity economics. Significant objects in the film include the black mirror of a smartphone and a primitive radio made with a lump of pyrite. A working version of this radio was presented in gallery exhibitions as the sculpture, How to Use Fool’s Gold (2012).