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22. March 2018
Very well… we started to prepare the „domo“ around 6 the evening before. The place was swarming with young parents and their toddlers, some gardeners, idle youngsters… Eva brings a big green box that contains her herbarium. We swept the gravel off the floor, wiped the table, found some chairs (one in the trash close to the entrance) and stuck a handful of remaining posters to the walls of the neighborhood. We passed a blue-eyed dog in a duffle coat (Madrid dogs often wear coats as long as the temperatures are still below 15 degrees:) and went for a beer.



Radio Gardening in Madrid

23. March 2018. Meeting at 9:15 at the entrance of Esta es Una Plaza; Caroline of Radio Hortelana had already opened the gate. Setting-up: All went well – thanks to ingenious Jesús of Medialab who had already made some tests the day before. Just like with Datscha Radio 17, we use the „Butt“-app for streaming and transmit via Udo Noll’s aporee streaming server.
The Plaza’s cat makes its appearance.
10:20 Eva, Kata and Joaquín arrive. Plants, sensors and watering cans are arranged next to the high bed of homeless cacti.
Maite takes pictures for the In-Sonora docu. Carolina has brought coffee, her Kalimba and a guitar.
11:50 Alberto of Esta es Una Plaza turns up. We are all happy and exited.

1st – 3rd hour

12:00 Here we go! Hola! Datscha Radio a tope!
After the introductions Carolina plays her kalimba to the sounds of gushing rain: An anti-rain spell that we hope will protect us from worse. Because rain for Madrid people is the most welcome excuse to stay at home! Apart from that, our electricity is provided from a solar battery – we are indeed a very ecological radio station!

13:00 Our program flows smoothly! A roughly by the hour organized schedule serves for orientation, all artists are bilingual, so we manage quite well with the translations.

Below you’ll find (later!!!!) an updated version of the program plan – the audio files will be shared on mix cloud asap (but not before 3rd of April). For now, let us look at some of the radio events of the day. Have fun!

14:15 Rain has finally come. Kata and Joaquín perform an astonishing set with plant radio music, sensors transforming the moisture levels of different plant pots and the green’s voltage into a soundscape with harmonica. The cat loves it so much, it goes to sit on the roof just above our heads. A talk about listening and the rain. Unfortunately the solar energy runs out…


Power cut!

For some minutes we still broadcast on batteries but then we decide to interrupt our program.

14:45 Datscha Radio is back again on the air waves! One of the gardeners provided a connection from his neighboring house to the studio! The rain has stopped, the cat gets back in.

4rd – 6th hour…

We continue with the theme of plant talks: Eva Kurly presents her herbarium and introduced the African all-edible Moringa tree. Carolina plays and sings a poem from Argentinia. Santiago, who was working outside comes in an explains what they are presently building. Alberto has prepared two interviews about plant names and balcony plants with his parents. A delightful conversation, each one made over the telephone, the crackling interference in their voices making us forget the digital age.

17:00 A storm of theatre people blows into our tent: They are scheduled for a show in a venue nearby but somehow found this garden. Despite being in a hurry they improvise a vocal piece for us:) Listening to an interview from India about the Botanic Sanctuary in Gurukula and the preservation of vegetal microclimates. Appearance of Rafa from the artist organization The Hug. He brings music of Lau Mau, a Finnish singer whose work is closely connected to nature themes.

17:50 We still have unplayed recordings, yet it’s time for a resume of the broadcast material. Maite comes back and reintroduces the work of In-Sonora and talks about the festival planned for the next day.
18:00 The official end is postponed by half an hour because of the program interruption. We listen to Miyuki Jokiranta’s vocal encounters with her houseplants and finally to two excerpts of the „Atomic Garden“ by Alberto.
18:30 A gathering around the microphones, Thank you, dear listeners! Datscha Radio a tope!!!


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Almost all of us: Carolina, Eva, Kata, Jesús, Joaquin and Alberto

Dear all and all listeners,

I am still surprised and very happy: Datscha Radio happend in Madrid, in a garden, in a tent, with sunshine, rain, a fabulous cat, with gardeners, musicians, surprise guests and even a power cut in electricity!

None of this would have been possible without the support and activities of

Alberto Garcia, Anna Katarina Martin, Carolina Carrubba, Elena Arroyo, Eva Pilartes, Jesús Jara, Joaquin Diaz, Maite Camacho…

… and the community of Esta Es Una Plaza: Alberto, Santiago, Luis, Tommi and all the gardeners.

Many thanks also to Udo Noll/aporee.org for providing the stream!

Tomorrow: Presentation of the work (as well as the work of some other artists residing here at Medialab at 6pm!

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Eva Kurly brought seeds of the Moringa tree

Yes, we are broadcasting: Plant radio, medicinal plants and are now listening to a concert for bees by Eva Kurly. The happiest of all: Alberto and the cat!

Alberto Garcia and the Plaza’s Cat

Plants make radio
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we interrupt our programm for maybe 15 minutes because the solar collector cannot collect enough sun rays. We return as soon as the cable is connected to Luis’ house!

Datscha Radio a tope!

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21st March 2018

The air was fresh but the sun was shining and the lawns lit up in dreams in pink, white and black: For once in these times of preparing for the radio at the “Plaza” I did what is a tradition among the Madrid people! I went to the Parque La Quinta de los Molinos to wander among the budding and blooming almond trees. I had myself photographed under a tree (like everybody) and I took selfies (like everybody). Wonderful!

Get these pictures:) (Some other info about the park and its trees will follow)






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Design: Alberto Garcia

Esta es Datscha Radio Madrid! Estaremos emitiendo el 23 de marzo de las 12 del mediodía a las 6 de la tarde, en directo desde el jardín urbano en la Calle Doctor Fourquet.

Datscha Radio es una radio efímera, aquí y ahora! Todo el mundo está invitado a venir, compartir y participar. Te esperamos!

Escucharás sonidos de los jardines de Madrid, conversaciones sobre arte, plantas y horticultura, conciertos en directo e improvisaciones. Datscha Radio Madrid está colaborando con Esta es una Plaza, MediaLab Prado, Aporee.org y Radio Hortelana, en el marco de la décima edición de In Sonora.

Vamos a retransmitir en streaming, desde datscharadio.de, y en la frecuencia 107.3 FM. Tráete la radio! Ven con tus historias de jardín! Ven a la Datscha! Datscha a tope!!

      1. DR18 - Datscha Radio


Esta es Datscha Radio Madrid! We will broadcast on the 23rd of March from 12-6pm directly from the urban garden in the Calle Doctor Fourquet.

Datscha Radio is a temporary radio station and invites you to come, share and participate.

You’ll hear the sounds of Madrid gardens, talks about art and horticulture, live concerts and improvisations. Datscha Radio Madrid happens in cooperation with: Esta es una Plaza, MediaLab Prado, aporee and Radio Hortelana.

We’ll transmit on stream on datscharadio.de, and on location on 107.3 fm. Bring your radio! Bring your garden stories! Go Datscha! Datscha a tope!





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The district of Batán borders on the Casa del Campo park, the neighborhood is a mixture of appartment blocks for the not-so-rich, sports grounds, and still fairly big patches of wasteland. A winding road takes us – about 500 meters further – to the urban garden of Batán, one of the first in Madrid.

Irene, who founded the garden with her community

Things to do

Irene Prins was one among those first founders, then in 2012, in fact, she initiated the project. Our talk takes us from the need to create a place for oneself to the ramifications of the 15th of May Movement in 2011. Irene stuck notes to the walls and trees in the neighbourhood to find people willing to set up a garden space in the area. Over 30 came. “Before this revolutionary movement happened”, she said, “maybe the interest wouldn’t have been so great. But this idea of selfempowerment and taking on responsibilty for the places and communites we live in, was just too important”.

Batán No.1: The original location of the garden was some 50 meters distant. It is smaller and is now cultivated into a forest garden.

Soon afterwards, the Huerto de Batán began to connect to other urban gardens in the city, “there were maybe 4 or 5 of them” – and this was the beginnung of the “Red le los huertos communales en Madrid”. La Red, the network, now counts around 50 urban gardens in the municipality of Madrid. The work is done by volunteers, but the city occasionally supports the gardeners in gaining acess to some rescources like extra soil, organic fertilizers, and water. Yet in their very beginnings, Batán gardens were just a squat and the water was “siphoned off” a communal pipe.

The pond

As we sit in the sun with the distant noise of the A 18 motorway in our back, the conversation shifts from politics and communal issues to the permacultural design of the garden which is clearly organized in terrasses, and planted with a thoughtful mix of (still young) trees, supporting shrubs, herbs, occasional flowers and of course, a diversity of vegetables. There are also a pond and a beehive… too silent this latter one for this time of the year: “We’ll have to wait. Maybe there is still hope, there was so much honey there the last year and we left it all to the bees. But it is strange, not to see a single bee…”

Irene shows me around the plots that in some places spout bushy clews of “habas” (broad beans), there is  timid rhubarb, rosemary and salads. There is also grass, stone, wood, mulch made from twigs, and an irrigation system (saw no Spanish garden without one so far). The garden’s special point is to turn annual vegetables into perennial ones, something that can work quite well with cabbages for example. I get also introduced to a garden plant entirely new to me, the Siberian Pea. Hardy, sturdy and with a stem and branches, a pea bearing shrub… !!!

One last question (podcast of this will be available at some later point) touches our personal relationship to the plant life. Yes, there is , if not actual talk but ‘thinking’ to the plant and a sincere feeling of respect and gratitude. Irene holds that connecting to the earth also connects us better to our lives and fellow human beings, because “it is all about caring”, she says.
There is nothing to add… except some images and the following links.




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16. Marzo 2018

19:30 Visit to the Humus Film Fest, a brilliant idea! 16 short films in 4 categories about urban gardening: Experimental (missed but one half of the last one), comedy, documentary, fantastic.
Some glimpses here: pole dance with potted plant, hilarious GoT-adaption, Esta es Una Plaza selling veggies as drugs (won a prize!), french refugee gardener (best in the category of docus to my mind), rapping youngsters, compost zombies, lots of food… Alberto Peralta doing fabulous moderation (they also won the fantastio prize – dealing carrots – ), craft beer, running into Elena and Carolina of Radio Hortelana.

22:00 Walking home (sounds of helicopters and police cars.  Pondering about some evident links of (Spanish) popular music/movie culture to urban gardening… I think this is different in Germany. Also: a definite emphasis on action. Taking a mental note to ask Señor Peralta. Seeing this:


22:15 Editing new Madrid sound field composition for the performance next day.

1:00 Sleep

17. Marzo 2018

8:00 Coffee (3)
Weather check: devastating. It is raining and cold. I don’t know how many times I have been told now that Madrid people hide at home when there is rain outside.

10:00 Dressing while bouncing the new piece

11:00 Setting up the Oficina des las plantas sin hogar with Alberto Garcia and Rosalia. We use the plants from the cantina and the security office for decoration, it looks great!

View of the Open-Air Oficina

View of the Open-Air Oficina and Security Plant

A Senora tells Alberto about her plant.

Unpacking the Madrid version.

 12:00 Rain subsides. Sounds of a Demonstration in the nearby streets. Medialab is swarming with mothers, babies, media and video workshop participants. A lady wants to adopt the „security plant“. No es possible. But we get an interview about one of her favorite plants. Times passes with some more interviews. People are interested to adopt but most of them “forgot” to bring plants.

1:00 Start of performance, all goes well. A sparkling gem in the the new piece is a song about flowers sung by Romi Casiles’ grandma, Elvira Margarita Sturla. There’s beer and tortilla chips and a señora comes and donates two plants, a very grown-up „bad mother“ and an adolescent dieffenbachia (surprise?). She also wants to take „Dark Securita“ home, but I can only offer her a can of beer. A friendly guest, Fernando, consents to sing a melancholy song from Argentinia for Datscha Radio’s singing pool collection. Comida con mis ayudantes.

16:00 Knocked out by the two glasses of excellent wine received with my food and in need of a siesta. Watching a SF-movie about life after dead with Robert Redford instead.

18:00 Idle research in academic papers. Using keywords around „garden“, „dependency“, „permeation“ I come (next to „Species, Historicity, and Path Dependency“ across the psycholinguistc term of „garden-path-sentences“, its German equivalent being the „Holzwegeffekt“. Anyway, this is about misleading grammar structures and the different ways in which these can be interpreted and/or „parsed“ by the reader. I think of the straight paths in the gardens here in their combination with the frequently met labyrinths … Can we also understand/”parse” garden designs as a language… l i k e a language?

19:00 Sort the pics for this entry.

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