Datscha Radio Logo


Foto: Kurt Verheuven. 2018

Datscha Radio

Datscha Radio is a Berlin radio art initiative that has been active since 2012 and is committed to an expanded culture of radio-making and world perception. Datscha Radio is non-commercial, independent of location, and is realized interdisciplinarily in Berlin with a collective of 3-5 (radio) artists. In 2018 Datscha Radio was nominated for the Berlin European Prize “Blauer Bär” (Blue Bear) for honorary commitment.

Datscha Radio uses the medium of radio to create new listening experiences beyond the usual dichotomies of nature/culture or transmitter/receiver. The point of departure and inter face of all content is “the garden”, which accompanies our work as a universal metaphor for diversity, knowledge culture and social commitment. In contrast to other Berlin artist- or community- radio stations, Datscha Radio creates temporary, site-specific radio art events and festivals – mostly in private or public gardens.

Datscha Radio celebrates the art of “Expanded Radio” across all disciplines and connects the living world of the garden with local communities and inclusive art forms: Performance, experiments, talks, workshops and listening clubs. Broadcasts are transmitted online and via micro-FM transmitters on-site. As part of a cooperation with existing stations, broadcasts have also been transmitted on 88.4 FM throughout Berlin, and 90.7 FM in Potsdam .

Our vision is to achieve a symbiosis of radio art, everyday culture and ecology that can be experienced by all sections of the population.

2024: Datscha Radio will travel to Armenia

Now it’s official! Datscha Radio will travel to Gyumri, Armenia in September 2024 for a three-week radio residency.

Ms Schaffner feels overwhelmed and already excited. A great thanks to #Art Basis who invited me for this project and to #Culture Moves Europe and Goethe Institute Brussels for funding this journey.

2023 Datscha Radio in Thuringia

Datscha Radio is making several guest appearances in Altenburg, Thuringia this summer.
In the first week of August, we will be on air with ‘Laubenlauschen’ from the 3rd-6th: in the Historic Laubengarten, on 90.6 FM, on the internet, and at selected radio stations in Berlin, Dresden, Halle, and Leipzig.

Then in September, we’ll hear us again with ‘Streuobstradio’ from the meadow orchard. Team: Gabi Schaffner, Helen Thein, Ernst Markus Stein

2023: Harakka Island Radio, Finland

At the invitation of the Nomad Academy of Experimental Art and media artist Kari Yli-Annala, in celebration of the “Week of the Impossible”, Datscha Radio was invited to create an event for the exhibition themed “The Anaglogue and the Magic”. Harakka Island Radio broadcast on the island for four days at selected times on micro VHF, 90 MHz.
Team: Gabi Schaffner, Kari Yli-Annala, Rori Vallinharju

2022: Datscha Radio Ii, Finland

Datscha Radio Ii is realised with the kind support of the Goethe Institut Munich. By: Gabi Schaffner, Tina-Marie Friedrich

2018: Unearthing the Archive. Berlin

Datscha Radio’s installation “Unearthing the Archive” traced what’s below the surface, and the communality of the networks of neighbourhoods. For the exhibition RAUM OHNE RAUM at Kunstpunkt, Datscha Radio was earthing and reassembling its archive, and allowing it to resonate. “Unearthing the Archive” transmitted via micro-FM a 9:36h loop of selected shows, this is the average amount of night hours between the 28th of July and the 31st of August. Unearthing the Archive was realised by: Gabi Schaffner, Kate Donovan, Niki Makita and Helen Thein.

Hosted by: c/o Kunstpunkt. Schlegelstr. 6. Berlin. Organized by the Netzwerk freier Projekträume und -initiativen Berlin.

2018: Replanting Radio – Radio Gardening in Madrid.

Within the frame of Medialab Prado’s artist’s residency Gabi Schaffner traveled to Madrid for a research project on local garden cultures and radio making.  “Un Jardín en el Aire” broadcast from the community garden of “Esta es una Plaza” in an inspired community with radiophile artists and local gardeners. Realised in cooperation with Medialab Prado and In-Sonora 10. Datscha Radio Madrid’s artists: Alberto García, Anna Katarina Martin, Eva Kurly, Carolina Carrubba, Joaquin Diaz, Alberto Peralta.

2017: Plots & Prophecies – Parzellenprognosen. Berlin

In August 2017 Datscha Radio broadcast from again to its “Heimat”- garden in Berlin Pankow, with the joint support of Colaboradio and Pi Radio Verbund Berlin. The focus was on the futures of gardening and its economies as well as on the environmental changes in our flora and fauna.
Datscha Radio 17 was realised by: Gabi Schaffner, Kate Donovan, Niki Makita, Helen Thein, Suki Shanti Osman und Verena Kuni.

Download the 2017 documentation HERE.

When not actively on air Datscha Radio is maintained as a blog archive documenting the various ecological and garden-related issues encountered by the artist in the pursuit of her work: Interviews and photographic diaries, essays and botanical excursions.

2014: 100 Days of Datscha Radio. Giessen


For 100 days Datscharadio carried out research on the premises of the Giessen Landesgartenschau with a focus on the phenomena of German garden culture. A converted ex-GDR caravan served as our radio and research homestead. Our aim was the exploration of local traditions and perspectives of gardening while using a variety of documentary modes. In the course of our research a public archive was created consisting of ethnographic field notes, photographs, protocols, talks and sounds. 
Datscha Radio 2014 was realized by Gabi Schaffner, Pit Schultz, Gärtnerpflichten e. V..

2012 Datscharadio 
A Garden in The Air. Berlin

Datscha Radio was founded in 2012 by the artist Gabi Schaffner and the net activist and radio producer Pit Schultz. In cooperation with the artist radio reboot.fm, an 8-day summer garden radio festival took place from 24 – 31 August 2012.

Datscha Radio 2012 was realised by Gabi Schaffner, Pit Schultz and Verena Kuni.

The Idea

Since the late 80s of the 20th century, the garden has increasingly gained the attention of the public eye: in terms of aesthetics, history, and ecology. As a definite place, the garden can take variable shapes, from ornamental to kitchen gardens, from castle gardens to cloister gardens. Being located between nature and culture, the garden has been a place for the production of art and architecture, literature and music.

The garden functions as a mirror of social and political spheres while being a metaphor for a lost paradise beyond all worldly orders. You can find “the garden” as a model imprinted on biotechnology and futurology and as an underlying principle in social networks and computer programming.

The garden’s true potential, though, does not ground on its functionalization as a model to be fitted into other faculties. It is founded in the garden itself, in its multi-faceted resources that alternate, take turns, complete each other and which, in their mutability, create a wealth of new points of contact. A garden is not just one place, it is many places. And it is not just a system, it is many systems.

Datscha Radio

Datscha Radio takes the garden in all its diversity as its foundation and taps its full potentials: straight on site, out of nature and plants, from the knowledge of the gardeners, and from the inexhaustible richness of the worlds linked to the garden. The combination of “garden” and radio technology touches the very boundaries between the real and the imaginary, between the material and the visionary worlds. Datscha Radio lives in the garden, works in the garden, and broadcasts from the garden. 

The winter garden. As yet without radio equipment

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