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Interference AV ft. UNDERVOLT & CO, Jlin, Lightning Bolt, and the Sun Ra Arkestra

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Radio Benjamin: The Mississippi Flood of 1927



The Mississippi appears to cut the United States in half. This moody, muscular, flow of water yields mud, musk, and seasonal destruction. The churning river has overflown its more southern banks annually for centuries. Eventually, parcels of land along the shore became privatized and transformed the impartial banks into ramparts, so to speak. These levies still exist today. In 1927, the swelling high waters made docile by the levies were ordered to be destroyed by President Hoover—to save the city of New Orleans, the upper delta had to drown. This story, told by philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin in this radio piece broadcast in its original for children in German, and read here in English by artist Corey McCorkle, documents the flood through a story of three brothers stuck on the roof of their home, told by the lone survivor. This episode ends abruptly, placing the Ku Klux Klan on the river bank, poised for some future reckoning that Benjamin never completes. Walter Benjamin’s radio broadcasts (1929 - 1932) are a selection of children stories written and read by Benjamin during his colossal research project The Arcades Project, an allegorical look into the birth of modernity in 19th Century Paris. Though the series of broadcasts and the Arcades in general are decisively incomplete, the two enterprises echo one another in content, replete with provocative digressions, and unlikely connections (or "secret affinities").
 

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