Gabi Schaffner

Gabi Schaffner 

Time is a Sliding Door


Thursday 19th November, 3pm – 3.45pm
Friday, 20th November, 6pm – 6.45pm

Time is a sliding door –  but if so, what does it mean?

“Time is a Sliding Door” is a variation of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s saying that “Reality is a Sliding Door”. As if that wasn’t tricky enough, substituting ‘reality’ with the noun ‘time’ unravels a kaleidoscope of meanings and implications that turns the ground of our presumptuous existence into a wobbly pudding. If Time is a Sliding Door, and we push it aside, what happens beyond the threshold? The act of sliding means that the other side is only slowly revealed. As well as with a thud, thunder and roll. As radio is a medium which transgresses our notion of time and space, both naturally and effortlessly, how does it come into the picture? If the door opens onto a 5th dimension, and/or still others, how could this be ‘enlistened’ into a radiophonic scape? To be honest, the author of these lines doesn’t actually know, and how could she?

As humans we continue to be tethered to time as a condition of our communication, our perception, our being. It just seemed fit to start with a speedy panorama of the “Swabian-Alemannic Fasnet”. Fasnet (or “Fastnacht”) is also called the “fifth season of the year”, and is recorded in central Europe at least since the 13th century. Its presentation of an inverted world, the parades of Jesters, Fools and Witches, the almost deafening onrush of drums, ‘Fools Cries’, trombones, trumpets and bells truly create a different time horizon.Other acoustic inhabitants of this composition are the cuckoo-clock and clocks in general, as this region of Germany is famous for its clock-makers since the 17th century. And after all, it is not just the shamans of the Northern Tunguska who believe that the cuckoo’s call presages the number of years one has left to live…

 Time is a Sliding Door sticks to the human dimension, playing with the acts of acceleration and deceleration, with the notion of journeying (we shall be travelling from the Black Forest to New Mexico and from there to Slovenia – at least), spellbound by folk tunes, with the whisperings of shortwaves captured in open and discreet places. Hidden stories keep on drifting through radio space, sites and signals keep travelling, and wherever they may go, eventually an alien molecule, touched by radio might spark off the impulse for that door to open up into the unforeseeable. Meanwhile, we’ll keep hanging around this auditory doorstep.


Accordion: Olsen auf Aldebaran

Musical Saw: Mimosa Pale

Singers: Sanne Drouhin-Kok, Ulrike Stoehring and Lilli Moors, Fernando (guest appearing for “Adopta una planta”/Datscha Radio, Madrid).

Drums: Paddi (Patrick Guderitz), Toni Brokoli (Pascal Dinser aka Kalle Dinsko) & Junk (Thomas Jank)

Special thanks to: Global Forest e. V., Black Forest!

Gabi Schaffner works as a trans-disciplinary artist within the realms of radio art, composition and performance. Her artistic practice is determined by the methods of poetic ethnography in connection with fluxus-like mise-en-scènes, radio-making and sound art performances. Much of her work originates from journeys. Next to her radiophonic productions, Schaffner creates speculative musical genres and inserts them into music history in order to raise awareness for cultural, gender-related and/or geographical conditions.

Schaffner has been realising award-winning productions with Deutschlandfunk Kultur,, Hessian Cultural Radio and ABC Australia. Since 2012 she maintains “Datscha Radio”, a nomadic transmission project that links the medium of radio to current ecological issues.

As a writer and translator, she has published numerous texts; most recently: “RevoltenDiaries”, in: Radio Revolten, 2019. She holds a MA in literature and ethnography and a diploma in visual communication. Gabi Schaffner lives in Berlin.

Current work:
Fazzoletto per un eternità. Performance and vinyl edition, 2020
Rapid(s)Trains: Geolocated audio walk for Open Gorey, Wexford, Ireland. 2020-2021