Live streaming experiments (1997-2000)

Xchange Network participants especially investigated into possibilities of live collaborative streaming. The Net was conceived as a sound-scape, within which delay, feedback, sound loops, open and distributed cooperations, networked transmission and other qualities of the Internet audio technologies may be explored. Moreover, Xchange participants experimented with new formats and settings for interconnecting the network with other fields, and real spaces.

X-Open Channel

Collaborative live netcasting sessions named Xchange Open Channel were most active during 1998 and 1999. Once a week, most often during the weekly Riga Ozone sessions, a call to join in for everyone with his/her live stream or any other audio contribution was announced via Xchange mailinglist. Xchange IRC channel was used for meeting and coordination – who and when will stream, and who will pick up which stream. If each broadcaster takes another's live stream, re-encodes it and sends it further for next participant, the feedback loop is created. Because of the small delay (5-20 sec, which is needed for received stream to rebuffer onto your computer) sound input is going around and coming back creating multiple sound layers. When the sound keeps traveling around, the stream gets more and more noisy, and finally it turns into one continuous noise...

  1. Live session 17 march 1998 [X-Open Channel / Ozone+Pingvin Cafe House Bar]
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file

    > 0.38.00–0.44.00 – listen to mailinglist news
    > 1.23.15–1.29.55 – mailinglist news
    > from 3.11.11 (to the end) – live streaming loop connecting 3 locations – Riga (Ozone), Ljubljana (MZX) and Berlin
  2. Live session 24 march 1998 [X-Open Channel+PPP news / Ozone+JODI;+dj Bongo]
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file

    > 1.05.30–1.10.20 PPP news (Personalised Persuasive Propaganda produced by Rachel Baker)
    > 1.21.20–1.27.00 PPP news – reading by Rachel Baker in live stream from Backspace (London)
    > from 3.07.00 – loop starts and later grows connecting participants from 6 locations: Ozone (Riga), Backspace (London), MZX (Ljubljana), XLR (Berlin), Alice_t (Graz), L'audible (Sidney)
  3. Live session 07 april 1998 [X-Open Channel+PPP news / Ozone Lunapark; dj Renars]
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file

    > 2.35.34 - 2.51.20 PPP news (Personalized Persuasive Propaganda produced by Rachel Baker)
  4. Live session 21 april 1998 [X-Open Channel / Ozone Sentimental Beatz]
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file

    > 2.36.00–2.51.00 and from 3.03.30 – discussion by Martin Schitter and Borut Savski (about future of in live stream from MZX in Ljubljana (picked up and rebroadcasted by Ozone in Riga)
    > from 3.34.50 – lives streaming loop connecting 2 locations – Ljubljana and Riga
  5. Live session 15 september 1998 [X-Open Channel / Ozone sound rider]
    artistic radio experiments by Ozone in Riga; incoming live stream CCS Banff
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file

  6. Live session 22 september 1998 [X-Open Channel / Ozone live mix]
    artistic radio experiments by Ozone in Riga; connecting with CCS live stream from Banff in Canada
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file

People facilitating the Riga Ozone live stream and coordinating X-Open Channel loops mainly were E-LAB artists Raitis Smits, Rasa Smite, Martins Ratniks/F5, Peteris Kimelis/Aura/WTV and musician Ugis Vitins/SlokaSoundSystem/Elast.

Live Streaming for Media Art Events and FM Radio
[net => location; net =>fm]

Streaming over the internet was also used to “send” live experimental programmes for either transmitting on FM radio in other location or country, or “playing back” in clubs or other venues of art events in other cities.

  1. Ozone live session for comm_X_change and radio FRO, 17 October 1998 Ozone was sending the live stream from Riga as contribution to two separate events:
    - for Radio FRO on-air show and radio party and
    - for comm_X_change festival in Basel, where Ozone stream as well as a number of other remote streams from Adelaide (r a d i o q u a l i a), Sydney (Zina K), Berlin (, Banff (CCS), Toronto (Jennifer), Vienna (Kunstradio), London (Backspace, Interface), Ljubljana (Ljudmila), New York (Fakeshop), and others were picked up by Xchange team – Heath Bunting, Luka Frelih, Rasa Smite. Also connections with on-air broadcasting radios in Basel (Radio X), Amsterdam (DFM), in Linz (Radio FRO) and online art project in UK ( were established (
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file
  2. Ozone live session for Radio Lada, 07 November 1998
    Ozone was streaming live for Radio Lada event in 1998 together with other remote participants from Belgrade, Berlin, Graz, Jerusalem, Ljubljana, Novi Sad, Riga, Split, Vienna, and Zagreb, r a d i o q u a l i a. LADA98 – L'Arte dell'Ascolto (the Art of Listening) was Med Media & Radio Festival and 48h non-stop webcasting from Rimini, Italy (
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file
    > from 0.48.40 – incoming stream and feedbackloop with other Radio Lada event remote participants.
  3. Ozone live session for media art event in Helsinki, 03 April 1999
    Specially set up live stream in Riga that was using sounds generated by feedback mechanism.
    Later loop was made connecting both locations – Riga and Helsinki.
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file

Live Streaming from Events
[real space=>net]

Live streaming “from” events was and is still today widely used – nearly all media art festivals today are streaming live from their conferences and other events. One of the first festivals of which all programme was broadcasted live on the Internet, was Art+Communication: Xchange on-air session festival in Riga, November 1997.

  1. Live stream from ASU [Net.Casting: Radio and TV on the Net, moderated by Pit Schultz], 03 July 1998
    ASU (Art Servers Unlimited) was a conference and event about initiatives and organisations in Europe focusing on the artistic use of the Internet. It took place in London, 1st to 4th of July 1998, ICA New Media Centre and Backspace (
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file
  2. Live stream from Xchange Unlimited conference [ panel], 28 November 1998
    Radio Ozone was providing live streaming from all Art+Communication festival events, including Xchange Unlimited conference in Riga, 1998 (
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file
  3. Live stream from Polar Circuit workshop, 18 July 1998 workshop (by Rasa Smite and Raitis Smits) during the Polar Circuit event taking place in Tornio, Finnish Lapland, in summer 1998. Loop was connecting 3 locations – Tornio (Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits, and workshop participants), Riga (Peteris Kimelis from Ozone / E-Lab studio), and Berlin (Monika Glahn). It was also an experiment to make a discussion between remote participants by listening to each others live stream.
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file
    > 2.04.36 first attempt to set up the discussion between 3 locations Tornio, Riga and Berlin
    > 2.21.42 discussion between 3 locations Tornio, Riga and Berlin

Mobile Streaming

At the early stage of the Internet radio also various live mobile streaming possibilities were explored by Xchange community members. “Mobile server” – a laptop computer with installed Real Server and Encoder on it, was used by E-LAB (Raitis Smits) in 1998 to try to netcast from clubs in Riga via telephone line. It was also used during the Days'98 Berlin event. An experiment with mobile phone was done by Ozone to transmit a live stream from train Riga-Ventspils. In 1999 Reboot floating media art experiment was initiated by de Balie and their partners, mobile broadcasting from boat was provided by media artists, traveling from Cologne to Amsterdam

  1. Ozone live session from the train VTT (Riga-Ventspils), 19 September 1998
    Collaborative project by Radio Kit-Kat and radio Ozone/E-LAB was broadcasting via mobile phone to the Internet from board of the train. The train with artists, participating in VTT Ventspils Transit Terminal project (organised by Riga Soros Contemporary Arts Center), was traveling from Riga to Ventspils. Radio Kit-Kat team (Peteris Kimelis, Kaspars Vanags, Sergejs Timofejevs) used local radio facilities on train the to deliver their radio programme and sound intervention into the closed space of the VTT train. Radio Ozone (Rasa Smite) was sending sounds from the train via telephone line, which was picked up in E-LAB studio in Riga (by Raitis Smits) and rebroadcasted live online.
    listen mp3 file
    listen real media file
    > 1.38.50 - 1.42.39 live coverage from the train by Rasa Smite
    > 2.07.00 - 2.13.10 live coverage from the train by Rasa Smite
    > 2.26.20 - 2.32.20 live coverage from the train by Rasa Smite
    > 2.39.40 - (to the end)live coverage from the train by Rasa Smite

Net Radio Events

Xchange participants extended their live streaming experiments also from the Internet to real space.
Larger international meetings of streaming media initiatives were Net.Radio Days Berlin in June 1998 in Berlin, and Net.congestion Festival in Amsterdam, 2000, both involving a number of Xchange participants. The first Xchange meeting and its “live studio” in real space was set up in Ars Electronica 1998, providing 56h non-stop live stream from Linz and various remote locations on the Internet. Since then other special live streaming events called “Net.Radio Nights” have taken place during the various festivals of Europe.

  1. 56h live streaming Xchange@OpenX AEF'98, 4-10 September 1998

    56h Live Net.Radio was project by Xchange Network that took place in Ars Electronica Festival InfoWar in Linz, September 4 – 10, 1998. The idea was to create live acoustic environment during the Ars Electronica by using real time streaming audio as a tool for it. Xchange LIVE stream featured various broadcaster-teams, sound artists, DJ's and musicians. On-site contributors included InfoWar editorial team: Geert Lovink, Josephine Bosma, Eric Kluitenberg; X-Open Channel coordinators: Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits; PPP News Service: Rachel Baker; ZERAMULIX team: Borut Savski, Monika Glahn, Martin Schitter; L'audible: Zina Kaye, and others. Altogether there were 25 on-site and 10 remote participants from different parts of the world taking part in the 56h live streaming session.
    listen mp3 file 1 ; listen mp3 file 2 ; listen mp3 file 3 ; listen mp3 file 4 ; listen mp3 file 5 ; listen mp3 file 6 ; listen mp3 file 7 ;
    listen mp3 file 8

    listen real media file 1 ; listen real media file 2 ; listen real media file 3 ; listen real media file 4 ; listen real media file 5 ;
    listen real media file 6 ; listen real media file 7 ; listen real media file 8
Real Player (version 5.0 or later) is needed to listen to the real media files. Real Player can be downloaded from <>
For mp3 file playback one should use any player supporting mp3 file format (for instance: VLC, Winamp, iTunes)