24 Jan - 23 Dec 2022
Art & CultureOutdoors & NatureWalks & tours

Oh Europa

Steel Rigg, Northumberland

Free

Delivered by Action Hero

Action hero would like to invite visitors to a radio outpost situated on Hadrian’s wall which plays a vast, pan-European archive of love songs collected since 2018 by Artists Gemma Paintin & James Stenhouse (who work together under the name Action Hero).

Since 2018, Action Hero have been travelling through Europe, asking strangers of any age to sing a love song. So far, they have recorded the voices of over a thousand people, singing about love and heartbreak in 46 different languages. They have travelled over 46,000km through 33 European countries, spending more than 300 days and nights on the road living in their van, which doubles as a mobile recording studio

There are 44 radio outposts scattered around Europe on the literal edges of the continent, for example at Cabo da Roca in Portugal, the most Westerly point of mainland Europe – but also on borders, hinterlands and divides, both political and historical, natural and geographical, imagined and real. The Northumberland outpost is at Hadrian’s wall, the northern most limit of the Roman empire, built by the Emperor famous for his own love story with Antinous.

Audiences can navigate to the radio outposts across Europe via a free app; when opened, the app turns into a compass and map and points you towards the nearest place you can hear the love songs being broadcast. When you arrive at the “hot spot”, your phone tunes into the broadcast and begins to play the archive of love songs. The same archive loop plays at all of the 44 radio hotposts 24/7 and will continue to do so until the technology is redundant.

Action Hero would like to invite people to take a walk, ride or run, from any place to Hadrian’s wall and listen to the voices of Europe. Detached from political posturing, hollow rhetoric and empty sound bites, these love songs transmit a heartfelt message instead: an opportunity to hear ourselves emerge out of the white noise.

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