Hit Parade — Podcast/Listening Party


Photos by Cait Fahey

Hit Parade takes its name from term for a ranking list of the most popular recordings at a given point in time. The subject of this zine is “occupation” whether through time spent doing an activity, a job, being in a property, the state of being busy, the act of going in and taking control of a public or private space and the control of an area by the military/state. The act of temporal occupations and seizing possession are ideas which are central to the project. The activity took the format of audio collage podcasts, which culminated in a listening party in Studio 6 in IMMA with a supporting visual aid in the form of a publication.

Hit Parade mediated on “occupation” in light of recent events such as the tightening of borders in the European Union, the housing crisis in Ireland and the 1916 Centenary. Along with this the precarity of work and unpaid labour which is used to occupy time. Being occupied by something is a process which can be enjoyable yet is ultimately a distraction.

1. Property

Sound Art/Soundscape/Interview/Spoken Word
Best listened to on headphones.

Property looks at the occupation of buildings and the state of property ownership, through a repeated “squat knock”.

In Dublin, many properties have entered into a stalemate position; bought up by speculating developers and companies with no intentions to develop them and leaving them unoccupied long term. The ensuing property crisis has left a huge number of people homeless or in precarious rental situations. Substandard properties are rented for higher than the average industrial wage and social housing is nonexistent.

In the midst of this, many are attempting to squat both industrial and domestic properties. Squatters learn the codified language of property bureaucracy, regularly challenging those in power in court and evading prosecution through loopholes. In a rather archaic and simple fashion, an affected knock is the password to enter properties, and to know the right person is entering.

We are told that property is a commodity and that we agree on its value. Squatters are often upheld for their “parasitism” but what if parasitism forms the only viable resistance to property ownership and market speculation?

2. Military

Sound Art/Soundscape/Binaural Recording/Spoken Word Best listened to on headphones.

Military is an investigation of the sounds left behind from military occupations and commemorations.

In a form of constant syncretism, colonial occupation in Ireland has become enveloped by Irish military occupations, which in turn celebrated the armed insurrection of 1916.

The podcast explores the military occupation of Rathmines in Dublin, through an air raid siren which goes off every Friday at 12 noon. Locals don’t know why it goes off, and there appears to be scarce information available. The implication is that every week, people hear it for the first time ever and don’t think that it’s a drill. However no one else is reacting to this “Doomsday” sound.

Secondly, the state led commemorations of 1916 create an entirely choreographed and depoliticised memory of an event. These reenactments exist as vehicles for modern concerns and not explorations of history.

Written by Michelle Doyle
Mixed by Michelle Doyle and Brendan William Jenkinson Produced by Brendan William Jenkinson