Radio Nouspace is the practice-based research "leg" of my ongoing Radio Art+Performance+Research (RAPR) research focus. The other components are Re-Imagined Radio and my own creative practice with radio+sound art. Outcomes include exhibitions, publications, and presentations.

Radio Nouspace focuses on radio as an art form and curates historical and experimental radio+audio drama, radio+sound art, sound poetry, experimental music, and other forms of creative/experimental sound-based narratives. With these resources as its content, Radio Nouspace functions as an online, on-demand radio station, a virtual listening gallery. The intent is to promote engagement by creating new listening experiences.

The Programs link provides curated background and historical information, and on demand listening opportunities, for many exemplary radio and audio dramas. Use the Inquiries link, above, to access my research notes. The Resources link leads to radio and sound resources.


Radio Nouspace was established in 1997 by John Barber and Dene Grigar as part of Nouspace Gallery & Media Lounge, a virtual environment experimenting with online, participatory communities. Radio Nouscape (as Radio Nouspace Internet Café, with the tagline "the sounds of intelligent cyberspace") provided online teaching and learning opportunities. The "Wednesday Café" program was popular for its broadcasts of local poetry readings over the net to international audiences (Grigar and Barber 2009).

The name Radio Nouspace is derived from "radio" [ecology of related but different phenomena (Dubber 2014)] + "nouspace" [wordplay between "nous" (French for "we," referring to collaboration and sharing as key attributes), "new" (from English, as in a fresh concept), and "noos" (from Greek, pointing to mind and essence)] (Grigar "History & Mission").

Radio Nouspace is inspired by the radio medium and its multilayered cultures, each with an emphasis on sound(s) consciously curated and broadcast as related knowledge modalities (i.e. programs) for the purpose of interpreting and distributing information to a broad public. Radio is based primarily on the sound of the human voice. With no opportunity to see the speaker, we are forced to listen. The radiophonic voice is a trace of the body, immaterial, but still powerful enough to determine some features of the speaking body: tone, disposition, age, origin, gender, education, etc.

Radio Nouspace is guided by these research questions.

  • How do we make sense of sound as the central component of narrative?
  • With sound(s) as raw material, what kinds of engaging, immersive listening experiences can we create and share with many listeners to recenter sound as the primary component of narrative, storytelling, and drama?
  • What about sound-based narratives based on interactivity, collaboration, and social networking among the listeners and between the participants (nee listeners) and the narratives themselves?
  • If the context of future radio is collaborative, how will multiple storytellers / journalists create, shape, and share stories?
  • What stories might be told? How? By whom? Would they be global in scope, or local? Would this matter?
  • Would other artifacts (like promotional/educational materials, website, social media, etc.) increase the effectiveness of sound-based narrative, and promote opportunities for social engagement?
  • Are other media (beyond sound) necessary? If so, what are they?


12 October 2016
Dear Radio Nouspace,
came across your site this evening and was excited to see the excellent critical synopses on radio, sound, radio art, and sound art. One of the things that brought me to your site was the material on radio art, and the discovery that my first book (Pieces of Sound: German Experimental Radio) is cited in one of the pieces there.
Daniel Gilfillan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, German Studies
Senior Sustainability Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Affiliate Faculty, English, Film and Media Studies, Jewish Studies
Arizona State University
School of International Letters and Cultures



unplace logo Radio Nouspace was one of three art projects jury selected from an international open call for the Unplace Networked Art: Places-Between-Places Exhibition, Lisbon, Portugal, 19 June-19 November 2015. This exhibition challenged the modes of creation and reception of works of art exhibited in virtual and networked exhibition spaces. Exhibition Catalog available here. Radio Nouspace was selected for providing a fluid museum of sound through its online, on demand, programming, and for providing a virtual listening space that links sound and listening to curation, inquiry, and making.

Peer-reviewed publications > book chapters

Barber, John. "EGC Literature and radioELO." In Electronic Literature: Contexts, Forms, and Practices, edited by James O'Sullivan and Dene Grigar. (Forthcoming)

Grigar, Dene and John Barber. 2009. "Winged Words: On the Theory and Use of Internet Radio." In Going Wireless: A Critical Exploration of Wireless and Mobile Technologies for Composition Teachers and Researchers, edited by Amy C. KimmeHea, 275-288, Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Peer-reviewed publications > journal essays

Barber, John. 2018. Future Radio and Social Knowledge Creation in the Humanities. Social Knowledge Creation in the Humanities: An Open Anthology. (Forthcoming)

—. 2017. Radio Nouspace: Radio, Sound, and Digital Humanities. Digital Studies/Le champ numérique, 7(1), 1.

—. 2017. Radio Art: A (mass) Medium Becomes an (artistic) Medium. Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, 17, July.
Reprinted in French translation, 2017. L'art radiophonique: histoire d'un médium de masse devenu médium artistique. Appareil 18.

—. 2016. "Digital Radio and Social Knowledge Creation in the Humanities." New Technologies in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. (Accepted)

—. 2016. Re-Created Radio Dramas as Innovative Knowledge Environments. Scholarly and Research Communication. 7(2) November 2016.

—. 2014. "Internet Radio and Electronic Literature: Locating the Text in Aural Narratives." Electronic Book Review, 3 May.
My archival website

—. 2013. "Internet Radio and Its Future: A Classroom Experiment." Radioenegocios 12, November: 22.

Peer-reviewed publications > conference proceedings

Barber, John. 2016. Sound and Digital Humanities: Reflecting on a DHSI 2014 Course. Digital Humanities Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 1.

—. 2014. "Archiving the Nouscreen: Preserving the Permeability of the Post Screen." Post-Screen: Device, Medium and Concept, edited by Ana Vicente and Helena Ferreira, 74-83, Lisbon, Portugal: Seleprinter, Soc. Gráfica. .
This essay evolved from my keynote address to the Post-Screen: International Festival of Art, New Media and Cybercultures, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, 27-29 November 2014.

Publications > abstracts

Barber, John. 2014. "Archiving the Nouscreen. Preserving the Permeability of the Post Screen." PostScreen: Device, Medium and Concept, edited by Ana Vicente and Helena Ferreira, Lisbon, Portugal, International Festival of Art, New Media and Cyberculture.

Keynote / Invited Artist Talks

Barber, John. 2016. "Experiential Qualities of Sound as Art, Practice, and Research Methodology"
Department of Art and Art History
University of Colorado-Boulder
29 February 2016

—. 2015. "Practice-Based Archiving and Curating Digital Humanities: Three Case Studies"
Electronic Textual Cultures Laboratory
University of Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
22 January 2015
Radio Nouspace was one of three case studies featured in this presentation.

—. 2014. "Archiving the Nouscreen: Preserving the Permeability of the Post-Screen"
Post Screen International Festival of Art, New Media, and Cybercultures
Center for Research and Studies in Fine Arts (CIEBA)
Faculty of Fine Arts
Lisbon University
Lisbon, Portugal
27-29 November 2014

Peer-Reviewed Presentations

Barber, John. 2016. "Sound and Electronic Literature: 'Under Language' and 'Narrative Archaeology'." International Conference on Digital Media and Textuality. Universität Bremen, Germany, 3-5 November.

—. 2016. "Sounds and Digital Humanities." Digital Humanities Summer Institute 2016 Colloquium, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada, June.

Barber, John and Alcina Cortez. 2016. "Sound Art As Electronic Literary Artifacts: Objects of Shifting Imaginations, Self Construction, Spaces of Memory." Electronic Literature Organization, Victoria, Canada, 10-12 June.

Barber, John. 2016. "Sound: A Literary Memory Media Art Experience." Archival Uncertainties: International Conference on Literary Archives. The British Library, London, England. 4 April 2016.
Part of a panel presentation entitled "Challenges to Archiving and Documenting Born Digital Literature: What Scholars, Archivists, and Librarians Need to Know." With Dene Grigar and Kate Pullinger.

—. 2016. "Curation by Re-Creation: Innovative, New Knowledge Model for Classic Radio Drama." INKE (Implementing New Knowledge Environments) New Knowledge Models: Sustaining Partnerships to Transform Scholarly Production, Whistler, BC, Canada. 19 January.

—. 2015. "Radio Nouspace." Digital Humanities Summer Institute Colloquium, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada, 8-12 June.

—. 2015."Digital Radio and Social Knowledge Creation in the Humanities." Social Knowledge Creation in the Humanities, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 7 June.

—. 2014. "Future Audio Drama: Imagine the Possibilities." Audio Drama Seminar, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark, 19-20 August. LEARN more.

—. 2014. "Sound Curation by Re-Creation: The War of the Worlds Radio (Re)broadcast, Martians with Mustaches: A Case Study and Suggestions."Curating Sound Art Conference, Goldsmith's, University of London and The Courtald Institute of Art, London, England, 15-17. LEARN more.

—. 2013. "Internet Radio and Electronic Literature: Locating the Text in Aural Narratives." Electronic Literature Organization 2013 International Conference, 24-27 September 2013, Paris, France. LEARN more.

—. 2013. "Internet Radio: Radio after the Future." "'What Is Radio?' Exploring the past, present, and future" conference, Portland, Oregon, 25-27 April. LEARN more.

Works Cited

Dubber, Andrew. Radio in The Digital Age. Cambridge, UK. Polity Books 2013.

Dubber, Andrew. Radio in The Digital Age: A book (and some associated observations).

Grigar, Dene and John Barber. "Winged Words: On the Theory and Use of Internet Radio," in Going Wireless: A Critical Exploration of Wireless and Mobile Technologies for Composition Teachers and Researchers, ed. Amy C. KimmeHea (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2009) 275-288.
Throughout the Odyssey, Odysseus' "winged words," called in ancient Greek epea pteroenta, sustain him in his journey, and gain him great gifts from gods and men alike. While this epic has come to represent what is left of an ancient, lost culture, the notion of well-crafted or passionate words, spoken aloud and intended to be heard by a listening audience, still remains. One iteration of winged words made possible by broadband networks is Internet radio. This essay describes a project, called the Nouspace Internet Radio, that entails using of Internet radio for teaching undergraduate and graduate level rhetoric.