Acoustic Space: Xchange - Net Audio Network

Launch project

Xchange is a pioneering streaming audio and sound art project on the Internet. It was launched in 1997 by Riga based artists group E-LAB (Rasa Smite, Raitis Smits, Jaanis Garancs) in collaboration with various other emerging initiatives from all over the world. The intent was to create a network for alternative net audio content providers and a collaborative platform for creative explorations with real-time sound and live streaming possibilities on the Internet.

The idea started with Xchange Compilations in summer 1997 – a series of monthly online audio editions that intended “to create a picture of the present moment” on the Net. The Xchange mailinglist for information exchange and communication was open in December 1997. The Xchange community reached its' highest activity in 1998 and 1999 – when the most dynamic experiments with collaborative streaming possibilities took place during X-Open Channel sessions. Co-sessions were facilitated by E-LAB Ozone weekly webcast-programmes, during which live stream loops were created for connecting two and more participants from different locations of the network. In 1998 Xchange project received PRIX Ars Electronica “Award of Distinction” in net.category.

Xchange also experimented with other formats, interconnecting network with other fields, and real spaces. Xchange community was very active until about 2000 – besides activities online, Xchange members were participating and organising various events on-site and online during various media art festivals throughout the Europe. Extending textual communication online, and in conferences, printed journal of “Acoustic Space” series was released once a year since 1998 by E-LAB group (since 2000 – by RIXC) in Riga.

Xchange mailinglist is still functioning – with its 329 subscribers (February, 2009) it is mainly used for announcing the live streams from media art events, calls for participation in sound workshops and for contributing to co-projects, as well as informing about new and ongoing sound art projects, and other sound, radio and streaming related activities.

Xchange website and mailinglist is maintained by RIXC (former E-LAB).
Website design and programme: Raitis Smits (1998-2009). Graphic design elements and programming: Jaanis Garancs. Graphic design elements: Martins Ratniks.
Text editors: Rasa Smite, Daina Silina.
Content contributors (for X-Open Channel streaming sessions and mailinglist): international participants of Xchange network.