Gerald Scarfe: Audio Cartoons

Gerald Scarfe, well known UK political cartoonist, whose artwork appeared for decades in the satirical magazine “Private Eye”, 40+ years at the Sunday Times, 20 years in the New Yorker, made a pop impression in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” album, on British stamps of Comedians, on backdrops for major Ballet and drama productions – has also been making cutup radio on various topics.  It is fascinating, in intense small clips and soundbites, asking answers as well as questions.

“I felt an artist’s job really is to tell you something more about the world, rather than giving you a photographic representation”

Recycled Radio

Gerald Scarfe has now presented several series of “Recycled Radio” – although I accidentally stumbled across it in media listings for Christmas 2019.  They are currently being repeated on Radio 4, with many episodes available to listen to now, on BBC i-player for those who pay for a UK TV license.

Listen here to a programme on “Truth” – also covering lies, deception, conspiracy.  There’s a fine ear for beats, rhythms and with use of repeated audio clips.  (Made 5 years ago, it still sounds all too relevant).

A wide gamut of opinions are expressed here – given the vast archives of the BBC to play with, the programme makers have made use of clips from intellectuals, comedians, politicians, an American President, a British Prime Minister, documentaries, entertainment programmes.

Other programme topics include: Art, lawyers, travel, Bohemia, evolution, the voice …. there are 14 episodes in all, across 5 series (not all currently available for listening).  Each is 30 minutes, but because of the condensed soundbites it seems like much much more.


Creative Takeaway

As with most collage work – there are great opportunities for looking at the small pieces and making further, imaginative works based off the clips.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s