Nina Prader – Notes on Friends & the Art of Questioning

Since 2016, Nina has been running a radio show on Vienna’s community radio station Radio Orange 94.0 under her label Lady Liberty Press.

Here, Nina writes about the show and her inspiration:

“The content of the show is information on printed matters: zines, comics, artist books, vinyl, tapes, DJ-sets as well as international zine festivals and stuff to do. The aim is to make international zine-culture visible and accessible and to translate international off-culture into English. The show runs like a tape cassette. Part one, Side A is an interview with a zine-ster (self-publisher). In “Speed Date A Zine-ster” special guests are asked questions about their publishing values, production, and distribution. Side B: “5-Tracks” is a DJ-set curated by an up-and-coming DJ/ane of 5 uninterrupted tracks.

The philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt is perhaps one of my biggest idols. 

As Arendt says in “The Last Interview and other Conversations”,“I have never in my life ‘loved’ any people or collective group, neither the German people, the French, the Americans, nor the working class or anything other of that sort. I indeed love only my friends, and the only kind of love I know of and believe in is the love of persons. Moreover, this ‘love of the Jews’ would appear to me, since I am myself Jewish, as something rather suspect.”

Many of her thoughts on Jewish-ness have shaped my own definition on how I want to position myself on the cultural and religious spectrum of what it can mean to be a Jew-ess both philosophically, politically, and artistically.

When it comes to the art of the interview, Hannah Arendt’s interview with Günter Gaus “zur Person” (“The Last Interview and other Conversations”) is a consistent source of inspiration to me. This interview makes visible a dynamic in human exchange that I find nowadays terribly rare: the interviewer and the interviewee play equal parts. It’s a joust or a dance, Gaus triggers, Arendt parries and responds. Without good questions there can be no good answers.

Prader interviewing fellow Asylum Arts network member Jonathan Rotztain

Though my radio show “Paper & Tape: Audio on Printed Matters” is far from such high brow aspirations as that of the noted philosopher and former SPD politician and journalist, I am drawn to this notion that there can be no getting to know someone’s work or person without asking hard questions. Here, radio is my tool and medium for talking but also listening.

Paper & Tape is a matter of the heart to me and a political incentive for zine-fans, first-timers, and connoisseurs, a platform for ex-pats and citizens of the world —in English—.”

In May 2016, Nina sat down with fellow Asylum Arts participant, Jonathan Rotsztain, she writes:

“I had the privilege of participating at the Asylum Alumni Artist Retreat in May and reconnecting with zine-ster and Canadian comic artist Jonathan Rotztain, whom I met the year before at the same retreat. More so than being remotely Jewish —though it’s an extra bonus— we share a common interest in comics, zines and mail art. We had traded zines via mail all year before. It seemed only natural to use the guerrilla recording studio, facilitated by the talented Roy Regev, to document a longer conversation on these artistic commonalities. The actual conversation was much longer than what was aired. Sometimes it takes time and a Buddhist monastery for Jewishly identifying artists in Garrison, NY to get to the meat of a conversation.”

You can listen to past episodes here:

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More about the show here:

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