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In conversation with: Serena Stucke of Testu Collective

In conversation with: Serena Stucke of Testu Collective

Testu Collective are a NYC-based intermedia art group founded by Dan Tesene and Serena Stucke in 2017. The collective creates experimental videos, concept soundtracks, and audiovisual installations/performances.

We recently spoke with Serena to learn more about her. As one half of Testu Collective, she’s an artist that creates sonic & visual worlds exploring perception through experimentation with materiality and spatiality.

Make sure to follow Testu Collective (https://blastradio.com/testucollective or ‘testucollective’ in the app) to catch upcoming shows – including the next edition of the Cinema for the Ear Show by Serena on September 1 at 8 pm Eastern.  

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Learn more about Testu Collective here.

Do you have a fond memory of the radio you’d like to share? Who you were with, what was playing, how it made you feel? 

Listening to college radio in Chicago. I forget the exact station now, but it was this weekly show with DJ Pervy and he expanded my teen mind with post punk/new wave/industrial, experimental electronic music. He would also play at this all ages club called Off the Alley, another space I feel lucky to have had to experience underground music in my early teens before I got my fake id!

What is your first musical memory? How does that memory impact you today? 

These were definitely not my first musical memories, but impactful ones. Getting my first mix tapes at 14 were priceless. I was like a sponge soaking up all sounds and then I'd go to my local record store and grab the album. And getting a fake id when I was 16, I started going to clubs in Chicago. Experiencing underground nightclubs as a teen was an incredibly important experience. I was an outcast in high school and bullied a lot…to be in an environment where I was accepted definitely saved me.These two experiences completely impacted my life as they were my therapy. They got me through really shitty times and I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for these moments.

How would you describe your art? 

I started out in photography and have always done abstract photo & video work, but music has always been in my soul. So for the past five years, I’ve been creating abstract/experimental music and exploring sound through synths, field recordings, and sound objects.There are so many unknowns in where I am heading in "my sound," but I think that's my enjoyment – the explorations, the accidents, the finding myself through sound. 

How would you describe your broadcasts? 

A space for sonic aesthetics that invite listeners to immerse themselves in a process of active imagining. In short, it's a show that won't always play tracks that are easy listening, but that's kind of the point. It's a show meant for the audience to focus on the micro sounds, the sonic textures, the in-between moments, allowing time to escape.

What steps do you take to prepare for a broadcast?

I research the artist and track/album as much as I can before. I want to give the story behind the artist and the concept behind the music. There is always a story and that is what radio shows used to do for me. Growing up, I would hear the backgrounds of the artist and album or even what moved the radio host. These days you only hear shout outs and what labels artists are on, but there's a disconnect. I want people to find deeper connections. Every time I research an artist, I feel like I'm connecting with their work in a more intimate way.

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