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Published 28 Sep 2023


min read

Future Artefacts FM on The Couch

Future Artefacts FM is an artist-run programme that supports artists working with both sound and fiction, culminating in a programme of radio shows, workshops and live events. Founded and hosted by artists Nina Davies and Niamh Schmidtke in 2021, Future Artefacts FM began when show hosts started making sound works that didn’t fit into traditional art spaces. Their works dealt with imagined futures in the form of a radio play and a fictional podcast. At just over 15 minutes long, Nina and Niamh were certain these works would never see the light of day in a gallery.

Future Artefacts FM takes the form of a bi-monthly radio show, with Radio Thamesmead, and features 10–15 minute original works by a selected artists, usually in the form of a radio play, short story, fictional podcast or soundscape. The work is followed by a 40 minute conversation between hosts Nina and Niamh. Each episode includes a bespoke soundtrack created by artist Joe Moss whose practice also works with fiction and John Trevaskis who works at Penguin Books Podcasts. The show is produced with the help of Flo Lines from Radio Thamesmead.

The Couch will play host to Future Artefacts FM for four special episodes. We feel that the topics Nina and Niamh and their guests deal with – fiction, sound as a vehicle for worldbuilding, and alternative technological futures – fit intimately with the questions we at The Couch are asking ourselves.

About Episode 1

For this episode, Nina and Niamh bring back artists Rebeca Romero (Ep.3) and Akinsola Lawanson (Ep.7) together with Couch curator Maia Kenney to discuss magic and technology within their works and research. Romero’s exploration of trance in The New Worshipers and Lawanson’s spirit world in Bosode each examine the intersections of these themes, how they influence each other, and how magic in the present might influence technological futures.

Hear Romero, Lawanson, Kenney, and of course your hosts, examine how our relationship to talismans, phones, and worldbuilding can be more entangled than you might think. Collectively we consider the materiality of known and unknown worlds, the politics of witchcraft and what ethics might be necessary before engaging in scientific fact and mystical forces.



Nina Davies is a Canadian/British artist who considers the present moment through observing dance in popular culture; how it's disseminated, circulated, made, and consumed. She recently graduated from Goldsmiths MFA Fine Art where she was awarded the Almacantar Studio Award and the Goldsmiths Junior Fellowship position. Her work has recently been exhibited and shown at Transmediale, AdK, Berlin; Seventeen, London; Matt’s Gallery, Mattflix program; Circa x Dazed Class of 2022, Piccadilly Lights in London, Limes in Berlin, K-Pop Square in Seoul, Fed Square, Melbourne; Overmorrow House, Battle; and Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Hawick. https://www.ninadavies.net/info

Niamh Schmidtke (she/they b.1997, Dublin) explores the political complications of ‘being green’ by cultivating conversations with the environment, through speculation, audio, ceramics and installations. They examine the relationship between listening and speaking, to consider the kinds of voices that deep time, the sea, or humans could have with one another. These relations critique the utopia of renewable energies, drawing attention to the financial origins of climate crises and examine intimacy as a form of decolonial praxis for the future. They are currently working on commissions for Science Gallery International in Berlin, and the Hunt Museum in Ireland. They completed their MFA at Goldsmiths, London with a First Class Honours in 2021 and hold a Fine Art Honours BA from Limerick School of Art and Design (2019). https://www.niamhschmidtke.com/ 


Joe Moss makes work with a vast appetite for pre-existing cultural and material references. Connected by the logic of collage, Moss’ works weave together the contemporary logics of a variety of fictions, examining cultural threads from high-fantasy to streetwear with entertaining and slightly sinister results. Moss’ diverse output ranges from solo presentations to radio production to collaborative exhibition-making. Recent projects include Model Village at NN Contemporary, Homegrown on the Hauser & Wirth website, residencies at Eastcheap Projects UK and Stokkoyart Norway, and The London Bronze Editions Foundry Fellowship. Moss graduated with a BA from Central Saint Martins in 2015, spent three years on the Conditions Studio Programme between 2019 and 2022 and is currently enrolled on the MFA programme at the Slade. https://joemoss.co.uk/.

John Trevaskis is a filmmaker, composer and producer based in South East London. John's work has won Webby, D&AD and Design Week awards, and been featured across national and international broadcast media with talent including Barack Obama, Paul McCartney, Bernardine Evaristo and Marcus Rashford.

Episode participants

Rebeca Romero is an interdisciplinary artist born in Peru and based in London. Through a range of media that includes sculpture, ceramics, textiles, sound, performance and video, she explores concepts of diasporic identity, truth, fiction, and their relationship to the digital age. Often combining Pre-Columbian iconography with advanced scanning and printing technologies and materials ranging from clay to plastic, her works swing drastically between the past and an alternate future.

Akinsola Lawanson is a British-Nigerian multidisciplinary artist living and working in London. He works in moving images, installations and video-game engines in projects that examine  relational systems, digital technologies and process philosophy. Akinsola’s video works are inspired by the alt-Nollywood movement, which borrows narrative, stylistic and visual conventions of Nollywood but with politically subversive ends.

Maia Kenney is the curator and editor of The Couch. She’s also an art historian specialised in the feminist underpinnings of modernist art movements (and a proponent of the destruction of Modernism as a Eurocentric storytelling device), and moonlights as a tutor at Design Academy Eindhoven.