WePresent and Seb Emina present Wild Memory Radio

The audiovisual experience captures memories of creative enlightenment, recorded by artists including Laurie Anderson, Rick Owens and Gilbert & George

LONDON - 5 MARCH, 2024 - WePresent, the arts platform of WeTransfer, releases its new commission titled Wild Memory Radio created in collaboration with editor and writer Seb Emina (The Happy Reader, Global Breakfast Radio, Fantastic Man). Initiated during the pandemic, the multi year-long project is a digital archive of formative memories from leading creative, cultural and artistic figures. It is available exclusively on WePresent at https://wild-memory-radio.wetransfer.com

Conceived at a time when travel was impossible, Wild Memory Radio offers a captivating exploration into the concept of 'sense of place.’ Through recorded memories shared in the form of short monologues, captured in interviews by Emina, each contributor paints a vivid picture of a specific location, a time, and emotion, that changed them in some way or has had a lasting impact on their work. The over 30 contributors span various disciplines – photographers, writers, musicians, dancers, designers and astrophysicists – including Rick Owens, Nadya Tolokonnikova, Lisa Taddeo, Leanne Shapton, Katerina Jebb, Francesca Hayward, Kayo Chingonyi, Carlo Rovelli, Gilbert & George, Gruff Rhys, Hans Ulrich Obist, and Ryan Gander.

For example, Devendra Banhart considers his nostalgia towards the health food stores he would visit with his mother in Venezuela. Caleb Azumah Nelson reflects on being lost at sea, alone, on a paddleboard in Spain. Laurie Anderson describes the kitchen of an Amish farmhouse in Pennsylvania, where she sought creative refuge away from technology.

WeTransfer Studio turned these recordings into an audiovisual experience by feeding fragments of interviews into the AI software DALL-E to produce the accompanying imagery. The creative use of artificial intelligence to design the experience plays on the idea of AI as the internet’s own flawed memory - highly specific in some ways and eerily vague in others - as it paints an approximation of the location described in front of the viewer’s eyes.

Seb Emina, editor and writer, said: “I was thrilled when WePresent invited me to develop something with them, given how they‘re one of a tiny number of platforms who take on creative experiments like this in a really ambitious way. Wild Memory Radio takes some long-running preoccupations of mine, like the relationship between place and art, and runs them through the minds of a group of artists I deeply respect. To speak to them in a way that gets at something formative and essential about their practice was a privilege. To give it this sort of machine-eye edge adds a strange and illuminating dimension to the project. My dream is that a few people will seek out the places remembered and listen to them in situ.

Holly Fraser, VP, Content at WeTransfer, said: “As the cultural torchbearer to WeTransfer, the team at WePresent scours the globe for original ideas that showcase where and how creativity lives today. When Seb approached us with the idea of creating a sort of online museum, we felt it was a unique opportunity to gain intimate access to the formative memories of so many of the world’s beloved artists, which in turn allowed us to understand their creative processes more fully. And at a time when the discourse around AI, creativity and originality is so fractious, we wanted to create a project that looked at that in a layered and more thoughtful way, one that added to the project’s creativity as opposed to detracting from it, before sharing that stance with WeTransfer’s audience of 80 million users.”

WeTransfer’s support of Wild Memory Radio is testament to the platform’s championing of creators all around the world. Through its commissioning arm WePresent, the platform has established itself as a creative partner to some of the world’s most talented artists across music, film photography and more.

Full list of contributing artists:

Alexis Taylor, musician
Remembering Parkland Walk, London

Ali Banisadr, artist
Remembering a house in Tehran, Iran

Andrew Bird, musician
Remembering a parking garage at the Fine Arts Building, Chicago

Athi-Patra Ruga, artist
Remembering the Lovedale Press in Alice, South Africa

Caleb Azumah Nelson, writer
Remembering the sea near Andalusia

Carlo Rovelli, physicist
Remembering the beach at Condofuri, Italy

Devendra Banhart, musician
Remembering a health food store in Caracas, Venezuela

Francesca Hayward, ballet dancer
Remembering her mirror at the Royal Opera House, London

Gilbert & George, artist duo
Remembering the Market Cafe in Spitalfields, London

Gruff Rhys, musician
Remembering a unit in the Morgan Arcade, Cardiff

Hans Ulrich Obrist, curator
Remembering Café de Flore, Paris

Himali Singh Soin, artist
Remembering a post office in Antarctica

Igor Furtado, photographer
Remembering a pair of processions in Belem, Brasil

Ishion Hutchinson, poet
Remembering the library behind Lady Musgrave Market, Jamaica

Jimbo Mathus, musician
Remembering the Sack N Save parking lot in Starkville, Mississippi

Johny Pitts, photographer and broadcaster
Remembering Wing Takanawa West shopping mall, Tokyo

Kaitlin Chan, illustrator
Remembering a bench in Treviso, Italy

Katerina Jebb, artist
Remembering a hospital trolley bed in Paris

Kayo Chingonyi, poet
Remembering a dance floor at a nightclub in Sheffield

Laurie Anderson, artist
Remembering the kitchen of an Amish farmhouse

Leanne Shapton, artist
Remembering a field in Mississauga, Toronto

Lisa Taddeo, author
Remembering an attic in Topanga Canyon

Louise Chen, DJ
Remembering the central bus terminal in Luxembourg

Nadya Tolokonnikova, musician and activist
Remembering Lenfilm Studio in Saint Petersburg, Russia

Olgaç Bozalp, photographer
Remembering the ancient city of Petra

Rick Owens, fashion designer
Remembering a condo in the Lido

Ryan Gander, artist
Remembering a garage in Chester, England

Sabine Mirlesse, artist
Remembering Eldfell, an Icelandic volcano

Warren Ellis, musician
Remembering a rubbish dump in Ballarat, Australia

Yuri Suzuki, artist
Remembering a nightclub beneath London Bridge Station


About WeTransfer
WeTransfer, the most creative platform for sharing ideas, makes it easy for creative professionals and creators to share and distribute content, and collaborate with teams. With an average of 80 million monthly active users in 190 countries, WeTransfer is a certified B Corporation™ and a long-time champion of using business as a force for good. Since its founding in 2009, the company has donated up to 30% of its advertising real estate to raise awareness for artists, creative work, and the world’s most pressing issues. In 2021, it launched the Supporting Act Foundation to support emerging artists through bursaries and grants.

About WePresent
WePresent is WeTransfer’s arts platform, acting as the company’s cultural torchbearer to a monthly audience of approximately 3 million in 190 countries. Collaborating with emerging young talent to renowned artists such as Marina Abramović, Riz Ahmed, FKA twigs or David Sedaris, WePresent showcases the best in art, photography, film, music, literature and more, championing diversity in everything it does. The platform’s commissions range from editorial features to films, illustrations, photography series, events, and exhibitions, with an aim to offer a fresh take on the magic and mystery of creative ideas. WePresent were the commissioners and Executive Producers of the acclaimed short film 'The Long Goodbye' by actor and musician Riz Ahmed and director Aneil Karia, which won an Oscar in 2022 for Best Live Action Short Film.

About Seb Emina
Seb Emina creates projects spanning literature, art, publishing and technology. He was editor in chief of ‘The Happy Reader’ magazine until its final issue in June of 2023, and has lately launched the literary newsletter Read Me. With Silvia Guerra he is co-curator of Five Radio Stations, a series of artworks that are also radio stations, funded by Lab’Bel. With Daniel John Jones, he’s co-creator of Infraordinary FM (2023), a radio station offering news of commonplace happenings around the world; and Global Breakfast Radio (2014), aggregating real radio from wherever the sun is rising. His book The Breakfast Bible, a breakfasters’ compendium, was published by Bloomsbury in 2013. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Gentlewoman, The Times Literary Supplement, Fantastic Man, the Guardian, the FT, and others.