On Wednesday, 17 January 2024, art turned 1,000,061 years old. This was celebrated all over the world. In Bratislava, for example, with a Fujara ensemble (the beak flute traditionally played by shepherds in Slovakia), and in Lausanne, with the Kazakh-Turkish vocal artist Saadett Türköz. CiTR Vancouver celebrated with 24 hours of Radio Art, a curated programme of radio art running for 24 hours.
Art's Birthday is an international, decentralised festival that takes place annually on 17 January. Artists, cultural organisations, radio stations, art spaces and other initiatives join together to form a network that connects the individual birthday celebrations. Kunstradio and a dozen other radio art programmes in Europe and beyond are involved in the Ars Acustica group. Every Art's Birthday, this group hijacks the channels of the European Broadcasting Union and floods them with radio art, usually live from the various parties. These birthday presents can be taken over by the radio stations, re-broadcast and individually processed. Antwerp, Geneva, Ljubljana, Belgrade, Stockholm, Graz, Madrid, and many other places were connected in this way.
This year, Kunstradio celebrated at the Echoraum in Vienna with “Blöder Dritter Mittwoch”, (“Stupid Third Wednesday”). This is the name of a series of events for avant-garde performance and experimental music that takes place every third Wednesday of the month, often at different venues - this time Art's Birthday coincided with such a Stupid Third Wednesday. Hosted by performer Anat Stainberg, the evening began with a performance by Elisabeth Flunger and Inge Kaindlstorfer entitled "Paper & Metal". One artist wore an outfit made of cardboard, the other handled paper and then pieces of metal, including metal tape measures. Later, the duo Martin Siewert and Reinhold Friedl presented their new CD "Lichtung" in a concert..
Kunstradio’s contribution to the Ars Acustica network that evening was the performance by Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist Theresa Stroetges alias Golden Disko Ship with her latest release "Oval Sun Patch". Her unconventional pop sound is enriched with influences from club culture and electronic music and is beat-driven, playful, atmospheric and full of anthemic passages.
And what do you do when you come home after a decent party? You listen to other parties - thanks to the time difference, some of them haven't even started yet and the celebrations go on for hours around the world. The website artsbirthday.net provides a mesh tool for party hopping. Anyone can enter their event here and provide links to live streams. You can not only listen to these streams individually, but also simultaneously; you can mix them yourself and indulge in the cacophony of the networked party.