Catalogue Text by Heidi Grundmann

This essay is strongly influenced (as is the, in no way complete, selection of audio works for the Re-Play exhibition) by personal encounters I had as a radio journalist reporting on international visual arts and on artists who, during the 1970's, not only gave interviews but also increasingly provided original sound-works for the radio. It is also influenced by the rediscovery of tapes, records and cassettes which artists pressed into my hands somewhere in the world, sent to Vienna or brought with them on visits to this city, which, especially for artists from North America, was then at the end of the (western) world. In Vienna itself a new generation of artists who also felt themselves to be on the outskirts of their own society, attempted to overcome the traumatic isolation of the generation before them and, propelled by the liberating blows of actionism, started to work with and within the technologies of a new era. Together with gallery-owners, curators and theorists, they made serious efforts to position themselves and their work in the international discourse about the changing concepts of art. By the second half of the 70's, Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz had become important locations on the circuit of international Performance Art - one of the most relevant currents in art at the time.

The audio part of Re-Play is articulated in a spectrum of media (1). It is not about the many efforts throughout the twentieth century to extend the sound range in music (right up to the all-encompassing white noise or the shocking absence and surprising richness of silence). Nor is it dealing with considerations of refining, sensitizing, differentiating, and ecologising hearing within an acustic environment determined by media and machines, or with the ever new discovery of the human voice and its medial disembodiment and the many possible metamorphoses and states of language. It is also not about "Klangkunst"(2), which has been recently defined as an independent discipline, "going beyond the limits of the music genre" and simultaneously adressing the eye and the ear (the part meant for the ears sounds suspiciously like music). The real theme of the audio part of Re-Play is rather concerned with issues of sound as media art.

You would think it would be a simple matter to delve into the archives, especially those of a national radio institution, and pick out those sound-recordings which were milestones of a developing differentiation in media art. Perhaps this is the case at the WDR (West German Radio) in Cologne but not at the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corp.) in Austria. Austrian composers and writers who, from the fifties onwards, tried to bring their work into the context of international developments, had to leave Austria and go to places such as Cologne or Paris where the public radio institutions saw it as one of their tasks to make their production and often also their broadcasting facilities available to those who were working on the development of radiophonic art forms such as musique concrete, electronic music and later the Neues Hörspiel (hoerspiel). The Tyrolean composer Bert Breit, who spent some time in Paris in 1951/52, became one of the few who had access to an Austrian radio studio.(3). He found a congenial partner in the sound engineer Walter Sommer. Thus, at Radio Tirol in Innsbruck, the first Austrian taped compositions and radiophonic pieces were created as far back as the late forties and early fifties. Any trace of them was, literally, erased long ago.

Collaboration, and partly co-authorship, between technicians and artists was and is one of the most important production forms in the field of art and technology and led among other things to the new form of artist-engineer. Within Austrian radio, continuous cooperation between sound engineers and artists did not start until the end of the eighties. Apart from radio, innovative technical developments had already taken place in the sixties and seventies in similar co-operations at the music universities in Graz, Salzburg and Vienna and in some very rare cases in the private studios of composers. However these developments and inventions have yet to be documented.

Although not continuous, the virtual boycott of the Neues Hörspiel by the Austrian National Radio at the end of the sixties and beyond meant that there was no focused discussion about this important interdisciplinary development to which Austrian authors made an essential contribution through productions which they were able to make in the studios of federal German public radio and which, in Cologne, finally led to the development of an Ars Acustica.

Gerhard Rühm postulated from his practice in German radio studios: "The Neues Hörspiel no longer represents a primarily literary form, in which a basic plot is illustrated acoustically, but rather in a general sense, a hearing experience in which all acoustic phenomena, whether they be sounds, words or noises, are equal in principle: they become available material. The equality of the acoustic phenomena annuls the border between literature and music"

It was not until 1980, in a perspective compiled by Rühm at the second Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, that the development of radiophonic poetry and the Neues Hörspiel were finally presented in Austria in a compact way. The eight-hour long programme could be called-up on Hörinseln (listening Islands) all over the city as well as on a poetry telephone. (4)


Access to the production and broadcasting possibilities of National Public Radio was, incidentally, also important for the development of media art in general and that of video art in particular: Nam June Paik said in an interview with Douglas Davis: "I began as a traditional composer, as you know; then I went from Japan to Germany in 1958, to work at the electronic music studio in Cologne. I met John Cage there. He was a great influence. Also, if you work every day in a radio station, as I did in Cologne, the same place where television people are working, if you work with all kinds of electronic equipment producing sound, it’s natural that you think that the same thing might apply to video". (5) The rest of the story is known and also that the problem of gaining access to communication technology has remained virulent.

"Technologically, video has evolved out of sound ... the video camera bears a closer original relation to the microphone than to the film camera", emphasizes Bill Viola(6), and continues:" Synaesthesia is the natural inclination of the structure of contemporary media. The material that produces music from a stereo sound system, transmits the voice over the telephone and materialises the image on a television set is, at the base level, the same. With the further implementation of digital codes ... there will be an even more extensive common linguistic root."

Those Austrian artists who, at the end of the sixties and beginning of the seventies conceived and partly realised their first media art projects for video and/or audio-tape recorders, were fully aware of the structural similarities of audio and video technology. The new home technologies that were crowding onto the market made it possible for the first time to produce works outside the institutions. However, the possibility to broadcast remained very limited. A common argument against the broadcasting of TV as well as radio works produced using the new home technologies, was their presumed lack of "broadcast quality". (Very similar arguments were used at the end of the nineties with reference to Real Audio on the internet). At the end of the sixties/beginning of the seventies, both in radio and on television of a reformed Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF), it was the editorial teams of youth programs who, following alternative art-, culture-, and thus media concepts, occasionally (and against opposition) also allowed artists access to their programmes. In these programmes the conflict between artistic and socio-political media work, which was to last for some time to come and was not only in Austria very much alive in the seventies, was partly bridged. However, both Peter Weibel and Lugus report that even the young radio producers who were considered to be very critical of the system at the time, did not (or could not), in the end, broadcast some of the artists' works.

While Nam June Paik had been able to present for the first time the realization of his dream of a portable combination of electronic TV and video tape recorder as early as 1965 at the Cafe A Go Go in New York’s Bleeker Street, for Hermann J. Hendrich in Vienna, there was just as much reason to celebrate when he was finally in possession of a stereo-magnetophone with microphones in 1966. In 1967, he was able to create a stereo tape-montage which he combined with a live voice for the opening of the Werkstatt Breitenbrunn (an artist run space East of Vienna). Soon after that he realised an "acoustic environment" in various rooms of a castle. In some of the rooms, everyday situations (card games, readings from old cookery books etc.) were staged while different texts were played simultaneously via loudspeakers into every room. At the end of the action the same song by the Fucks was played from all tape-recorders.

"Demonstration 2, 1968: A beautiful piece of work which has unfortunately become unrepeatable. I put endless tapes on three tape recorders. The duration of the loops had been edited in the relation of primary numbers, each of them carrying a combination of words divided into noun, verb and adverb. At the demonstration, a very large number of complete sentences resulted which would have repeated themselves only after days of demonstration." At the Multimediale 1 at the Galerie Junge Generation in Vienna’s Blutgasse in 1969, four magnetophones which Hendrich got hold of played an equally important role as the transportable (not yet portable) video recorder-system which the artists had borrowed. "For the project Multimediale 1..I designed a rotating tape-work for the entrance area. This was done via four magnetophones and the same number of loudspeakers placed in the corners of the room. A tape-loop containing a sound-event I had produced myself, was fed over the four magnetophones. Thus the sound rotated from one corner to the other and moved in a circle around the listeners." Hendrich’s Raumton (Spatial Sound) took place in turn with the live video actions showing the visitors coming into the gallery. Between the lines of all the stories about and the rather confusing documentation of the legendary Multimediale 1 one can read what enormous efforts were made on the part of the artists to develop and test the first prototypes for important future media works — including the prototype for an interactive installation(7), whose whistling sounds triggered by the visitors were so penetrating that the neighbours complained: they, as well as the artists came to realize that sound can not only take up a huge amount of space, but can also penetrate beyond the space of art into all kinds of public and private spaces thereby causing strongly defensive reactions.


VALIE EXPORT was to have the same experience in 1979 when she, together with Heidulf Gerngross and Helmut Richter, created a Tonmonument within the series Künstlerschaufenster (artists’ shop windows) in Graz. Her "Sound Momument" bridged the river Mur via huge loudspeakers emitting belching noises. "The windows of the town on both sides of the river are yelling at each other with the help of loudspeakers. The choice of the 'belching' sound manifests the aesthetic organization"(8). The project had to be abandoned.

Wolfgang Ernst remained within the walls of the gallery with his early sound works e.g. with his "Projekt Tonraum" (sound space project) in 1968 where it was up to the visitors to generate the sound themselves. "At least 5 photoelectric beams with a tape recorder. The audience creates the acoustics itself." Or the piece Glasscorner (halogen, glass shards, neon light, tape recorder) from 1969. In 1970, at the Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Ernst dealt with the essential time difference between the real rush of a river and its medial representation, between a real flow, our idea of it and its medial image.(9) "To amplify the sound of the river until it is silent". This instruction which struggles both against the fleetingness of the reproduction of a recorded sound and the impossibility of its own execution was first printed in the catalogue and engraved on steel in 1980. The sound of the project was recorded in 1970 in Berlin on a discarded tape recorder.

In Graz, in 1973, in an exhibition in which he examined the media Live, Video, Sound, Polaroid, Richard Kriesche succeeded in developing and refining Hendrichs’ prototype of "Raumton" (space sound, 1969) so impressively by transforming the room itself into the object of the recording, that in 1979, the young "Herr Lugus" from Graz created his own complex sound installations at The Kitchen in New York and in Stuttgart as a homage to Kriesche's piece.(10)

Like most other Austrian media artists, it was only on rare occasions that Kriesche worked expressly with the sound medium. But in projects, symposia and exhibitions which he partly organised together with Peter Gerwin Hoffmann, and which created space for the activities of other artists and, in some exemplary works,(11) of non-artists, there was certainly also room for the discussion of sound and audio technologies. The approach of Kriesche and Hoffmann, who tried to define sculptural space primarily as a social space that is co-determined by the new technologies and in which also artists must accept responsibility, influenced several generations of Graz artists, including musicians. In their turn, they played an important and independent role in the telecommunication art of the eighties and nineties.(12) In 1971 Peter Gerwin Hoffmann designed a project for the public space, Klangbäume (trees of sound) which was meant to sensitize rather than to provoke.

Kriesche's and Hoffmann's attitude of exploring and representing an institutionalized, administered public space (and they included the space of media in this notion) for and together with the other inhabitants/users of this space also defines the media projects the two Graz artists worked on together. Thus, they stood in strong contrast to the provocative attitude of the post-actionistic Viennese media artists.

Gottfried Bechtold, from Vorarlberg, occupied a special position among the Austrian media artists. Very early on, he recognized the fascination of telephone and wireless transmitting technologies and therefore also the sculptural space of being in several places at once. At the very beginning, there were drawings of a telephone with the respective telephone number "here this valence of the traditional medium drawing and the valence of the medium information, taking the form of the number, collided violently with each other. As a result, radicalized works developed, e.g. I actually made tape recordings of conversational structures and performance-like or actionistic works which were in fact telephone calls... It is a fascinating idea: any person in the world can call you or you can call any person in the world...that should keep a sculptor busy his whole life, just considering the function of space".(13)

Besides his well known works at the Documenta 6 in Kassel (100 Tage Präsenz/100 days present: The location of the artist at any one time was announced via the the public announcement-system in the Fridericianum) and at Edinburgh(14), Bechtold connected the media telephone and radio several times, e.g. in 1980, on Diagonal, a programme on the Austrian culture-channel Österreich1, in which he broadcast conversations with people whose telephone numbers he picked at random.

A new type of artist who considered language, light, music, photography, video and sound as material and medium became known also in Austria in the person of Italian artist Maurizio Nannucci through events which curator Peter Weiermair dedicated to visual poetry and conceptual art in Innsbruck at the end of the sixties. In addition to the media of artists' books and artists' records Nannucci, at an early stage, also integrated such production- and distribution possibilities as audio- (and video-) tape, the computer and, as a matter of course, radio, into his work. In 1970 Nannucci also took part in the Internationalen Malerwochen (international painters’ weeks) in Graz, In the same year his computer concert, which he had developed in 1968 while a member of a collective in Pisa that had access to a General Electric 115, were broadcast in Graz along with examples of his sound poetry. In 1974, on the occasion of an exhibition in Graz, his radio work World Symphony which he had created in 1971 was broadcast in Austria: Nannucci had asked six national radio stations (seeing these as being an intercontinental structure of recording and reproducing machines) on all continents to each send him 15 minutes of environmental sound. He layered these sounds on top of one another for his World Symphony. His work Parole from 1976 is even better known. Nannucci, in the role of a radio reporter, asked passers-by to speak the first word that came into their heads onto his portable tape-recorder. "Parole" was published as a record, as a cassette and was broadcast many times on the radio. Nannucci who was active as a member of various collectives (following a distinctive, politically-motivated trend, more strongly defined in Italy than in Austria at the time), not only produced his own records, tapes and books but, in Florence in 1974, together with other artists, founded the Zona Archiv, a non-profit organisation which still "studies and records contemporary art." In 1975, Zona presented alternative publishers including Austrian ones. In 1977, a phonotheque with audio works by artists was presented as an installation which in the meantime, as one could also see in 1997 in Bregenz (15), has grown into an extensive collection of sound works by visual artists. Nannucci sees his collection of works by other artists as an activity against "fragmentation and dissolution, against alienation and forgetting...". Even before this, Nannucci had used the record as an adequate medium for anthologies of sound poetry, among other things with the works of Ernst Jandl.

For the exclusively Austrian exhibition Kunst aus Sprache (art made from language), which took place in 1975 in the Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts in Vienna , succeeding the international exhibitions on visual/concrete poetry and Conceptual Art which Peter Weiermair had shown at the end of the sixties and beginning of the seventies, Peter Weibel listed several Hörstücke von 1967—1974 in a catalogue of works. "These listening pieces are partly documented on video, as the construction of the texts is based on certain principles (mostly loops) from audiotape-installations i.e. the audio pieces extend themselves into spatial dimensions of sculpture (a process which has already been initiated by the stereo technology)."(16) These listening pieces were well placed within the context of the exhibition Kunst aus Sprache, as they were embedded in a tradition developed for example by Gerhard Rühm also for the radio or in a playful way and detached from the worries of actual implementation. In 1975 e.g. Rühm wrote the following instruction: "Throw a high clear sound out the window and send it around the world. Wait until it returns backwards through the door- enriched with all the other sounds it met on its way. Allow yourself to be hurled to the ground by this sound"(17)

In the magazine werkstatt aspekt 3 published with the title die medien als instrumente zur erhaltung des status quo (media as instruments for preserving the status quo), Hendrich and Weibel commented on the well-known text by Laszlo Moholy Nagy (also published) Neue Gestaltung in der Musik. Möglichkeiten des Grammophons (New designs in music. Possibilities for the gramophone), a text that Douglas Kahn considers an important early proposal for a phonographic art that detaches itself from the primacy of the visual: "Moholy Nagy made explicit proposals for experimentation with sound, film and, by stating that sound should be experimented with apart and prior to its integration with the visual images, effectively proposed a phonographic art."(18)

Weibel, in his consideration of the shift in the relation between representation and reality inherent in recording technologies, continued to equate visual and audio media. "Reality, (i.e. the real musicians, instruments, landscapes, women and men, objects etc.) has up to now been considered as conditio sine qua non of representation, as the first link in the chain of re-presentations and -formations. TV and record are the first shortenings in this chain. Not only are intermediary links left out, even the first link can be done is left to a philosophy of technology to transform the direct changes of reality as well as the changes of material-states into new concepts by finding new interpretations of symbol processing. For art purposes it will do for now to point to the epistemological value of the record and the video recorder."(19)

It was finally a work with the by then much more accessible and easier to manipulate tape recorder with whose help Weibel created his Bachkomposition, in which he again took up the theme of the change in the functions of representation. In this piece, Weibel changed the speed of the recording of the rush of a stream and proved that this sound became more and more like itself as the speed was reduced. When the tape was speeded up it lost its representational function towards an undefined white noise. In 1978, Weibel added an explanation - spoken in his own voice - to the broadcast of this piece on the Austrian National Radio (ORF), after which he had the piece broadcast once again: in this way, with his Bachkomposition he managed to hold up the usual irreversible flow of radio-programs.

The record — which had already become a mass medium at the beginning of the century — was so omnipresent in the art of the sixties and beginning of the seventies, partly thanks to the strong relation of Fluxus to musical forms and the tendencies towards de-materialisation of Conceptual Art, that Germano Celant defined it as being a medium in itself by including it into the title of his book Offmedia. Nuove Techniche Artistiche: Video Disco Libro(20). Hand in hand with his work on this book which took several years (from 1971 on) he built up a record collection that finally, in the exhibition The Record as Artwork: From Futurism to Conceptual Art,(21) did the rounds of various international museums(22)


"In line with the reductive theories of the period, the record contributes to the isolation of one component of art work — sound — while on the other hand it enriches the array of linguistic tools available for the task of exploding the specifically visual, and pushing back the limits of the art process", writes Germano Celant both in his book Offmedia and in the introduction to the catalogue for his exhibition. In both publications Celant not only presents the history of the record as a work of art but also, starting with the phonetic poems from the end of the nineteenth century, the history of sound and art in general, a history which is also that of visual, concrete and audio poetry, or of Performance Art, of musique concrete and other developments in music, of Ars Acustica, of Radio Art, of Telecommunication Art and of Video Art.

Another important stage in the presentation of the record as a work of art, the exhibition Broken Music — Artists' Recordworks compiled by Ursula Block and Michael Glasmeier in 1988, explicitly referred to the work of the Czech artist Milan Knizak. Knizak , as far back as the early sixties, broke records into pieces (and thus also their claim to the museum-like preservation of masterpieces and the great moments of music). He then reassembled the pieces into new record-objects which were perfectly playable: "By playing them over which destroyed the needle and often the record players too an entirely new music was created. Unexpected, nerve-racking, aggressive. Compositions lasting a second or almost infinitely long as then the needle got stuck in a deep groove and played the same phrase over and over again. I developed this system further. I began sticking tapes over records, painting over them, burning them, cutting them up and gluing parts of different records back together, etc. to achieve the widest possible variety of sounds. ..."(23) That Knizak, this important European exponent of the Fluxus movement (and among other things forerunner of scratching and sampling), was not present in Austria can only be partly attributed to the iron curtain. Fluxus left only occasional contemporary traces in Austria (in particular in the Galerie nächst St. Stephan, where Beuys and Henning Christiansen gave "concerts" at the end of the sixties) and only very slightly, and in a very Austrian way, did it flow into the work of, for example, the actionists. However, for the artist and person Milan Knizak Austria became an indelibly engraved memory - in the form of a one-month stay in a Viennese prison. In prison, among other things, a performance, whose "score" has been preserved on paper, took place in the artist’s mind.

Knizak’s concept of a destroyed or broken music(24) can also be seen as a forerunner of many attempts to combat the strong tendency towards the musicalisation of sound. The noisician G. X. Jupitter Larsen used the phrase in 1983 for his regular several-hour-long radio show on CFRO-FM, Vancouver "to describe his dedicated attempt to remove any trace of music from the sound".(25)

Once the audio-cassette appeared on the market, even artists whose works were released on record, liked to fall back on to this medium, which was fast, cheap and handy, and did not demand a mediating infrastructure. It allowed, with little effort, the production of just the required number of copies necessary to simply send works off by mail. In this way, for example, works by Lawrence Weiner that were originally released on record, as well as his radio piece Need To Know(26) reached the cultural department of the Austrian National Radio on cassette. From 1976 on, the culture department produced a completely new kind of radio programme on the visual arts. This new programme with the title "Kunst heute" (art today) did not consist of a tour of exhibitions in the form of written reviews read aloud, instead it dealt with international trends, events and cultural political questions concerning visual art using the journalistic methods of the current-affairs radio feature. In this programme excerpts from cassettes of artists’ works were soon being played and in 1977 a regular spot Kunst zum Hören (art for listening) was introduced. Often, the works which were not always easily accessible to the listeners, were contextualised by interviews with the artists.

The first programme in the series Kunst zum Hören in 1977 was dedicated to The Labyrinth Scored for the Purrs of 11 Different Cats by Terry Fox, a taped work in complex connection to the artist’s year-long occupation with the labyrinth in the cathedral of Chartres. It had been broadcast at its full length of 95 minutes on the Californian channel KPFA-FM. The artist used the labyrinth as a score and recorded the purring of a different cat for each of the eleven concentric circles that the pilgrim has to walk to reach the centre. The montage of the purrings according to the labyrinth resulted in a work that, like the labyrinth itself, has a very strong meditative effect. Terry Fox who, in the seventies, repeatedly visited Europe from California (later, from New York) and who in the meantime lives in Europe, mostly works without technology. He considers himself a sculptor and as such deals with space and with the real time in this space. Sound is a characteristic of space in time.

In 1977, Terry Fox — one of the early representatives of Performance Art, Body Art, Sound Sculpture — gave an interview which, from a very personal point of view, tells a lot about the point of departure and transformation of Performance Art, sound and media in the seventies:(27)

Terry Fox:

"What is now called a live performance did not have a name, I mean any kind of a name. Like the very first ones I did it was just the title of a piece and people came, but there was no critical tag on it and I think it was Willoughby (Sharp) who put the tag on, but I am not sure who invented the term Body Art. But it was called that for two or three years and then it became Performance Art and I don`t know who put that title on either. I think it is a very bad title but I’d say, from 1973 on it was called performance.

I can only say where my own work came from, but that was a long process. It was a three year process to actually come to a stage where I did a performance in front of an audience. It came from being a sculptor living in Paris in 68 and witnessing direct confrontations and direct meetings between people that did not have the media to translate. It was a person-to-person situation. And then moving back to San Francisco, I did street theatre for a year and then all the time making my own sculptures which were dealing with water and fire and wind. And finally my last piece I did with fire was a live piece about the Vietnam war at the Berkeley Art Museum where I destroyed all the jasmin plants in front of the museum with a flame thrower. And that was the last sort of sculpture and also the first performance, because there were maybe two or three hundred people there. It was an opening. And from that moment I started doing things in front of people. Which for me at the time was creating my sculptures in front of people. Instead of staying home in my studio creating a sculpture and then letting the sculpture go into another context I wanted to become responsible for the context of my work. So I performed my work, that was actually what I was doing.

And I know that at the same time Vito (Acconci) in New York was a poet and was giving readings and since these readings already were live in front of an audience - I know that his first performance was a reading where he walked from his apartment to the place where the reading was held and every block that he walked he phoned in to the place and they put it on speakers and he announced: `now I am on 42nd street` and described the situation. And of course he never made it in time to give an actual reading. That was his reading. And it was a sort of a performance. And I know that his performance evolved very organically out of readings and mine also evolved organically out of my work.

It is just my own theory that one of the reasons that Performance Art evolved in the United States when it did was because of the Vietnam war. The climate in the United States then was a lack of trust in the media, because they were continually every day giving body counts, you know - 200,000 Vietnamese dead and two American soldiers and everybody knew of course it was the opposite. At least in the art community, among the people I knew there was a terrible distrust of media. And I think one of the reasons why Performance Art evolved was the idea that there is no media in between. You did not even use electronic media. You didn`t use tape recorders or video. You could record it on video but the whole idea of performance was that it was done live and that it was done for a specific audience and that was its only existence. And then maybe a video or an audiotape was sort of a one-or two-dimensional record of what happened but the actual art was only during the performance.

I was in Amsterdam in 67 for four months and in those four months I got the Décollage-books of Wolf Vostell. I knew about Fluxus and I knew about Décollage. I was not doing performances at that time. So I knew there was a possibility of actually creating your work in front of an audience, but I don’t think there was any influence from here then. Personally I did not know about Aktionismus until maybe 72 or 73 We knew about Beuys, mainly we knew about Beuys. And I did a performance with him in 70 but I did not know what was going on here. I remember when I found out because I got the black book and we really could not understand actionism. We had a very difficult time with.

About performance-artists now using media - I can only speak for myself but I think that it is reactonary that it is reversing the whole thing. At the beginning you tried to eliminate the media and for me that even meant to eliminate the art materials because that was a form of media, a form of restriction. And I did not want to support the Grumbacher family anymore and I did not have money to make art with materials. So I made art with no materials or found objects or my body. You did not need any materials at all. And now all the performance, in New York at least it is right back to media again. You might as well stay home and listen to it over the radio or watch a videotape because you go into a gallery and you sit in chairs like in a theatre. You watch a videotape and at the same time an audiotape is going; the performer gets up and reads a script through a microfone broadcast through speakers and there are slides, films and that`s it. You go home. It was a media experience.It has no life. It has no vitality. It is medialised again. It is right back to where it was again.

I’ve only been in New York for a few months, but I’ve seen a lot of people who are working with acoustic sound, using the acoustic of a found environment. I find this very interesting. But as far as Performance goes, I have not seen anything that has not a lot of media involved, a lot of electronics.........Still I think it is a very vital form of art, it is not a passing fad. Actually I think it is more important now to confront people. I think it is more important than it ever was. Because people now rely almost completely on visual information, television or reading. And then if all they get in an art experience is also television or reading then you know you are just supporting this whole control structure that is the media.

Another reason to do performance was to use all the senses instead of just the sense of sight. So a performance involves smell and touch and hearing naturally as a big part in it. And I always use sound in my performance, and sometimes it was a lack of sound. I think it is a very good way of communicating and its not explored too much and so I am doing a series of explorations about how you can develop this into a kind of communication. Like with the piano wires I think it is possible to discover things about spaces. It is possible to actually resonate the space. You can find acoustically resonant parts of the room and attach the wires to them and you are actually resonating the room. The wires are just the tool used to resonate the window frame or resonate the radiator. Or a sound that creates a big volume. You can fill a room with a volume of sound or you can reduce the size of a room with a very high pitched dry sound. I think there are all kinds of sculptural ways to use sound.

I have never used language in my performance, I mean language in term of words, in ten years I have never done it once. And the substitute for words was gesture and smell and objects which are a language of their own. There are all kinds of language besides words. Sound is like a very pure type of language because you don`t need intelligence, you don`t need understanding you just need eardrums, that is really all you need and then the skeletal system, a diaphragm and your stomach and then you are able to receive it."


"Traditionally sculpture has dealt with the realization of an idea in three dimensions through a variety of materials: wood, stone, or metal; plastic, clay, or even recycled junk. In the 1970s, however, many sculptors found that the ideas they were most committed to centred on their interaction with the materials they used. And their materials extended to even greater variety: their own bodies, social situations, sound, light, air, scientific investigation, politics — anything could be an art material".(28)

Lawrence Weiner, to whom music is just as much a sculptural material as language or sound, was very aware of the fact that also the traditional White Cube, in which for example painting is shown, is anything but a space devoid of sound: "When you look at a painting in a gallery you hear somebody talk behind you about their feet hurting. You hear all the noises around you. You start to talk to other people and that is how you see art. So why not hear it as well as see it all at the same time? But it is not a Gesamtkunstwerk. Everything is moving along at the same time. They are all growing. There is not one dominant" ... Here in an informal interview Lawrence Weiner hints at an attitude that does not aim at synaesthesia or convergence, but rather at perceiving the different levels of things happening in several media at the same time - a situation we have to deal with constantly in our daily life — as several channels, each with specific features of connecting to something that lies behind their surfaces. However, that which lies behind the surface is in no way meta-physical but rather, determined in a socio-political way. Weiner deals explicitly with the social responsibility of the artist and art, with a "social way to deal with the world"(29) (In the interview, he referred to Sartre). Weiner normally developed his sound structures together with artist-friends, among them musicians like Richard Landry or Peter Gordon.

"We had a very good situation in New York at one point in the sixties and seventies: James Umland had a programme on WBAI. From that programme lots of artists, myself, Acconci, Barry were all able to use sound and present it out into this space." (30) Probably alluding to Orson Welles, Weiner called his radio work Need To Know an ’ experimental theatre of the air. For Weiner, the large and heterogeneous audience reached by the broadcast of this work one afternoon, was especially important. Incidentally, through a combination of popular radio and record (Deutsche Angst) Lawrence Weiner- like Laurie Anderson before him (with Oh Superman in Europe) - has, in Japan, reached people via the hit parade, who would never have bothered with contemporary art in any other form. In the nineties, he placed spots in a commercial station in the Ruhr area.

Oh Superman was produced by the New York based artist Bob George in 1981 who placed it in the influential John Peel Show on the BBC. George had previously produced Laurie Andersons’ single It’s not the Bullet (1977) for the artist‘s exhibition at the Holly Solomon Gallery and - also in 1977 - published an important anthology of artists’ works on the double LP Airwaves. This initiator, curator and mediator of the works of other artists - who is also an artist in his own right, said in an interview in 1979: "10 years ago in New York, artists like Vito Acconci and Dennis Oppenheim began to bring sounds instead of pictures into the galleries. They were no longer only interested in the visual aspects of an exhibition but also in the sound within the gallery space. The point of departure for this new form of expression was sculpture. The most obvious change probably comes from the use of audio tape as a material which can be manipulated just like any other material for a sculpture"(31)


"... what I am trying to do is make art that’s as close to real life as I can without its being real life."(32) (Tom Marioni).

Between 1968 and 1970, the American artist Tom Marioni, who had studied music and art and made minimalist sculptures, realized that an everyday action, selected and isolated by the artist, can become a sculpture. As Suzanne Foley pointed out, the form of this sculpture would then be the action itself. In 1968 Marioni became curator of the Richmond Art Center in California. "I saw also my activities at the Richmond Art Center as activities in which I could realize my sculpture concerns by organizing exhibitions of other people’s work in group shows and theme shows. Assembling shows according to relationships of people and styles is the same as putting relationships of objects together in more traditional sculpture." (33)

Pursuing this attitude even further, Tom Marioni in 1970 founded the Museum of Conceptual Art, MOCA, in San Francisco, a social and public art work in progress which, over a period of many years, offered other artists a space for their artistic activities. Every Wednesday afternoon between two and four o’clock artists and non-artists were invited to be part of the Café Society in Breens Bar, the saloon of MOCA, on the ground floor right under the museum-space. (34)

The second MOCA exhibition at the end of April 1970 was called SOUND SCULPTURE AS. Marioni had invited nine artists to this, in the meantime legendary, event. Marioni (aka Allan Fish) himself contributed his sculpture Piss Piece by standing on a ladder and aiming into a pail under him. He had defined "sound as an element that could be used as a sculpture material which could only exist in time and was not static. To me it seemed that the sound should be the result of an action that I made". Among the other contributors to SOUND SCULPTURE AS were Paul Kos and Richard Beggs, who placed eight microphones around two melting blocks of ice, while Jim Melchert called twice from Breens Bar and each time let the telephone ring 15 times in the exhibition room of the MOCA, etc. In the meantime the exhibition is considered to be an early milestone of an art of sound, which cannot be categorized in musical terms. Certainly it was one of the earliest, if not the earliest event which was exclusively dedicated to a dematerialized sound sculpture that had hardly anything to do with the sounding sculptural objects of Harry Bertoia, the Baschet brothers or Stephan von Huene, as represented in the famous exhibition and LP "Sound Sculpture", curated by John Grayson in 1975 for the Vancouver Art Gallery.(35)

Tom Marioni extended his MOCA not only into the public and social space of his Café Society at Breens Bar, where he incidentally also showed videos, but also into the medial space of radio. Sound Sculpture As was recorded and broadcast after the event and, one year later, Marioni curated MOCA-FM, 25 one-minute radio pieces by artists. Both SOUND SCULPTURE AS and MOCA-FM were broadcast by KPFA-FM in Berkeley.(36)

In the seventies, Marioni visited Europe (and Austria) quite frequently and realised versions of his sculptural works - including versions of his Drum Brush Drawings in which he used nothing but the sound of steel wire drum brushes to communicate images thus also creating an opposing view of the mediation structures of communication technologies. "Over time, I developed different sound experiments and ended up with the Drumbrushing works which I see as a kind of information transfer/communication. The more I dealt with them, the more complex they became. I tried to develop them as a physical phenomenon, whereby I hypnotized myself with trance drumming like in primitive cultures. I tried to communicate images telepathically...". The drum brushes left graphical marks/drawings on the large sheets of mostly sandpaper that Marioni put on the tables he used to drum on during his performances.

In 1978, the young Austrian Renate Kocer proceeded in a similar way with her piece Optisch-akustische Aufzeichnungen (optical-acoustic recordings) and other works, e.g. eine Bewegung erzeugt ein Geräusch, das Geräusch beeinflusst die Bewegung (a movement creates a noise, the noise influences the movement)). However, she did not emphasize a specific communicative aspect as Marioni had. Kocer, rather, transformed her recordings/drawings into an installation, in which a series of photographs and an audio tape opened two different but complementary and clarifying means of access to the past process of the gradual recorded production of a sound via the action/drawing by the artist. The drawing itself was not part of the installation. In its radio version, which underlined the primacy of sound, the contextualisation of the optisch-akustischen Aufzeichnungen was left to the announcer who pointed out that the sound was the recorded result of a gradually intensified layered drawing-process.


"Things are being said — listen!" (Bill Furlong)

From 1973 on, the London based artist Bill Furlong, who started out from the fluid and expanding notions of sculpture which were characteristic for the British art scene of the sixties and early seventies, developed a work in progress that has yet to be finished: AUDIO ARTS, an ongoing edition of audio tape-cassettes. (Furlong is still working with this medium today). AUDIO ARTS releases at least four audio cassettes per year and in addition Supplements (e.g. the seven documentary cassettes that Bill Furlong released immediately after the symposium Audio Scene' 79 at Schloss Lengenfeld in Lower Austria) and/or special issues of the cassette magazine dedicated to certain themes (e.g. Live to Air, a comprehensive overview of sound works by artists on three cassettes with a thin catalogue in an A4 cardboard box from 1982). Many AUDIO ARTS cassettes contain dialogues with artists, recorded by Bill Furlong who for over a quarter of a century has been present with his tape-recorder at all of the important international art events and has visited many artists in their studios and exhibitions. Thus, AUDIO ARTS has become a space not only for artists' sound work but also for their thoughts and theories. Furlongs (cassette edition-) work has no real beginning and certainly no end. You can enter it everywhere, listen to it in fragments, rewind time, get to a completely different place by fast forward etc. etc. Even some art critics have not noticed that AUDIO ARTS is in itself an art project — one of the kind to which also Tom Marioni’s Museum of Conceptual Art belonged. However, while MOCA developed in relation to a real place, networked with media spaces, AUDIO ARTS is itself medialised and unthinkable without recording and reproduction technology such as the audio cassette which Furlong recognized at a very early stage as the cheapest medium for a distribution on demand. "...Furlong is, then, the exemplary inexpressive artist. The artist not as inventor, nor as magician, nor as philosopher-revelator, but the artist as editor, as curator, as listener (= critic): ... the creator of possibilities and provider of materials for the creative use of others."(37) In the exhibition "Audio. Kunst in der Stadt 2"(audio. art in the city 2) by the Bregenzer Kunstverein (1998)(38), in which a Bill Furlong retrospective was presented, it became clear that this artist, quite apart from his tireless work on AUDIO ARTS, is constantly expanding his oeuvre of exemplary audio installations and sculptures in museum and gallery spaces as well as in the public urban space and in radio.

The access of artists, especially those who do not belong to music or literature, to Public National Radio was and is in many countries, including Great Britain, in no way institutionalized, i.e. even today there is still no regular radio art programme, on the BBC. Thus, this access continues to be dependent on the interest of individual editors. On this background the stringency of the work Advertisement of an Idea by David Troostwyck, which was published in AUDIO ARTS and later also in Radio by Artists, is highlighted: Troostwyck made broadcasting time for himself by buying regular advertising time for his advertisement on the popular channel Capitol Radio.

In Austria, it was the shoe company Humanic which was persuaded by the artist/initiator/organizer/curator Horst Gerhard Haberl to let artists share both the production- and broadcasting possibilities of their advertising. In this way, artists, authors, composers and musicians not only had access to actual television prime time for many years but also to a new production and distribution context of TV, radio and print media which at the time was not fully realised as being the result of a general process of convergence and hybridization. Thus, the artists acted in a public-medial space that Haberl had appropriated for them and at the same time remained well anchored within the context of art due to, among other things, Haberl's manifold activities inside the art scene.


It was in Canada, where I first encountered the terms radio artist and radio art in connection with contemporary visual arts and thus with sculpture.(39) In Canada artists had and continue to have comparatively easy access to university and community radio. These stations, spread all over Canada, which see themselves as an alternative to both commercial and national public radio, contributed to the strong developments in Canadian radio art. However, these stations cannot provide elaborate production facilities. Art-projects were, and continue to be, at least partly supported by artist-run production and distribution spaces. Created in the seventies with the support of the Canada Council these spaces have played a very important role for Canadian media art.

"The difference between radio art and sculpture in the public space is that, with the radio, you first have to switch it on and its similarity to art in the public space is that they both are very accessible over a broad spectrum of cultural possibilities" says Ian Murray. He began to create radio works as far back as 1969 in Eastern Canada where the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design in Halifax was a stronghold of conceptual art with many guests from New York. Murray considered radio primarily as a "found system" that he could include in his work as a sculptor in the same way as others included ready-mades. His first work and, according to Dan Landers "Survey of radio art in Canada 1967-1992", also the first radio work by a visual artist, was called Radio Loops and consisted of two repeated tape loops with fragments of pop music that were played in between the regular programmes. "If you deal with contemporary media you are dealing with systems of power and influence spread over a country. Of course this is political but this kind of work also requires a series of formal decisions." Ian Murray was one of the very few artists who, very early on, began to deal with the limitations imposed by that repertoire of prescribed, exactly timed broadcast formats that had turned the radio into "the clock of Western civilization"(40). Murray intervened between the regular programmes and, in an other piece, in 1970 assembled the first ten seconds of each Top One Hundred song of the previous ten years to create a 17 minute tape. He had a drummer who did not yet know the tape accompany it live under the title Keeping on Top of the Top Song(41). Also In 1970, Murray recorded the silence still to be found between radio broadcasts and transmitted it; he scratched records before he broadcast them; he asked people to imitate their favourite radio-programme; in 1977 in Studies Towards A Northern Service he condensed the prototype for an Innuit community radio-station into less than 20 minutes. The prototype contained the usual variety of radio-forms from the weather forecast to the traffic news, from the animals’ corner or the talk radio to school radio and the Top Ten.

From 1978 to 1980, Ian Murray produced and curated the series Radio by Artists. (42). Only visual artists were commissioned to contribute to the series. Their works were compiled into ten half hour programmes. This unusual anthology found much of interest among media art curators but Murray refused to let them have copies unless they guaranteed that they would actually broadcast the works on radio. In no case should the radio-specific works end up in exhibitions and as cassette editions outside radio. In Austria, for example, it was not possible to broadcast the series at the time as neither sufficient broadcasting time was available, nor even the modest budget which would have been necessary for the purchase of this unique radio anthology. This situation did not change until 1987, when the weekly programme Kunstradio-Radiokunst (art radio-radio art) was introduced, one purpose of which it is to grant artists access to the means of production and transmission of a National Public Radio.

By insisting on the broadcast of Radio by Artists, Ian Murray underlined some of the principles of radio-art as they were formulated only in the nineties in a manifesto of Kunstradio

Toward a Definition of Radio Art

1. Radio art is the use of radio as a medium for art.

2. Radio happens in the place it is heard and not in the production studio.

3. Sound quality is secondary to conceptual originality.

4. Radio is almost always heard combined with other sounds — domestic, traffic, tv, phone calls, playing children etc.

5. Radio art is not sound art — nor is it music. Radio art is radio.

6. Sound art and music are not radio art just because they are broadcast on the radio.

7. Radio space is all the places where radio is heard.

8. Radio art is composed of sound objects experienced in radio space.

9. The radio of every listener determines the sound quality of a radio work.

10. Each listener hears their own final version of a work for radio combined with the ambient sound of their own space.

11. The radio artist knows that there is no way to control the experience of a radio work.

12. Radio art is not a combination of radio and art. Radio art is radio by artists.


In Vancouver, where R. Murray Schafer and his collaborators(43) developed the concept of an ecology of sound and subsequently archived the sound of the city of Vancouver as a first impressive chapter to a proposed World Soundscape Project (in the meantime soundscape has become an important radio genre internationally), one of the most unusual radio projects which can be attributed to the visual arts was carried out between January 1976 and September 1984 on CFRO FM, a co-op radio which still exists today: the HP Show by Hank Bull and Patrick Ready. These two artists had been working together since 1967 (at first via mail art) and then, with other artists, in collaborative performances in the style of radio drama.(44) From 1975 on Bull and Ready used forms of the popular North American radio for their weekly live HP Show occasionally inserting very serious art content into the popular form. Influenced by the cut-ups of William Burroughs and Brion Gysin they manipulated tapes in many different ways; they developed a science fiction series; they featured phone-ins etc. This work-in-progress, which lasted eight years, also provided space for other artists who were interested in the possibilities of the radio medium. "Radio was for us an empty vessel which we wanted to fill with life..." Bull and Ready conceived of radio as a possibility of reaching an audience directly, without having to go through the art system. "We directed our work towards a wide range of listeners rather than a specialized audience. Aesthetics became strategy and our own performance social action. Suddenly you see your work in a much more political way," said Hank Bull in an interview (45) and continued, "For me radio is actually a kind of sculpture. I consider the space which is created when you broadcast live or that which unfolds in the space where you hear the live sounds ... they are all around you, somehow there is no frame like, for example, in the case of painting." For Hank Bull and Patrick Ready there was no doubt "... that we were at the end of the era of the masterpiece, the avant-garde and the individual creative genius."(46) Almost incidentally the traditional concept of the work of art dissolved into the live absurdities of the HP show (e.g. The HP Underwater Special, The World's First Completely Underwater Radio Show)

"Our interests changed and developed as the show grew", wrote Patrick Ready in the nineties. "When we began, Hank was most concerned with the effect radio would have on us as we experienced the energy of live performance. As the show progressed, this emphasis expanded to where his primary attentions are now focused on global networking, involving radio as part of a larger field of communication which also involves computer mail, faxes, telecommunications." (47)


In 1979, an exhibition, a series of performances and a symposium took place in Vienna and Lengenfeld (Lower Austria). The title of this series of events - organised by Grita Insam and her Modern Art Gallery, was Audio Scene '79 and its subject the discussion of sound as a medium of visual arts. Laurie Anderson, Hank Bull, Terry Fox, Bill Furlong, Bob George, Tom Marioni, Bruce McLean, Ian Murray and Maurizio Nannucci were among the participating international artists. Aperque, Norbert Brunner, Michael Schuster, Georg Decristel, Fritz Ruprechter and Peter Weibel, took part from Austria. René Block, Peter Frank, Joachim Diederichs, Antje von Graevenitz, Michael Köhler and Georg F. Schwarzbauer were among the theoreticians.(48)

Fritz Ruprechter and Norbert Brunner had their roots in visual arts and in electro-acoustic music. For Aperque, with her partly unannounced vocal improvisations and interventions, aspects of media art were of no importance. On the other hand, Georg Decristel, a commuter across the borders between literary and sculptural interventions with "poor" materials (including a Jew’s harp), and initiator of strolling performances in Europe and the USA, had connections to artists all over the world, not least due to his easy-to-mail audio cassette objects.

Laurie Anderson had become an icon of a new female presence in art at the end of the seventies - a presence connected to the rise of Video and Performance Art - although she had only been part of the art scene for less than a decade. She also stood for a new generation, completely at ease and confident in the use of different technologies, media and contexts.(49) At the "Audio Scene '79" exhibition at the Modern Art Gallery in Vienna she showed her installation The Handphone Table (Remembering Sound)(50) which played through the theme of recording/memory right to the cranial cavities of the listeners and the special listening posture they had to assume to be able to hear anything at all (elbows positioned into two indentations of the table, hands covering their ears).

Both Douglas Kahn(51) and Dan Lander repeatedly pointed out that - due to the incredible variety of functions that sound has adopted within the arts of our century and faced with the expansion that the concept of music has undergone e.g. through Russolo or Cage - it is extremely difficult to develop a history and theory of sound which cannot be subsumed as part of an extended notion of music. "If a critical theory of sound (noise) is to develop, the urge to 'elevate all sound to the state of music', will have to be suppressed". (52) The event Audio Scene '79 was an important and in the long term unique attempt, also from an international point of view, to remove the sound works by visual artists from the shadows of a meta-music and to investigate them in themselves. At the very least, Audio Scene '79 pointed to the fact that during the seventies important developments had taken place, which were not marked by a "musical conceit"(D. Kahn). (53)

The dematerialized concept of sculpture of the seventies - a concept which could probably not have been developed to the same degree without the inclusion of sound - was perhaps even more important for the pioneering phase of telecommunications art and the sculptural definition of an "electronic space" - and the social responsibility of the artist upon which it was based - than it was for the development of the still problematic category of Sound Art (54). In the nineties and up to today, sculptural strategies, as first developed by, for example, Marioni, Furlong, Nannucci, Bull, Murray or in Austria by Kriesche/Hoffmann and Adrian X play an important role in the artistic conception and definition of situations, "spaces", and parameters, for example of those distributed on air- on line - on site projects which have been produced by Kunstradio for over ten years now.(55)Without the artistic developments of the seventies, it would have been unthinkable in the nineties to conceive of sound as an important and independent interface to, and metaphor for, a mega-medium which is resulting from the convergence of mass media, telecommunications and the computer. The realisation of the potential of sound is still made very difficult by the ongoing assertion of a dominance of the visual in our culture in spite of technological developments which, on the contrary, favour sound production and distribution (e.g. in the Internet). In many networked, distributedly produced art projects of the nineties,(56) sound (which may consist of music but does not have to), primarily functions as a radio beam, as a signal of a presence which can be addressed. In the hybrid context of networked old and new technologies sound is not only used as a way of connecting to and, over long periods, being part of distributed collaborative, artistic constellations, sound with its spatial qualities also seems to be an excellent interface for the representation of distant locations in such projects. I.e. sound plays an important role in making visible and memorable "what is otherwise inaccessible to perception and is difficult to imagine" .(57)



1 The audio-part of Re-Play is also presented online and is being updated in the course of the exhibition. Sound works by artists from the seventies will be broadcast during the exhibition in six programmes of Kunstradio on Österreich 1 and on Kunstradio on line. For the duration of the exhibition a Poetry-Telephone is accessible via the Viennese number ++431 15 55 offering works by Gerhard Rühm. In addition, a CD with remixes using samples of sound works from the seventies will be compiled. Information:

2 Helga de la Motte-Haber (publisher), "Klangkunst", Laaber-Verlag, Laaber, 1999.

3 Bert Breit got to know musique concrete as early as the end of the fourties via the Institut Francais in Innsbruck and studied in Paris in 1951/52 under Pierre Schaeffer. Later he was responsible for the serious music-department at Radio Tirol.

4 Katalog Ars Electronica, Linz 1980. S.81. The poetry-telephone is reconstructed for RE-PLAY under the telephone-nr.: ++431 1555

5 Douglas Davis, "Art and the Future", New York-Washington, 1973.

6 Bill Viola, "The Sound of One Line Scanning", 1986, in: Dan Lander and Micah Lexier (ed.), "Sound by Artists", Toronto, Banff, 1990.


7 VALIE EXPORT, Peter Weibel: "Das magische Auge", 1969.

8 Project-description, steirischer herbst, Katalog "Künstlerschaufenster. Kunst im Schaufenster", Graz, 1979.

9 The notion of a flow was very instrumental for the definition Fluxus gave to the work of art thereby strongly opposing the closed notion of a "finished work of art"

10 H. Lugus, Feedback Concert. An acoustical Space-Measurement.

11 cf e.g. Weiz, Humane Skulpturen etc.

12 cf e.g. Razionalnik by Seppo Gründler and Josef Klammer, 1986, the first telematic concert in which sound was triggered via MIDI at the different networked locations of the event.

13 Gottfried Bechtold in an interview in: "Kunst im elektronischen Raum. Eine Pilotstudie zur Situation in Österreich". Project team: Reinhard Braun, Thomas Feuerstein, Lucas Gehrmann, Romana Schuler. Project leader: Günther Dankl. "Transit", Innsbruck, 1993.

14 Walking through the city, Bechtold designed/created a "drawing" (which was actually drawn by the gallery visitors) by relaying his position over radio into the gallery (Demarco Gallery) (1973).


15 Wolfgang Fetz (publisher), "Kunst in der Stadt 1", catalogue, Bregenzer Kunstverein, Bregenz 1997.

16 MMK. Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts (Hg.), "Kunst aus Sprache", catalogue, Wien 1975.

17 Uta Brandes-Erlhoff, Michael Erlhoff (Hg.), "zweitschrift 6", Hannover, Herbst 1979.

18 Douglas Kahn, "Noise Water Meat. A History of Sound in the Arts." Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999.

19 Hermann Hendrich, werkstatt, Verein zur Förderung moderner Kunst, Johann Straussgasse 32/15, A 1040 Wien (publisher), "werkstattaspekt 3"; cf also: Cathrin Pichler, Kunsthalle Wien (Hg.), "CROSSINGS. Kunst zum Hören und Sehen", Cantz Verlag 1998.

20 Germano Celant, "Offmedia", Dedalo Libri, Bari 1977.

21 "The Record as Artwork: From Futurism to Conceptual Art". The Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, Moore College of Art Gallery Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Musee d' Art Contemporain, Montreal, Museum of Contemporary Art, Illinois.1977/78. Katalog: The Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, 1977.

22 The exhibition The Record as Artwork, should have come to Vienna in 1979, but for unexplained reasons did not take place.


23 Milan Knizak in: "Für Augen und Ohren. Von der Spieluhr zum akustischen Environment. Objekte. Installationen. Performances". 1980. Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Akademie der Künste and Berliner Festspiele GmbH in co-operation with the Berliner Künstlerprogrammen of the DAAD and the Musikinstrumenten-Museum of the Instituts für Musikforschung, Preussischer Kulturbesitz.

24 Broken Music was also the title of the most important manifestation of artists’ records after Celants’ exhibition. Ursula Block, Ulrich Glasmeier, Broken Music. Artists` Recordworks. daadgalerie Berlin, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Magasin Grenoble, 1989.

25 Dan Lander (ed.), "Selected Survey of Radio Art in Cananda 1967 — 1992", Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, 1994.

26 Lawrence Weiner et al, Need To Know, experimental theatre of the air. Broadcast on WBAI, New York.

27 Interview, Kunst heute, ORF, 1977.

28 Suzanne Foley, " Space, Time, Sound, Conceptual Art in the San Francisco Bay Area: The 1970s". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1981.

29 All quotes taken from an Interview with Lawrence Weiner, Wien, 1986.

30 Also Max Neuhaus realised his pioneer work Public Supply 1 at WBAI, New York (1966).

31 Interview, Vienna, ORF, Kunst heute, 1979.


32 Robin White, "Interview with Tom Marioni", in: "View", Vol.I, no.5, Point Publications, Oakland 1978.

33 Tom Marioni, "The Sound of Flight", Private printing, San Francisco, 1977.

34 "The Act of Drinking Beer With Friends is the Highest Form of Art", (Oakland Museum, 1970) "showed that the act of art was the art". In: Suzanne Foley, "Space Time Sound. Conceptual Art in the San Francisco Bay Area: The 1970s", San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1981.

35 John Grayson (ed), "Sound Sculpture", Vancouver. A.R.C. Publications 1975.

36 KPFA in Berkeley was for decades an important alternative political and cultural voice in the mediascape of the Bay Area. The text-sound artist Charles Amirkhanian, head of the music- and later the sound department, gave artists, poets, composers etc. access to the radio-space and also produced radio-art- projects.

37 Mel Gooding: "Here Comes Everybody. Audio Arts and the Dialogic Imagination".

38 Wolfgang Fetz (Hg.), "AUDIO. Kunst in der Stadt 2", Bregenzer Kunstverein, 1998.

Cf also:


39 As far as I can remember it was Hank Bull who used this term first in discussions and interviews.

40 R. Murray Schafer, "Radical Radio", "Ear", Magazine, New York 1987.

41 The Top Song and Keeping On Top Of The Top Song with Tim Cohoon, 1970, appeared in 1973 as an LP in an edition of 250.

42 Radio by Artists produced and curated by Ian Murray for A Space, Toronto. 1978—980.

43 among them was Hildegard Westerkamp, who among other things went for "sound walks" through the the city of Vancouver and broadcast them on radio; mostly on CFRO-FM , a co-op radio in which she has been actively participating since its beginnings in the first half of the seventies.

44 Radio Luxe: the collaborative pieces were presented as live-performances, at which the sound effects that were created using rice, cardboard, glass and other illusionistic noise making tricks played an important role.

45 Interview for Kunst heute, ORF, 1979.

46 Hank Bull and Patrick Ready, "The Story of the HP Show", in: Daina Augaitis and Dan Lander (ed.), "Radio Rethink. Art, Sound and Transmission", Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff 1994.

47 ibid


48 The event Audio Scene ’79 could of course not claim to be complete - for example Max Neuhaus or Bill Fontana who later on did work and/or lectured in Austria were not among the participants. Cf: Transit (publishers), "Zeitgleich", Triton Verlag, Vienna 1974.

49 "Laurie Anderson with all conceivable media - the female Wagner of the century?" read the caption of an image for an article by Esther Sutter, "Next Wave-Laurie Anderson und Dana Reitz", in: "Kunst-Bulletin des schweizerischen Kustvereins", Nr. 1, Januar 1984, Bern 1984.

50 cf also: Catalogue "Audio Scene ’79", Modern Art Galerie, Vienna, 1979.

51 Douglas Kahn, "Noise Water Meat. A History of sound in the Arts", Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999.

52Dan Lander, "Introduction", in: Dan Lander and Micah Lexier (ed.), "Sound by Artists", Art Metropole and Walter Phillips Gallery, Toronto, Banff 1990.

53 As was often the case in Austria (e.g. one year later with the exhibition Video Made in Austria) it was not possible to produce a catalogue which was more than a brochure, although in the case of Audio Scene '79 the texts of the symposium were all available and ready for publication. Bill Furlong published the lectures and discussions of the symposium as well as several performances as a supplement to his Audio Arts edition.

54 cf. footnote 2

55 cf. also:

56 cf. e.g. : "Sound Drifting", Ars Electronica, Linz 1999;

57 "The vocation of an art of the kind that reflects on electronic crowds and networks is not the representation of the visible world but the visualisation of what is otherwise inaccessible to perception and is difficult to imagine." Margaret Morse, "Virtualities. Television, Media Art, and Cyberculture", Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1998. "Visualisation" can be taken here to mean "to make visible" in the sense of to make understandable or comprehensible.