Sounds. Radio – Art – New Music

An exhibition at the ZKM | Center for Art and Media

The exhibition "Sounds. Radio – Art – New Music" transformed the artistic medium of radio into a spatial experience. Starting with the polyphonic media quality of radio art and the fascination with immateriality which characterized the early years of radio, this exhibition presented surprising perspectives of radio art and its ability to create complex spheres of experience.

Five radio plays, created as part of the German-Czech radio art project rádio d-cz, served as the basis of the exhibition. In preparation for rádio d-cz, writers, artists, radio play dramaturges, sound collectors and musicians ventured on a journey of discovery into various areas of German-Czech life. The radio features, plays and sound collages tell fictionalized and real-life stories of adventurers and self-made men, dividing walls and interconnecting sounds. These five plays were presented alongside historic and contemporary exhibits of reference which allowed visitors to experience them in their own stylistic echo chamber. Furthermore, Ursula Block opened her archive on the history of New Music and acoustic art for the duration of the exhibition, and temporarily set up her Berlin store “gelbe Music” in the exhibition rooms at the ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art.

Twenty-five additional reference pieces from eighty years of radio history represented the five elementary “force fields” of radio which have fascinated writers and artists since the invention of the medium. These include radio’s pliable mobility with which it can reduce geographic distances, its mystifying interplay with boundaries separating the public and private sphere, its artistic ability to create fictitious spaces with original sounds, its capability of sensitizing listeners to the complex sound textures of everyday sound environments, and its very own paradox of eliciting the physical character of the voice from an entirely “bodiless” medium. These five force fields were represented as excerpts of radio plays, radio features and sound compositions, all of which revolved around the central radio works.

In the archive segment of the exhibition, visitors were able to listen to more than 100 radio art productions contributed by the participating radio broadcasters and additional material by such renowned artists as Andreas Ammer, Ingeborg Bachmann, Samuel Beckett, John Cage, Elfriede Jelinek, Mauricio Kagel, Jonathan Meese, Michaela Melián, Rimini Protokoll, Dieter Roth, Eran Schaerf and Christoph Schlingensief.

Sounds. Radio – Art – New Music is an exhibition organized by the New Berlin Art Association (n.b.k.) and Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects, initiated and funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation. Presented during the ARD Radio Play Days by the Federal Cultural Foundation and the ZKM | Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe.

In cooperation with Deutschlandradio Kultur, Südwestrundfunk, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Österreichischer Rundfunk, Czech Broadcasting Company. With the kind support of Bayerischer Rundfunk / Radio Plays and Media Art.
Concept development team: Marius Babias, Gaby Hartel, Frank Kaspar, Katrin Klingan
Exhibition and sound design, graphic arts and media design: Ruudi Beier, Peter Wellach (id3d-berlin themengestaltung)
Project assistant: Silvia Ploner
Artists: Juan Allende-Blin, Susanne Amatosero, Andreas Ammer, Alfred Andersch, Beate Andres, Antonin Artaud, Ingeborg Bachmann, Walter Bauer, Samuel Beckett, Walter Benjamin, Barry Bermange, Andreas Bick, Friedrich Walter Bischoff, Ursula Block/gelbe MUSIK, Hermann Bohlen, Alessandro Bosetti, Alfred Braun, Peter Leonhard Braun, Bertolt Brecht, Klaus Buhlert, Frieder Butzmann, John Cage, Christian Calon, Velimir Chlebnikov, Carlfriedrich Claus, Console, Alvin Curran, Peter Cusack, Tacita Dean, Eduard Roderich Dietze, Esther Dischereit, Peter Dittmer, Alfred Döblin, Oswald Egger, Günter Eich, Barbara Eisenmann, William Faulkner, Raymond Federman, Luc Ferrari, Walter Filz, Hans Flesch, FM Einheit, Werner Fritsch, Tetsuo Furudate, Martin Gantenbein, Hartmut Geerken, Ulrich Gerhardt, Thomas Gerwin, Stefano Giannotti, Michael Glasmeier, Heiner Goebbels, Patricia Görg, Guido Graf, Kai Grehn, Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, Frank Halbig, Ludwig Harig, Hanna Hartman, Helene Hegemann, Elke Heinemann, Helmut Heißenbüttel, Niklaus Helbling, Paul Hindemith, Hofmann&Lindholm, Richard Hughes, Steffen Irlinger, Ernst Jandl, Elfriede Jelinek, Bernadette Johnson, Arsenije Jovanovic, Mauricio Kagel, Schorsch Kamerun, Dora Kaprálová, Hermann Kasack, Walter Kempowski, Oskar Kokoschka, Thomas Köner, Stephan Krass, Ferdinand Kriwet, Jean-Claude Kuner, Paul Laven, Michael Lentz, LIGNA, Bruno Maderna , Friederike Mayröcker, Sergej Medwedew, Jonathan Meese, Thomas Meinecke, Michaela Melián, Franz Mon, Herbert Morrison, Move D, Heiner Müller, Wolfgang Müller, Albert Ostermaier, Georges Perec, Helmut Peschina, Eberhard Petschinka, Paul Plamper, René Pollesch, Werner Pöschko, Rimini Protokoll, Eduard Roderich, Jon Rose, Dieter Roth, Joseph Roth, Gerhard Rühm, Walter Ruttmann, Rafael Sanchez, Eran Schaerf, Christoph Schlingensief, Ernst Schnabel, Ernst Schoen, Nadja Schöning, Kateřina Šedá, Theodor Siebs, Rolf Simmen, Walter Spies, Tim Staffel, Andrzej Stasiuk, Ronald Steckel, Ulrike Syha, George Tabori, Andrej Tarkowskij, Asmus Tietchens, Jáchym Topol, Naoya Uchimura, Anja Utler, Mario Verandi, Michel Vinaver, Miloš Vojtĕchovský, Wolf Vostell, Antje Vowinckel, Friedrich Walter, Stefan Weigl, Marianne Weil, Kurt Weill, Friedrich Wolf, Ror Wolf, Paul Wühr.

Exhibition catalogue

Marius Babias and Katrin Klingan (eds.): »Sounds. Radio – Art – New Music«, Walther König publishing house, Cologne, 211 pp., colour photos, original score by Rolf Julius, fold-out cover, German/English with booklet of 5 radio plays (German) and recordings on CD in pocket, € 19.80.

Programme focus on Central and Eastern Europe

In the last several years, the Federal Cultural Foundation has initiated several bilateral programmes of cultural collaboration with the new EU members states in Central and Eastern Europe. "Sounds. Radio – Art – New Music" is an exhibition jointly organized by the New Berlin Art Association (n.b.k.) and Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects.

Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects (external link, opens in a new window)


Zipp – German-Czech Cultural Projects / relations e.V.

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