See This Sound: Versprechungen von Bild und Ton / Promises in Sound and Vision (2010) [German/English]

2 July 2014, dusan

“As the status of sound in art and music evolves and redefines itself, so too does sound art find new ways of describing its history. See This Sound compiles a large number of artists, filmmakers, composers and performers, reaching back into the early twentieth century and into the present to survey overlaps between not only sound and art, sound and film, and the metaphor of cinema as rhythm or symphony. Proceeding chronologically, the book takes the early cinematic “eye music” of Hans Richter as a starting point, noting parallel works by Walter Ruttmann and Oskar Fischinger; moving into the postwar period, the art/cinema/ music experiments of Peter Kubelka, Valie Export and Michael Snow are discussed, establishing precedents to similar work by Rodney Graham, Carsten Nicolai, Jeremy Deller and many others.”

With essays by Helmut Draxler, Diedrich Diederichsen, Gabriele Jutz, Liz Kotz, Heidi Grundmann, Christian Höller, Dieter Daniels, and Manuela Ammer.

Edited by Cosima Rainer, Stella Rollig, Dieter Daniels and Manuela Ammer
Publisher Walther König, Cologne, 2010
ISBN 3865606830, 9783865606839
320 pages

Exhibition website and archive

PDF (19 MB, updated on 2015-1-25)

David Crowley, Daniel Muzyczuk: Sounding the Body Electric: Experiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1957–1984 (2012) [English/Polish]

3 December 2013, dusan

In the aftermath of Stalinism, composers and artists in Eastern Europe were given new opportunities to experiment. New recording studios equipped with magnetic tape recorders and later, synthesizers were established, first in Warsaw in 1957 and then throughout Eastern Europe. New and often challenging forms of music were produced in these laboratories of sound.

The connections between the visual arts and experimental music were closer in the 1960s than perhaps any time before or since. Sound and image combined in artists’ films, ‘happenings’ and sounding installations. Experimental forms of notation were also created to stimulate uninhibited musical expression.

The early happenings and actions of the 1960s were associated with intellectual freedom and reform. The exhilaration of experimentation declined during the decade and in the 1970s new critical forms of art emerged which associated sound with surveillance and censorship.

This book accompanying an 2012 exhibition at the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź explores both the optimism and the anxiety that was to be found in the experimental zone of art and music.

The exhibition later moved to the Calvert 22 Gallery in London.

Artists (with links to their respective pages on Monoskop wiki): Collective Actions, Walerian Borowczyk, Andrzej Dłużniewski, Szábolcs Esztényi, László Vidovszky, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Grzegorz Kowalski, Zygmunt Krauze, Henryk Morel and Cezary Szubartowski, Eugeniusz Rudnik, Bulat Galeyev, Milan Grygar, Milan Knížák, Oskar Hansen, Zofia Hansen, Zoltán Jeney, Vitaly Komar & Alexander Melamid, Katalin Ladik, Jan Lenica, Dóra Maurer, Vladan Radovanović, Józef Robakowski, Bogusław Schaeffer.

Dźwięki elektrycznego ciała: Eksperymenty w sztuce i muzyce w Europie Wschodniej 1957–1984
Publisher Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, 2012
ISBN 9788387937980
222 pages

David Crowley’s presentation at MoMA (video, 50 min)
Sounding the Body Electric: A Conversation (Michał Libera, Art Margins)
Accompanying audio 2-CD



Mary Hallock Greenewalt: Light: Fine Art the Sixth (1918)

15 October 2013, dusan

Greenewalt playing on her colour organ, the Sarabet, in 1925. (via CVM)

Between 1918 and 1926, the Beirut-born and Philadelphia-based visual music pioneer Mary Hallock Greenewalt (1871–1951) delivered a number of lectures to the Illuminating Engineering Society of Philadelphia. In them she outlined her project of the development of a colour organ. In an address of April 19, 1918, titled “Light: Fine Art the Sixth,” Greenewalt cited innovations in painting by the artist Corot which encouraged her to investigate light and colour as a means of enriching musical expression. Greenewalt also referenced reports of synaesthetes, people who experience cross-sensory perceptions such as those who see letters or numbers in different colors.

26 pages

A brief outline of all four lectures
Greenewalt’s biography from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

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