Sound art and installation

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Nástroje pro práci se zvukem a obrazem

Mediahistory II

The idea of "Sound Art" as a category or genre is more difficult to understand than the sounds themselves. How is it different from music? What kind of music can be considered "Sound Art"? Does "Sound Art" have to be presented just in a gallery? How does it differ from, for example electronic music? Is electronic music made by Karlheinz Stockhausen in a different category than that made by Autechre? Is one pop music, the other 20th century classical music? What happens when a well known contemporary visual artist makes a record? Is it automatically 'Sound Art"?

Sound Artists

Max Neuhaus has a one page essay on the definition problem at:

The following are all pioneering sound artists who each in their own way make possible sonic events for very different reasons and by very different means:

John Cage - pointed out that any 'organized sound' can be called music and its up to us to organize things we hear, whether that be listening more closely to our environment or allowing any sonic event to be perceived as organized whether it is to our taste or not. he attempts to remove 'taste/aesthetics' from his compositions and uses rather the aesthetics of systems, chance operations, rules, etc. His William's Mix was the first multi-channel tape piece: October 1952 (end of first part); January 16, 1953 (end of splicing), 
Instrumentation: Magnetic tape Duration: 4'15", 
Premiere and performer(s): March 22, 1953 at the University of Illinois as a part of the University of Illinois Festival of Contemporary Music.

William¹s Mix was a work for eight tracks of 1/4 inch magnetic tape. The score is a pattern for the cutting and splicing of the sounds recorded on the tape. The rhythmic structure is 5-6-16-3-11-5. The sounds are in 6 categories: A (city sounds), B (country sounds), C (electronic sounds), D (manually produced sounds), E (wind produced sounds) and F ("small" sounds, which need to be ampified). Pitch, timbre and loudness are notated as well. Approximately 600 recordings are necessary to make a version of the piece. The compositional means were I Ching chance operations. Cage made a first version of the work in 1952/53 with the assistance of Earle Brown, Louis and Bebe Barron, David Tudor, Ben Johnston and others, but it is also possible to create other versions, using the score.

John Cage wrote in 1952: "It is thus possible to make a musical composition the continuity of which is free of individual taste and memory (psychology) and also of the literature and "traditions" of the art. The sounds enter the time-space centered within themselves, unimpeded by service to any abstraction, their 360 degrees of circumference free for an infinite play of interpenetrations."

Alvin Lucier - explores the psycho-acoustic qualities of places and the sound events that take place inside them.

David Dunn - Music, Language and Environment - is a researcher who prefers to explore and understand the world through acoustics ratehr than either perform or release recordings. He might have a solution to the bark beetle epidemic that is raging throughout North America and in central Europe, most notably in Bavaria and Sumava.

Mauricio Kagel - Music, Theater, Language - is a classical composer who examines the socio-political aspects of the conventional western canon as it exists in the 20th century. he is a sound artist who's performances and films and hence physical actions are as important as the sounds he creates.


Max Neuhaus - has created many public sound sculptures. From his own www site "Our perception of space depends as much on what we hear as on what we see."

Andy Warhol - carried a mniature recording device for over twenty years, and recorded thousands of hours of 'his environment' - taxi rides with dictators and pop stars on the way to discos, visits from artists, etc, etc. This material is for the most part unavailbale publicly but is in the archives of the Andy Warhol Foundation in Pittsburgh, USA. It provides an incredible audio archive of an important time and place in the history of contemporary art.

Nicolas Collins - participated in the first gallery show devoted to Sound Art in the US "Sound/Art" at The Sculpture Center in New York City, curated by William Hellerman in 1983 (as did Terry Fox, Les Levine, Keith Sonnier and others). Hardware hacker and maker of beautiful music from hacked and handmade electronic devices in a variety of contexts.

Terry Fox - used acoustic means to develop sound sculptures and make recordings that are outside categorization.

Francois and Bernard Baschet - two brothers who from 1952 pioneered combining sculpture and sound.

Maryanne Amacher - was a composer who rarely performed her music. IOf given the opportunity she needed up to a week to explore the sonic qualities of the space and adaprt her composition to it to create the desired psycho-acoustic effect.

Bruce Nauman - is a visual artist who works in multiple mediums. His 'Record' from 1969 was atypical in that it did not appeal to those interested in 20th century calssical music of any sort, or any type of popular music, rather it was an object that contained sound.Nauman transforms this sound object into an art object by of his choice of sonic material.

Karel Appel is also a visual artist who made music but rather than treat his recording as Nauman does, he attempts to create an unheard music he deems 'barborous'.

La_Monte_Young and Marian Zazeela have the world's longest running continual sound and light environment at their New York City "Dream House". The stable work of 39 continual sine waves at different frequencies seems to change as you move around the space. He is one of the inventors of american minimal music.

Paul Kos americký konceptuální umělec, autor instalace The Sound of Ice Melting v roce 1969...

Paul Panhuysen

Bernhard Leitner



John Oswald

Max Eastley



Sonic Arts Union [2]

Seznam pramenů a literatury

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