From 24 October 2018 to 27 January 2019, Museum Tinguely
hosts a SONIC YOURNEY giving access to works of radio art from the last hundred years in a unique way. As visitors navigate the space with headphones and specially programmed smartphones, their movements act as «human radio dials», activating works (current and historical, well-known and unknown) by artists including Antonin Artaud, John Cage and László Moholy-Nagy through to Michaela Mélian, Milo Rau and Natascha Sadr Haghighian. The installation was designed by the artist, architect and musician Cevdet Erek and realized by Meso Digital Interiors. The resulting interplay of sound and space is technically sophisticated and gives visitors an immersive experience of the world of radio. In the second part of the exhibition, diverse aspects of the theme of radio will be discussed in 14 THEMED WEEKS, offering visitors a chance to engage and experiment actively with this fascinating medium.
Over the hundred years since its emergence, the radio medium has been being explored by musicians, composers, writers, philosophers and fine artists (and many others who do not fit into such categories). They have examined the production of programs, ways of recording, transmitting and receiving, and the possibilities for recording broadcasts. Their attention has been captured both by the noise between channels and the silence when there is no signal. Acoustic research has examined the recording medium (vinyl records) and the production environment (electronic studios), making the medium present and self-aware. Broadcasting formats and possibilities have been called into question by programmers and explored by artists. In the first exhibition of its kind, Radiophonic Spaces brings together more than 200 pieces for radio from around the world with the aim of documenting this sustained engagement with the medium by artists of all fields, and allowing visitors to hear it. Unforgettable broadcasts that existed only in obscure archives can be experienced afresh, presenting the history of a medium whose rootedness in actuality means it gives a picture of the century of its existence. The major disasters of the last hundred years are revisited here, as are the great technical and social achievements of the period to current positions such as Documenta Radio (2017).
A joint exhibition project with Bauhaus-Universität (Weimar), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin) and the University of Basel.
The «Sonic Journey» combines artistic approaches to radio art and broadcasting with a scholarly project led by the research group on experimental radio at the Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar. The results of this creative interplay unfold in an immersive journey featuring some 200 gems of international radio art.
Historical and contemporary works are related to one another: from Antonin Artaud, John Cage and László Moholy-Nagy through to Michaela Mélian, Milo Rau and Natascha Sadr Haghighian. With the help of a headphone system, visitors gain access to individual works of radio art, triggered by their movements. In a space designed in cooperation with the artist, architect and musician Cevdet Erek and realized by Meso Digital Interiors, visitors immerse themselves acoustically in this art form. This experience resembles the reality of using an actual FM radio: looking for channels until a voice, a piece of music or a sequence of sounds prompts the listener to stay a while longer, or at least to note the frequency so as to be to return to the channel and the voice later. The range of channels on offer is confusing, overwhelming, sometimes too much, but it reflects both the sprawling variety that characterizes the medium and the possibility to decide quickly what to listen to.
Radio researchers have put the broadcasts into curated groups linked either by content or in acoustic and aesthetic terms. They have names like Record Stories, Radio Silence, Gate to the Unconscious, or Expanded Radio. They bring together broadcasts dealing with and recorded in electronic studios, or pieces focussing attention on the human dimension. They explore laws of form, or the ability to listen anywhere that has made radio a portable medium for generations since the invention of the transistor.
The intuitive experience of the radio landscape in the «Sonic Journey» is followed by an opportunity to listen to the radio works in full, exploring their content in a specially programmed mind map. The mind map is arranged in accordance with each visitors personal path through the radio landscape, making links between pieces, people and places. The mind map can also be sorted to the basis of the individual narratives.
In radio broadcasts, «Radio Tinguely» will report on the activities in the exhibition. This will result in a podcast archive accessed via the museums website: www.tinguely.ch/radiotinguely.
Every Sunday at 5 pm, a program on the weeks special theme will be broadcast live, presented by Roger Ehret. Broadcasts can be received at: www.tinguely.ch/radiotinguely.