Sound Art | 2019

Sound Art | 2019

Sound as a Medium of Art | Exhibition catalog

Author / Editor: Peter Weibel (ed.)
Publishing house, place: MIT Press, Cambridge (MA) / London, England
Year: 2019

About my work pulse8 from 1992:


The field of stones symbolizes a radioactive field, the stones can be seen as radioactive waste, the destructive end product of an information society that gorges itself on energy. Human beings similarly transform, living on their own graves only as long as the beating heart generates a pulse. Banished from eternal paradise, and yet in the hands of everlasting godly benevolence.

In an alcove in the exhibition area, the floor is covered with gray gravel. Visitors are invited to walk on the field of stones and approach monitors that hang on the opposite wall. When someone treads on the field, a sound arises that transforms the screen images. The pulsing particles, the “supreme particles” of virtual material, transmogrify.

Visitors influence the volume and vectors of the visual elements through their footsteps as well as their whispers, speaking, and singing in the vicinity of the screens. A random walk algorithm and the laws of gravity govern the onscreen motion.

This milestone volume maps fifty years of artists’ engagement with sound. Since the beginning of the new millennium, numerous historical and critical works have established sound art as an artistic genre in its own right, with an accepted genealogy that begins with Futurism, Dada, and Fluxus, as well as disciplinary classifications that effectively restrict artistic practice to particular tools and venues. This book, companion volume to a massive 2012–2013 exhibition at ZKM | Karlsruhe, goes beyond these established disciplinary divides to chart the evolution and the full potential of sound as a medium of art. The book begins with an extensive overview by editor Peter Weibel that considers the history of sound as media art, examining work by visual artists, composers, musicians, and architects alike. Subsequent essays examine sound experiments in antiquity, sonification of art and science, and internet-based sound art. Experts then survey the global field of sound art research and practice, in essays that describe the past, present, and future of sound art in Germany, Japan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Turkey, Australia, and Scandinavia. The texts are accompanied by an extensive photographic documentation of the ZKM exhibition.


744 p. ; numerous illustrations (ca. 1000), 28 x 22 cm, hardcover


Production / Corporation / Exhibition
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Kalrsuhe

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe


Project management: Jens Lutz, Miriam Stürner

Layout: Jan Kiesswetter, Leonie Rapp