Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathOverview of Media Articon: navigation pathAudio
Radio Net (Neuhaus, Max), 1977

icon: previous page

considered himself to be the designer of the technical configuration, at this point he was merely the host of a musical event. The listeners who called in were the broadcasters. In 1977, for «Radio Net» he withdrew even further as an artist by leaving the arrangement up to an automatic electronic system. At the same time he thematized the dimension and the immanent aesthetics of the technical system of the radio by wiring up the circuit of the American radio network NPR, which spanned the entire continent, in such a way that the sounds of the signals it contained were transformed through feedback.[8]


Radio also had an aesthetic influence on music. By potentially opening up the entire world, it released a fascination for hearing global, alien, multi-shaped things and stimulated the imagination of artists. In 1936, Rudolf Arnheim wrote that radio virtually had a consciousness expanding effect: «In radio, the sounds and voices of reality revealed their sensual affinity with the word of the poet and the tones of music… .»[9] Radio listeners discovered that noises possessed an


aesthetic quality they had hardly taken notice of before. The radio play theorist Richard Kolb attributed this effect to the disembodiment of sound, which invariably leads the listeners to become more involved mentally. «The less we are bound to a particular idea about time, place, costume, character, the more scope is left to our imagination, with whose aid we can form an idea that is befitting us. In this way the effect of the word approaches music ….»[10] This altered perception of noises did not first begin with the radio, but had already begun with the advent of industrialization. The Italian Futurists considered the rhythm of machines to be an aesthetic expression of their epoch, and thus in 1913 the painter Luigi Russolo proclaimed the ‹art of noise›: «Ancient life was all silent. In the nineteenth century, with the invention of machines, Noise was born. .. .We will amuse ourselves by orchestrating together in our imagination the din of rolling shop shutters, the varied hubbub of train stations, iron works, thread mills, printing presses, electrical plants, and subways. .. .We want to give pitches to these diverse noises, regulating them harmonically and rhythmically.»[11]

icon: next page