Thinking Particles, Noise, Rauschen

This year’s sound programme is dedicated to the noise and its development from an ignored and displeasing sound phenomenon to musical material. The programme focuses on exploring artist-engineers who developed visionary forms of visual and acoustic expression by experimenting with media machines, and who’s impact can still be felt today. After the development of the audio tape and its new recording technique in the late 1940s, Pierre Schaeffer began storing, dismantling and reorganising the sounds of his surroundings in his sound studio “Club d’Essai”, thus inventing concrete music. By editing sound recordings, changing the replay speed, repeating noise sequences and replaying sounds in reverse, he created a new kind of music which had never been heard before. Cooperating with Pierre Henri, Schaeffer created complex noise compositions such as the “Symphonie pour un homme seul” which was eventually picked up and further developed by choreographers, composers, literary figures and film makers. Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henri’s work developed over the course of the decades into what would be described as “Industrial Noise” and “Techno” today.

The methods of dissection, modification and recombination appear in all films of this programme in different interpretations. William Burroughs’ and Brion Gysin’s sequences of sounds and images in their film “The Cut Ups” from the 1960s have to be understood in the spirit of concrete music. A variation of the cut-up method can be seen in the film “My Desktop OSX 10.4.7.”, in which a computer’s voice function inadvertently moves into spheres of concrete poetry, making the absurdity of talking machines audible. The connection of sound and image tapes developed into new experimental forms of documentaries in the vicinity of the Fluxus movement on video tapes of the late 1960s. In 1972/73, Steina and Woody Vasulka explored the materiality of electronic signalling pathways in their New Yorker media laboratory “the kitchen”, using a multitude of analogue video machines. Their film “Noisefields” makes the physical presence and intensity of video and TV technology tangible in a radically simple way.

Programme: Thinking Particles, Noise, Rauschen
Friday, 7th of June | 9.30 pm | Metropolis
Sunday, 9th of June | 9.30 pm | B-Movie