Acoustic Art Forms in the Age of Recordability

Acoustic Art Forms in the Age of Recordability
Gerald Fiebig (2015).
Organised Sound,
„>Volume 20
, Special Issue02, August 2015, pp 200-206
© Cambridge University Press, 2015
DOI: 10.1017/S1355771815000084

Many theoretical accounts of sound art tend to treat it as a subcategory of either music or visual art. I argue that this dualism prevents many works of sound art from being fully appreciated. My subsequent attempt of finding a basis for a more comprehensive aesthetic of acoustic art forms is helped along by Trevor Wishart’s concept of ‘sonic art.’ I follow Wishart’s insight that the status of music was changed by the invention of sound recording and go on to argue that an even more important ontological consequence of recording was the new possibility of storing and manipulating any acoustic event. This media-historic condition, which I refer to as ‘recordability,’ spawned three distinct art forms with different degrees of abstraction – electroacoustic music in the tradition of Pierre Schaeffer, gallery-oriented sound art, and radiogenic Ars Acustica. Introducing Ars Acustica, or radio art, as a third term provides some perspective on the music/sound art binarism. A brief look at the history of radio art aims at substantiating my claim that all art forms based on recordable sounds can be fruitfully discussed by appreciating their joint material origins and multiplicity of reference systems rather than by subsuming one into another.


Gerald Fiebig: Public Transport. Musique anecdotique in memoriam Luc Ferrari

„The master of field recordings and telling a story was of course Luc Ferrari, who died in 2005. … Fiebig goes more into soundscaping, layering various recordings over eachother and makes things more into an abstract story. He uses lots of different sounds and thus makes quite a nice and varied piece of music.“
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly

Presque rien an allen Ecken und Kanten und das ist auch gut so, Baby! Liebevoll und mit dem Gespür für absurd bis bizarr gestrickte Situationskomiken, geht der bayerische Audioschnippsler ans Werk. Die Kunst, die Niederkunft des Alltäglichen so zu arrangieren wie Gott es nicht gewollt hat, wird hier leichtfüßig und mit einem immer währenden Schmunzeln vorgeführt.“
Mirko Uhlig, Unruhr