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Sound Art Museum opens in Rome

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Lodged in a spacious apartment in an unassuming 19th-century building on Rome’s busy Piazza Vittoria, the new Sound Art Museum is both a public venue and the realized dream of Dora Stiefelmeier and Mario Pieroni, the founders of Zerynthia, a not-for-profit organization created in 1991 to promote exhibitions and performances in Italy and abroad. Inaugurated Feb. 26, the Sound Art Museum is a project of Zerynthia and its subsidiary, RadioArteMobile (RAM), an internet radio station launched in 2002 to explore–and expand–the territory shared by the visual arts and sound research. The Sound Art Museum’s premiere exhibition is “Inaudita” (meaning both “unheard” and “unprecedented”) and features installations by the Vito Acconci studio, Markus Huemer, Donatella Landi, Stephen Vitiello and Achim Wollscheid. The organizers are Lorenzo Benedetti, an independent curator, Riccardo Giagni, a composer and musicologist, and the artist Cesare Pietroiusti.

Initially funded by grants from the European Union, RAM sponsored an online archive of performances, interviews and other recorded events as well as a traveling archive prior to opening the Sound Art Museum. Already in place in the apartment were metal couches covered with textiles by Vettor Pisani. Bruna Esposito installed a plantlike composition of copper tubing in a bathroom; a sound piece by Annie Ratti issues from the toilet. Mario Airo made a light sculpture for the ceiling in the apartment’s largest room, the chairs are by Franz West, and the long table bearing art books was fabricated by Massimo Bartolini using the apartment’s doors. An enormous bedroom cabinet with mirror appliques by Michelangelo Pistoletto houses CDs by international sound artists along with listening stations for visitors. The selections include works by spoken-word artists such as Eyman, whose Hollywood Babylon is a layering of familiar voices from the movies. Other pieces are more musical, such as Zelada’s Butterflies on a Rainy Day and John Bischoff’s Aperture. From mechanically and electronically produced compositions to the extremes of the human voice, the archive strives to show the range of contributions by contemporary makers of sound art.

Acconci’s contribution to the debut exhibition is a giant Styrofoam shell, like the structure of an ear, whose interior is pasted over with poster-size blueprint renderings of listening environments proposed specifically for the Sound Art Museum. Huemer addresses the intersection of sound and vision with his black box environment filled only with the now old-fashioned clatter of a movie projector. Landi contributes a series of CDs that aurally “map” the different lines of the Paris Metro. Vitiello makes the inaudible “visible” with a half dozen speakers, suspended from wires, which whirl when activated to emit sounds received only by canine ears. Wollscheid’s slight but charming work consists of several microphones bearing red LED lights that cease to glimmer when confronted by a sharp noise such as hands clapping.

Over the entire enterprise presides the spirit of John Cage, who decades ago charted the borders of sound art with such compositions as Silent Prayer (1948) and 4_33_ (1952). Pioneering initiatives in the field include the musical ventures of the Dia Art Foundation during the 1980s; Tellus, the New York audio magazine founded in 1983 by Claudia Gould, Carol Parkinson and Joseph Nechvatal; Berlin’s Gelbe Musik, run by Rene Block; and Maurizio Nannucci’s Florence-based Zona Archives. The online radio station of P.S.1 in New York debuted in 2004. Rome’s Sound Art Museum now adds a stable and welcoming home for this dimension of art.

”Inaudita” remains on view through May.
Further information can be found at and

Underground Cassette Culture Now

Printed Matter presents


Underground Cassette Culture Now

Exhibition on View from May 12 - May 26, 2007

Opening Reception

May 12, 2007, 5-7 PM

Printed Matter, Inc. is pleased to announce an exhibition surveying contemporary American cassette culture.Leaderless: Underground Cassette Culture Nowwill open on May 12 and run through May 26. Printed Matter is located at 195 Tenth Avenue at 22nd Streets. 

From bedrooms and dorm rooms, garages and dingy basements, Printed Matter and Heavy Tapes have gathered the leaders of the American underground tape culture movement—a geographically and generationally diverse community centered around the thriving noise, psych, and experimental music scenes. Such an exhibition might lead one to believe that “tapes are back” though the truth is that they never left, having been the chosen medium of this particular community from the late 70s onward. Unlike manufactured CDs or vinyl, tapes are analog, cheap and easily made at home with accessible and rudimentary equipment (i.e. no computers), making them the logical choice for a community that is constantly evolving and producing. Tapes also offer a unique perspective for those who are put off by the ubiquity and harsh aesthetics often associated with CDRs. 

For the duration of the exhibition, Printed Matter's back room will be transformed into a cassette shop-with hundreds of titles exhibited and available for purchase. Boom boxes will give audience members the opportunity to sample and explore hundreds of cassettes that will be available. Printed Matter has invited the following five guest curators to present out-of-print cassettes from their collections: Dominick Fernow (Hospital Productions), Chris Freeman (Fusetron), Ken Montgomery (Generator), Barbara Moore (Bound/Unbound), and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth/Ecstatic Peace). Taken together, these curators have assembled a history that branches through several generations of the visual arts, sound art, and music from the 1970s to the present. 

Labels to be featured include 23 Productions (WI), AA (MI), American Tapes (MI), Animal Disguise (MI), Bone Tooth Horn, Callow God (CA), Cherried Out Merch (OR), Chondritic Sound (MI), Drone Disco (OH), Ecstatic Peace (MA), Fag Tapes (MI), Fuckit Tapes (NY), Gods of Tundra (MI), Hanson Records (MI), Heavy Tapes (NY), Hospital Productions (NY), Iatrogenesis (OR), Ides (IL), Friendship Bracelet (MA), Loveless Tapes (NJ), Middle James CO (ON/CA), Monorail Trespassing (CA), Nihilist Productions (IL), Not Not Fun (CA), Psychform (WA), RRRecords (MA), Rundownsun (BC), Since 1972 (NY), Spite (NY), Stammer Tapes (NY), Swampland Noise (CA), Throne Heap (NY), Tone Filth (MN), Trash Ritual (NY), and Troniks (CA), among many others. 

To celebrate the launch, experimental tape manipulator G. Lucas Crane vs Non-horse will perform.Leaderless: Underground Cassette Culture Nowcoincides with the No Fun Fest—a four day noise festival that will take place at the Hook in Red Hook, Brooklyn from May 17 – 20th. Now in its fourth year, No Fun Fest features some of the world’s premiere noise musicians and practitioners. 

Heavy Tapes was established in 2004 in Brooklyn, NY by musician and teacher Michael Bernstein and musician and visual artist Maya Miller, as an offshoot of the Heavy Conversation label run by the New York band Double Leopards of which they have been a part since 2001. Originally spontaneously created because of ease of access to cassette manufacturers and a desire to release their own solo and duo music, the label has since taken on a life of its own and has spawned a distinctive visual and audio style over the nearly 50 releases in the 3 years of its existence. Combining a fine ear for "out sounds" with a commitment to exposing the deepest noise and sound art underground, Heavy Tapes has since become a stalwart of the non-scene which it proudly participates in. The cassettes have been displayed in an art exhibition in Seattle, featured in an article in Swindle Magazine authored by Tony Rettman, and distributed internationally at record stores, museum shops, internet mailorder stores, and beyond. 

viral symphOny CD

Post-conceptual digital artist and theoretician Joseph Nechvatal pushes his experimental investigations into the blending of computational virtual spaces and the corporeal world into the sonic register. Realtime "field recordings" of the audio manifestations of his custom created computer viruses have been reworked and reprocessed by Andrew Deutsch and Matthew Underwood, resulting in the sonic landscape of the ‘viral symph0ny’. With resonances of Yasunao Tone, Fluxus, Oval, and Merzbow, this 28-minute composition is supplemented by a further 50 minutes of audio, comprising the original raw data field recordings.

Joseph Nechvatal : original concept viral structures
Mathew Underwood : nano, micro, meso and macro structures
Andrew Deutsch : meso and macro structures
Stephane Sikora : C++ programming

(c) Joseph Nechvatal 2007

Produced at The Institute for Electronic Arts
Steven Mygind Pedersen : IEA project technician
Joseph Nechvatal : visual artwork


The viral symphOny CD is available for purchase from and at The Pauline Oliveros Foundation

viral symphOny in the may top 10 of free103.9 radio

The viral symphOny was in the top ten of free103.9 radio !

you can listen with itune, and perhaps they'll play it for u @


free103point9 Online Radio
May 2007 Top 10

1. David S. Ware Quartet, Renunciation (Aum Fidelity)
2. Joseph Nechvatal, Viral Symph0ny (iea)
With Matthew Underwood, Andrew Deutsch, and Stephane Sikora.
3. Ting Ting Jahe, 18(16) (Winds Measure Recordings)
4. Uncle Woody Sullender + Greg Davis, The Tempest is Over (Dead CEO)
5. William Parker + Hamid Drake, First Communion/Piercing the Veil 2xCD (Aum Fidelity)
6. The Dust Dive Flash, Tens of Thousands (free103point9 Audio Dispatch 029)
7. Jeff Arnal + Dietcich Eichmann, LP (Broken Research)
8. USA Is A Monster + Mudboy/USA Is A Monster + Kites, split CD (self)
9. Chris Forsyth + Nate Wooley, The Duchess of Oysterville (Creative Sources Recordings)
10. (), "Autecicadas/ocean_db_crash_nue" 7" (

Review of viral symphOny


Review of
viral symphOny

I've played 'viral symphOny' several times, and all I've got to say is "WOW, HUH?,Uh Oh, Geeze, YIPES, Duh oh!" Of my 1,000 CDs, this one stands alone. I don't have any category that could include it.

At first I thought it might blow up my stereo, and turned it down, thereby missing some of the, shall I say "subtle" moments. Then I checked out the system to see if it had been infected with the "virus". It seems not too worse for wear.

Upon replays, I was able to overlook the moments that reminded me of getting a root canal, and appreciate the interludes of what a computer might feel is what we refer to as melody. Other moments reminded me of being blind drunk. That made me feel kinda sorry for the poor computer. I asked myself if the virus made it sick. Hum, what's the cure? Anti-virus???

Some of the "musical moments" reminded me of Jimi's "Axis Bold As Love" title "EXP", and other parts reminded me of Pink Floyd's "Umma Guma" title "Grooving in a cave…” so all in all, I guess the computer is on the right track.

-Dean Crandell


Click here to listen to 2 excerpts from viral symphOny


The viral symphOny CD is available for purchase from (write Jimmy Johnson at and at The Pauline Oliveros Foundation (write Al Margolis at


In Praise of Noise

In Praise of Noise
by Josephine Bosma

In the beginning of the 20th century the Futurists exclaimed a loud,
naïve yet energetic praise of technology. This art movement seemed
to believe in the technological triumph of man over nature. Filippo
Marinetti writes an ecstatic piece about the car in his famous
Futurist Manifesto: "We are already living in the absolute, since
we have already created eternal, omnipresent speed". The Futurists
glorified technology through practically all art disciplines: from
architecture and theatre to painting and music. Marinetti's Futurist
colleague Russolo invented a new kind of musical instrument, an
instrument to create noise, the 'intonarumori', which was to be
more in tune with modern life then violins or pianos could ever be.
It even had to create an appreciation of the sounds of war. Was it
their glorification of war and violence, which made John Cage write
his 4'3'', 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence, in 1952? It does not
matter, for both Russolo's manifesto The Art of Noises and Cage's
4'33'' opened the musical ear to the previously non-musical, to
machinic noise and environmental sound as music.

Noise is always transgressive and as such it is part of the obscure.
Even in contemporary music, in which it is largely accepted and
perceived as an inextricable part of a track or song, loud or
dissonant sounds are still recognizable as noise. Noise cannot be
safe. Noise is accepted as music, but it is still an outsider,
a polluter, a sign of dissidence and discordance. Much like the
ultimate state of perfection, the divine, the ultimate noise
equals the experience of near death. The ultimate in noise is that
of white static: the death of the televised image.

The transgressive and dissonant qualities of noise make it attractive
for so-called alternative music cultures. Noise in that case represents
criticism and rejection of commercial and mainstream music cultures.

Noise represents the fallable physical source of technologies. It
reminds us of our most basic self, of our imperfect body, of illness
and death. The imperfect, mortal body is but a faint echo in our
mediated environment. We have become nearly numb to images and news of death and disaster in far away countries. Yet as mediation starts
invading every aspect of our own lives we loose a sense of intimacy
with our loved ones too.

In western culture only two things equal death in their transgressive
qualities: sex and violence. Strangely enough depictions of sex are
often censored more strictly then those of violence. The orgasm is
sometimes called 'the small death'. Sex and orgasm in particular are a
threat to the quest for the perfect, whole body. In the digital domain
several tools have been released that are supposed to automatically
cleanse our sexual experience.

The definition of noise is often too subjective and temporal to be left to a machine.

These excerpts are taken from an essay written by Josephine Bosma for the graduation show catalogue of the Media Design M.A. program of the Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam 2007

obvious natural correlations but.........

Hi Joseph,

I like what you're doing as I always have but in general I have a problem
with the whole Wolfram theory and the attempt to anthropomorphize
or extrapolate grand themes from a simple math. process. Rucker's
recent book also falls into this trap. I love pattern and process and the
obvious natural correlations but.........

Hope you're doing well and keep up the good work.

Glenn Branca

art or music

From: Glenn Branca
To: Joseph Nechvatal
Subject: Re: viral symphOny

I listened to your viral symphOny.
So..... was that music or art?
I liked it eitherway. Good job.

Do you know that Herman Nitsch has
written some symphonies? The one
I heard was good.

But was it art?
Or music.

viral symphOny now @ UBU

You may download viral symphOny now at UBU here:

dark side of the moon


You make sound as if it grew on the dark side of the moon. Interesting though.

Best wishes,
David Lee Myers

Feedback music and art at

download viral symphOny in italian

viral symphOny on Art Radio :: Wednesday Oct 24th

viral symphOny on Art Radio :: Wednesday Oct 24, 2007 

13:00 UTC time
09:00 a.m. EST, New York, NY; 
other time zones :: 14:00, Amsterdam; 16:00, Helsinki
live feed:

1. viral symphOny, Joseph Nechvatal, New York/Paris, ,

2. Concentration, Hight Zero Festival, 2004, Susan Alcorn,,, Baltimore, MD

3. MONAD, This! Is! The! New! European! The! Free! Jazz! CD, Tom Boram and John Berndt, DOGGPONY Records, LA, CA,

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the symphony in italian link

the symphony in italian link doesnt seem to be working for me, does anyone have another link? Thank you.
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