Curating Commissioning Producing


Sound and the 20th Century Avant Garde

Led by Rob Young, Lina Dzuverovic and Anne Hilde Neset

Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern, London
18 October - 6 December 2004
13 June - 18 July 2005


From the noises of Futurism and Dada to the Silence of John Cage and the sonic readymades of Christian Marclay, this course on Monday evenings at the Tate Modern gave an overview of the growing practice of sound art, exploring its connections with the wider artistic avant garde over the past century. The course covered a wide range of material placing the work of contemporary sound artists in its historical context.

Lectures were illustrated with listening sessions, video clips and artist interviews and each session included a discussion with students.

The course covered experimental compositional techniques, the objectification and dematerialisation of sound, acoustics and architecture, sound as a political tool and the confluence between sound, film and performance. A consideration of the effects of sampling and 'copyleft' strategies of the 'Creative Commons' rounded up the series. Guest speakers included Christian Marclay, Drew Daniel (Matmos) and Vicki Bennett (People Like Us). The course was also run at the Numusic Festival, Stavanger, Norway 2006 in a condensed version of three days.

Image: Fluxorgan, 12 Sounds, George Maciunas, 1965