On September 19, 2006 the Austrian media
artist Zelko Wiener died unexpectedly in Vienna. With his complex work,
Wiener was invited to the Venice Biennial in 1986, as well as several
times to the Ars Electronica Festival, in recent years under the label zeitgenossen which he had founded with mit Ursula Hentschläger.
Zelko Wiener conceived the radio piece "Nichtnumerisches Concertino" in 1984 for a special issue of the Ö1 programme series KUNST HEUTE
that reported on current international (visual) arts every week. KUNST
HEUTE preceded Ö1 Kunstradio which was founded in 1987.
KUNST HEUTE’s special issue from April 6, 1984 which
presented radio pieces from diverse Austrian artists, among others also
Zelko Wiener, was aired on the occasion of the international art event
"Kunst und Massenmedien" („Art and Mass Media“) that took
place in Vienna in 1984 and comprised an international symopsium as
well as an exhibition showing works of international and Austrian
artists for print media, television, and radio.
While the first part – The electric Crocodile –
approaches the concept of „language“ in an increasingly
concrete way, starting with beeps from an electric watch, supermarket
cashpoints, with videogames, telephone texts, speaking cameras, toy
robots and translation computers for different languages, in the second
part – The electric Nightingale – Wiener tried to depict
how artificial intelligence thinks. [concept]
The realisation of this radio piece by Zelko Wiener was supported by a
company based in Munich that gave him access to their advanced computer
/ artificial intelligence laboratory.
When Wiener realised this radio piece in 1984, he was, beside Robert Adrian and Helmut Mark,
a member of the artist group BLIX. BLIX initiated and organised a
number of legendary internationally networked telecommunication
projects, a.o. WIENCOUVER IV and KUNSTFUNK; projects that are now also form the history of radio art.
KUNSTFUNK originally had the subtitle „the freedom of
the aether“, and its Vienna node was located at the Secession;
a.o. the project also made use of the amateur wireless operators’
The project made clear that, unlike the mass media radio, this global
network enables communication in two directions, but that the content
of this communication is subject ot strict regulations.