Sunday, 30. March 2014, 23:03 - 23:59, Ö1


Slika od Zvuka (Picture of Sound) 1

1) „A“ by Rino Efendic

2) „White Legend“ by Marko Tadic

3) “I am still alive” by Darko Fritz


Picture of Sound is a programme that was launched on Croatian Radio Three in 2009.  The intention behind it was that, in addition to the critical coverage of contemporary art aired in other programmes, we should provide the possibility for works of art to be created in the programme and to be performed for the first time on the air. We wanted, that is, to encourage a particular kind of audio work, i.e., sound art, which is a branch of contemporary multimedia artistic practices, the origins of which lie principally in visual and conceptual art. At the same time, thanks to the capacities of the radio medium, these works were able to be diffused much more widely than would have been the case had they been performed in, for example, a gallery presentation.
From the launch of Picture of Sound until the end of 2012, forty works were produced and broadcast on Croatian Radio Three. Of these, the first 18 (made from 2009 until the first half of 2010), after being broadcast as part of regular programming, were set down for posterity on a DVD called Picture of Sound released at the end of 2010. On this present record, all the audio works of visual artists created from mid 2010 to the end of 2012 have been collected.

Evelina Turković
Editor, Picture of Sound
(Translated into English: Graham McMaster)

1) „A“ by Rino Efendic



Sound engineer: Tomislav Unušić
First broadcast on April 4, 2010.

Split artist Rino Efendić, when he is photographing, his primary activity it might be said, takes shots of abandoned urban nooks and crannies, the beach in winter, during the sirocco, always something abandoned, unprepossessing and insignificant.  These are often scenes in fragments: some grey piece of the waterfront with a crack in the concrete, a torn rusty railing, the dark in which figures vanish. Scenes of voids, entropy of all kinds, seldom populated with human beings.
But the presence of the person observing through the lens can be felt very well. The empathy of his gaze does not describe, is not interested in the detail of the photographed, or any explanation of the situation as is.  The photographs are grouped into thematic units such as, for example, Bačvice Beach, or A little night kite-flying, but do not form any narrative flow.  Efendić’s photos leave everything up to the impression, the melancholic and intimist. As critic Ivana Mance says: “Deprived of the usual capacity for analytical and attentive viewing [the observer] is invited to a relation that does not rest on rational objectification of the contents of the scenes shot: a bit more than a sequence of unconnected fragments, for example, of the night scenes of Split, can be seen not with the eye but only with the organ of irrational and emotional acquiescence”.
The audio work of Rino Efendić entitled A was created by conjoining the sounds of three religious rites and the repetitive sounds of military formations. The text comes from the anti-psychiatric book Language of Madness of David Cooper.  The intermingling of these sounds suggests a message about the yoking of the effects of religion, the military and politics on the individual, who in front of all these “formations” finds his only chance of survival in the personal, poetic and emotional.

A short chronology of my own audio creative work

At the beginning of course, along with photography, there was music. Our generation was somehow oriented to it and it had a great influence on at least my circle of friends. In particular the oblique strategies of Brian Eno and Cage’s theories liberated me in particular and showed me the way to many dimensions of the sound image and the production of sound that was equal to the picture. Or the separate, self-sufficient artefact.  Intellectually, closest to me in fact were the postulates of the protagonists of Fluxus and neo-Dada, and we might say that on this network of previous meanings I build some “sound picture” of mine.  And so I start with little experiments particularly interested in ambiental set-ups in which I regularly use sources of sound.  Juxtaposed or equal, but changing their positions, I always put them into some kind of dialogue, or rather polylogue.
In 1991 at the Adria Art Annale in Split I set up the work R.A.S.A.P. [dissolution]: two slide projects joined with a fader show the same image and fade it into the other with minimal and yet visible differences, with sound accompaniment.  The  guitar, the tones of which literally dissolved in the slow, drawn-out wailing, was played by Luka Belan, and I edited them into segments of different lengths.  The sound thus followed the dissolution of the image with all the connotations of the year, year of collapse and disintegration.
In 1992, in a work entitled Without any tea in Split (Loggia Gallery), [there were] again carousel slide projectors with a fader, this time with 82 black and white photos in each, and with sound recorded in everyday situations – on the market place, in the bus, on the waterfront... The speech and the noise are in opposition to the images of the little home tea ceremony. The war was coming close to the town, and home was the only place of peace and quiet feelings.
In 1993 in the Galić Gallery was the work Contents.  It was prompted by the death of a friend in the southern theatre of war. On one side, developed on mere-photographic paper, was a black and white print of m body, and on the opposite side was a recording of me running really in a frenzy through the city to the top of Marjan Hill. The video was accompanied by the loud sound of breathing, of heart beats, unconnected sentences in which, breathless, I ask about the contents, about the essential in life.

1994, Jazz Café, very busy at that time: the installation Space sound of space: in the first room some twenty small radios were chucked in a heap; each of these little transistors told or crackled or sang or spoke or whistled or howled its own story...  In the second room bird song could be heard from the loudspeakers, and in the third is a television that was crackling, without an image, the sound of the interference being very loud.  At a symposium to accompany the exhibition Check Point, Toni Horvatić projected his own text on himself accompanied by the sound of my two-channel installation  EAIOU.  On one channel I could be heard sighing and smacking my lips over the letters of the alphabet with repetitions and variations, and on the other channel the whole time rain was pelting down, the various sounds of running water could be heard.
The installation AIUEO with alphabet sounds divided into two channels was set up in the Gap Exhibition in Gripe Fort.  Two adjacent televisions were touching, on one was a video that showed a mouth and on the other there were ears (all of them mine), and alongside them was my bed.

At the exhibition Otok [Island] in Dubrovnik, in a darkened billiard room I put on the work Onaia. On one line the monologue of a sex telephone was recorded, and on the other I recorded my own voice uttering the usual short words from a telephone conversation, such as – what?... yeah! no! how’s that? you don’t say... When these recordings were listened to at the same time in the room they formed a dialogue full of quaint coincidences (He put it in my ... How? and so on)
At the first film and video festival in Split I produced the work Uncle with Milan Brkić.  A van was put on the waterfront with a PA of several thousand W that at unequal intervals shot out the single spoken word STRIC or UNCLE. The voice was that of Milan Brkić.  Chosen according to a sound-meaningful and meaningless pattern both word and installation excited numerous reactions.  Since a PA system in a public space is always reserved for ideological propaganda, this broadcast single word excited attention and also estrangement (as Comrade Shklovksy might have said).
Prompted by these weird sounds of ours Toni Horvatić and Co., organised an event in 1997 called Alternation. I did a sound work – I spoke very loudly a text of a very personal nature, but I did not let the audience into the space of the Kinoteka. I was alone in the dark in which I produced this sound. Sandi Vidulić in Slobodna Dalmacija observed: “We have to take the artist at his word that he really did the work, but does he thus do away with the possibility of reviewing?”
In 1998 at Usta nad Labem the event Black and Blue.  Again a darkened room (we might say I use it often, so that visual attractions shouldn’t detract from the sound).  Two sources of sound – audio English lessons were disturbed by frequency noises from the other side to such an extent that they were unrecognisable. Then, in the transitional Czech Republic, we recalled the words of Stilinović’s work “An artist who doesn’t speak English”...

I have always been particularly interested in radio as medium for transmission and performance, and somehow I persuaded a team from Split’s KL Radio to let me  broadcast in the night the work 1700 seconds, a mix dedicated to the 1700th anniversary of Split, but treated a little bit ironically through speeches, voices, texts from the crime pages and similar sources. At the exhibition Sound Object, in the Split Multimedia Culture Centre, my work was at the same time set up in a gallery and broadcast on the radio, KL again of course.
In 2008 at the event Kvart [Quarter] with Milan Brkić in our neighbourhood we put on the installation called Klima / Air-Conditioning – a column of speakers of several thousand watts at various intervals let out various sound miniatures which included three religious invocations, allahu-akbar, alleluia and aum, which I also use in the work A prepared for the broadcast Picture of Sound for Croatian Radio 3.
And that, let’s say, would be about it.

2) „White Legend“ by Marko Tadic



Sound engineer: Dubravko Robić
First broadcast on April 18, 2010

I’m interested by imaginary / fictional narrations and possible changes to events in the past.  This is nothing to do with nostalgia, rather of using “that space” for various interpretations of the not so distant past.  These works, i.e. fragments, tell the story of imaginary and Utopian spots, and these fictional places show us the potential of the past and the future and in this way demand our personal responsibility.

This is how Marko Tadić described his drawings exhibited in AŽ gallery in the art studios at the area called Žitnjak in Zagreb.  In these drawings it was possible to recognise some examples of Zagreb architecture of the 50s and 60s, or parts of them. But the reality-effect of these identifiable motifs was cancelled out at the first step.  Cursorily drawn out on almost clean paper, these buildings are shifted from their concrete setting to some undefined space.  The indeterminacy of their context, accompanied with on the whole minimalist drawing, with some collage-like intervention, with the imprint of an enigmatic date or a blot of colour, opened up the space of these drawings for some new kind of reality: it opened up the capacity to inscribe imaginatary personal constructions of the contents. But here the author is not he who will determine the final new reading or one generally valid narrative.   Tadić has managed to keep his drawing within the status of point of departure for each individual viewer for his own fictional process of signification.
It is on this play between the real and the imaginary, collective and personal, historical heritage and new contextualisation, fragmentation and collage that Tadić’s other works are also based. In one cycle for example he intervened on maps: inscribing his own signs on them he formed a personal tale about a search for a Utopian place. Or before that, Tadić would partially re-paint  found kitschy souvenirs – various wooden tablets covered with gaudy papers with depictions of idyllic landscapes and the obligatory text “Greetings from .... [this and that city]”, adding some comment or confusing the places.  Similarly, when he painted on found old notebooks or ordinary pieces of board, these associative semantic complexes would above all reveal the playful artist, who with ease and wit linked high and popular culture, comic strip and graffiti with motifs from history or the history of art.

The audio work that Marko Tadić prepared for the Picture of Sound, Croatian Radio 3 has all those features: this is a fictional construction of ready-made fragments (dramatised legends) that are revealed to the careful listener as just such: the scratching of the vinyl record or the audible cut in editing will reveal the historical time and the source’s origin.

3) “I am still alive” by Darko Fritz



Sound engineer: Danko Kuretić
First broadcast on April 25, 2010

Methods of archiving, transferring information from one medium to another, their transformations brought about by the transmission, the assimilation of inherent possibilities of means of communication into individual experience, the pure naked signal, these are the themes that since the very beginning, in the early 1990s, have marked the artistic work of Darko Fritz.  Multimedia are not here just an added value.  His fax messages, digital data turned into analogue, or vice versa, or even a digital signal transmuted into ambiences or biological substance, information that travels through time and space and a phenomenal and tautological form: the very substance of his works. Similarly, the process of generating such an artefact of his is a relevant content of the work.
For example in the work End of the Message, a capacious five-year-long project in which in seven phases he summed up his method. In the first phase, in the Netherlands town of Enshedee in the framework of an international project “From cabinet of marvels to cyberspace” Fritz exhibited works from the holdings of the Rijksmuseum.  At the same time, endless fax messages arrived in the museum, raising questions about the value of the originals exhibited and concluding: Value on, No Value, End of Message.  But the events going on at the same time around the works were monitored with security cameras put up in the museum, and portraits of visitors who in order to look at the works got too close to the security camera were exhibited, and sounds were recorded... These fragments were to be once again exhibited in other places. Each individual work thus generated itself, and its form and medium became the content.  Or as critic Radmila Iva Janković wrote, this was a “message about how originals no longer have value, that reality is subject to multiplications, is at once real and fake, transferable to an unlimited number of possible places, bypasses are created between the virtual and the real space, various realities move and interfuse without end, the hard edges of the architectural space dissolve and create virtual cleavages”.  In the series of verbal works from the cycle Internet Error Messages that was done in 2001 we are once again concerned with the shifting from the virtual and computer to the real environment, as well as its indirect contextualisation.  Darko Fritz produced this phrase of the computer vocabulary out of 2220 cacti in the desert landscape of the volcanic island of Fuerteventura in Spain.
The Darko Fritz work broadcast in Picture of Sound is from the same cycle. In it he opens up a space between first person speech (him as author and participant or listener), a hybrid space between private and public telecommunications and their infrastructure. Fritz uses here texts of reports of internet errors (HTML error reports) that inform the computer user, a person, about a dialogue of two servers, that is about problems of communication in two or more computers.  The numbers are error codes that are sufficient for the computers, and the accompanying text is there for people to be explained briefly what problem or protocol it is about. But the very title “I am still alive” is a reference to a series of works of the same title by On Kawara of the 1970s. One of these works, produced as five identical telegraphic messages addressed in advance to Radoslav Putar, director of the Zagreb Gallery of Contemporary Art of the time was exhibited in Zagreb in 1973 at the Tendency 5 show.  Just like Fritz now, Kawara in this work used the actual information as its materialisation, and as medium of telecommunication and in terms of content it was both institutional criticism and first person speech of the artist.