Sound in Art

Although sound art has been described in extensive monographs worldwide, and the genre has its classics as well as reformers, it enjoyed a rather limited existence in programmes designed by Polish art institutions. In museum space, sound usually appeared whenever vernisage concerts were held.

Things are changing today as a result of a number of factors: the cross-interests of research of different fields (suffice to mention the case of the Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio, which musics and musicologists as well as curators and artists found fascinating thanks to Oskar Hansen and his work); composers’ interest in new audiences and new artistic production space (Anna Zaradny, Paweł Mykietyn); and, last but not least, making visual artists part of major music festival programmes (Open’er, Off Festival).

All this has produced a number exhibitions focusing on the relation between music and visual arts. Moreover, numerous artists have tried to function on the musical circuit, with such attempts encouraged by the developing world of niche publishers concerned with sound experiments, such as Mik Musik!, Artbazaar, or Bôłt Records. Polish sound art was manifested in a pronounced way thanks to the two recent manifestations at the Polonia pavilion in Venice. At the Biennale of Architecture in 2012, Katarzyna Krakowiak showed an installation consisting of a sound track for the exhibition building itself; one year later, at the Art Biennale, a sound sculpture by Konrad Smoleński was presented.