Artpool40Active Archives and Art Networks

International Conference of the Artpool Art Research Center

February 20–21, 2020 Museum of Fine Arts, Schickedanz Hall, Budapest

Agustina Andreoletti | Zdenka Badovinac | David Crowley | Katalin Cseh-Varga | Mela Dávila Freire | Lina Džuverović | Meghan Forbes | Daniel Grúň | Sarah Haylett | John Held | Roddy HunterJudit Bodor | Jasna JakšićTihana Puc | Klara Kemp-Welch | Kaja Kraner | Emese Kürti | Karolina Majewska-Güde | Lívia Páldi | Henar Rivière | Sven Spieker | Kristine Stiles | Katalin Timár | Tomasz Załuski | Elisabeth Zimmermann

Elisabeth Zimmermann [Biography]
Ö1 Kunstradio and Its Never Finished Online Archive


In 1987, KUNSTRADIO, a weekly radio art program on Österreich 1, the cultural channel of Austrian National Radio, ORF was founded by the journalist, curator and art critic Heidi Grundmann. Conceived as a space for radio art, an art that reflects the radio medium itself, almost from its beginnings, this weekly program has become much more than just that. One of its primary functions became to serve as a point of access for international visual artists, media artists, composers, and writers, also to the transmitting means of the ORF and the international exchange and cooperation infrastructure of the National Public Radio worldwide (mainly through the Ars Acustica group at the EBU).

Artists perceived the fundamental changes that digitalization, the convergence of media and the rapid proliferation of the internet imposed on the medium of radio before many of the broadcasters inside big broadcasting corporations did. These artists made very innovative use of these access potentials of KUNSTRADIO, as it facilitated collaborations between international artists and with the vibrant world of radio-art, produced outside the big institutions, such as in independent university and cooperative radios or by independent artists’ initiatives.

In 1995, a group of artists (Robert Adrian X, Horst Hörtner, Martin Schitter, and Gerfried Stocker) created KUNSTRADIO ON LINE (, as a means of announcing and archiving the weekly program and as an additional site of radio art and as an archive at the same time. In 1996 KUNSTRADIO ON LINE started to stream not only the projects scheduled for the weekly program (especially the increasing number of live projects) but also the occasionally very long or even potentially unending online elements of innovative complex networked radio-art projects. These soon started to be named “on-air – on line – on-site” to characterize the complex context they were created for and unfolded in. The projects, in some cases, were at an astonishing number of real and virtual networked locations/channels around the world, and with the participation of many international artists. The relatively easy access to possibilities to stream resulted in a shift from performance- to installation-oriented work.

KUNSTRADIO has also encouraged artists’ reflections on the historical roots of radio art, on the combination of old and new technologies, (routinely offering the use of short- and medium-wave broadcasting), the ramifications of the changed definitions of the concepts of author as well as the work and the role of the listener/recipient, the transference of knowledge between collaborating artists, technicians, producers or theoreticians. Recently KUNSTRADIO has invited artists to curate series of radio-art projects, thus delegating part of its curatorial responsibility to artists.

Elisabeth Zimmermann will focus on networked Kunstradio projects before the Internet using the infrastructure of the ORF and its regional studios for exchange and experimentation such as the Chipradio, 1992 or Realtime in 1993, which also was broadcast live on the Austrian television. These projects have been influenced by the early Telecommunication art projects of the late 1970s and early 1980s, such as The World in 24 Hours by Robert Adrian in 1982; Wiencouver IV” in 1979–1983; or Telephone Music, in 1983 between Artpool in Budapest, Blix in Vienna, and Aufbau-Abbau in Berlin.