2020 / 22:20 – 22:40 [gmt] live from BERN


But perhaps what you see is not important

Radio station:                                 Radio Bern RaBe
Venue/s of the event:                   Hochschule der Künste Bern HKB
Links:                                                     Radio Bern RaBe
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audio stream:                                _Radio Bern RaBe

But perhaps what you see is not important-

Inlets – 1’000’057th Art’s Birthday

As I was saying at about 10 o’clock, a 17th of January, one million years ago, a man sat alone by the side of a running stream. he thought to himself: where do streams run to, and why? meaning why do they run. Or why do they run where they run. that sort of thing…

Sound Arts students at the Bern University of the Arts are celebrating the 1’000’057th Art’s Birthday launched by Robert Filliou, and this as an integral part of their semester presentation which takes place at the same time. Robert Filliou saw the experiment and the game as the driving force of a “création permanente” in which the well done, the badly done and the not yet done – “bien fait – mal fait – pas fait” are on a par with each other. For no experiment and, consequently, no insight succeeds without including failure, the “mal fait” stands as an equal component of every artistic activity. Hovering “one meter above the ground”, Filliou erected his transterritorial “République Géniale”, in which it is not individual talent that counts, but the genius that lies within each person.

In the depth of winter, one hundred thousand years ago. On the 17th of February, for more exactitude. A man bent to the ground, and took a handful of snow. Who that man was is not important. He is dead, but art is alive. I mean let’s keep names out of this. Bending to the ground, then, on the 17th of February, one hundred thousand years ago. A man took a handful of snow. He held it to his ear. He squeezed the snow hard. He heard… try it some time.

Robert Filliou’s “Whispered Art History” – released in 1963 on twelve 3-minute records for jukebox – is performed by the students of Sound Arts in choral form. Their ear attention is especially drawn to the English th sound, which is sometimes produced as a voiced and sometimes as an unvoiced dental fricative – a frictional sound formed on the teeth.

As a simultaneous event to the “Whispered Art History” pieces by the American composer John Cage, who was dedicated to the experiment, and the maximalist of the minimal music, Tom Johnson, will be performed. Cage’s “Inlets” (1977) and “Branches” (1976) are improvisations of water-filled shells of various sizes, the signal of a conch shell horn, with sounds of fire and pine cones exploding inside, of plucked cacti and other plant sounds amplified by contact microphones.

Tom Johnson “Counting Languages” for speaking voice (1982) are enigmatic number games: “1 / 1 2 2 / 1 2 2 3 3 3 / 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 / … et… such patterns seem completely self-evident when we hear them, see them, or think them, but ultimately they are about as difficult to explain as chance or sonata form or artistic quality or God” (Tom Johnson).

With “derniers cries”, the latest news from the art world – the photo of an egg gets the most clicks on Instagram and mutates into the art event of the year! – and with CO2-neutral table bombs, we’ll crush the “Comfort Zone” and celebrate the 1’000’057th birthday of art – until the pictures fall off walls!


With Leijla Bajrami, Michael Bernauer, Noe Eckmans, Jan Glauser, Raphael Hitz, Milena Krstic, Manolo Müller, Remy Rufer, Tanja Stämpfli, Simon Walker, Jennifer Bornhauser, Lisa Mark, Matthias Müller, Fiona Rody, Candid Rütter, Jasmin Serag, Robin Siedl, Maximiliano Quiñones, Yves Spiri, Lars Tuchel,Filippo Biasca-Caroni, Fiona Cavegn, Faurenz Fregnan, Marc Hunkeler, Tobias Lanz, Robin Lütolf, Anuk Schmelcher, Lautaro Tesar

Valerian Maly and Benoît Piccand, Bern University of Arts / Sound Arts

 take a bottle of vinegar in your right hand, in your left hand take a piece of chalk, let a few drops of vinegar fall on the piece of chalk, and see what happens. But perhaps what you see is not important.