Art’s Birthday Party is a celebration in memory of Robert Filliou, who declared, on 17 January 1963, that Art had been born exactly 1,000,000 years ago when someone dropped a dry sponge into a pail of water. Ten years later he celebrated Art’s 1,000,010th birthday at the Neue Galerie, Aachen.
After Filliou’s death in 1987, some artists began to celebrate Art’s Birthday with mail art, fax and slow-scan TV events in the spirit of his concept of “The Eternal Network” or “La Fête permanente”. The birthday parties took place in different cities across the world and artists were asked to bring birthday presents for Art – works that could be shared over the network.
Art’s Birthday Party has never been a formal event but was always organized on an ad hoc basis through the network. Every participating location (and they are different every year) organizes its own party – from a few friends in a private studio to a performance evening in a museum, gallery or radio station. The only condition is that each group be able to send and receive birthday presents for Art. Since 1994 this has usually meant using the Internet in one form or other. Filliou’s invention of Art’s Birthday is wonderfully absurd and humorous in the typical Fluxus tradition of serious fun. So the global birthday party for Art has always tried to be fun while paying homage to Robert Filliou’s dream of The Eternal Network.
For this international event, the Euroradio Ars Acustica Group has designed a way to organize the contents and contributions under the idea of sound “gifts”. Two main points in Vienna (ATORF) and Stockholm (SESR) will collect them on ISDN lines or via the Internet and feed the two Euroradio satellite channels, LISZT and HAYDN Both channels L and H will offer ready-to-broadcast materials along with signature tunes and broadcast identifications. Both channels can also be further mixed or remixed with other live material if wished, or, as an example, the R channel of the satellite can be mixed with the V channel.
Apart from that, the Euroradio’s Ars Acustica Web page lists the Web addresses of independent international Web projects also involved in the Party. All this input allows every station and producer to offer their particular approach to this exciting event!
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