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Leonardo. Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 206-207, 1981. Printed in Great Britain. 0024-094X/X I /030206-025$02.00/0 Pergamon Press Ltd. REPORT ON THE ARS ELECTRONICA 80 SYMPOSIUM HELD AT LINZ, AUSTRIA, IN SEPTEMBER 1980 Susanne Pach” 1. The first Ars Electronica symposium, held at Linz, Austria, in 1979was organized by the Linz Special Events Planning Corporation and the Austrian Broadcasting Service of Upper Austria. Ars Electronica 80, the second symposium, was held from 8 to 11September 1980also at Linz under the same sponsorship. This symposium was especially devoted to reviews of recent developments in computers and electronic control systems and to their application in the visual arts and music and to special events open to the general public. On the first evening the composer Klaus Schulze of West Berlin presented his ‘Linz Steel Symphony’ at the Linz concert hall. During the first and last parts of his program the sounds of steel production at the plant Voest-Alpine in Linz were transmitted directly to the concert hall. On the second evening about 30,000 people attended an open-air program (in the rain!) at the Linz Danube Park where a recording of Anton Bruckner’s ‘4th Symphony’ was transmitted and Otto Piene (U.S.A. and Fed. Rep. Ger.) displayed sculptures, about 80m in height, consisting of polyethylene tubular balloons filled with helium gas [I]. 2. The Grand Prize of Ars Electronica was offered for an original instrument for the electronic production of sound. The Prize was awarded to Nyle Steiner (U.S.A.) for his Electronic Valve Instrument, a wind instrument whose tones are controlled by a modulator contained in the instrument. In his musical presentation he was accompanied by Thomas Piggott (U.S.A.), who played on a new type of sound synthesizer that he had invented, called a Crumar Computer. Steiner and Piggott in their performance produced some fascinating original harmonies and melodies. Steiner had performed some solos on his instrument in the cinema film ‘Acopalypse Now’ (1979). Piggott had collaborated in the past with Stevie Wonder (U.S.A.) and the group Tangerine Dream (Fed. Rep. Ger.). 3. About 100 visual artists and musicians from several countries, particularly from Austria and the Federal Republic of Germany, participated in three Workshops organized by Klaus Hashagen (Fed. Rep. Ger.), Klaus ‘Science historian, Eduard-Schmid Strasse 7,8000Munich 90. Fed. Rep. Ger. (Received 3 Nov. 1980) Ramm (Fed. Rep. Fer.) and Herbert W. Franke (Fed. Rep. Ger.). At the first one, Robert A. Moog (U.S.A.), inventor of the Moog synthesizer, discussed the physiological factors of hearing that should be considered in the construction of musical instruments. Wendy Carlos (U.S.A.), known for the electronic music entitled ‘Switched-on-Bach’, a version of J. S. Bach’s music, produced with a Moog synthesizer, discussed the history of sound synthesizers and of the vocoder, which can be used to produce speech synthetically. Klaus Netzle (Fed. Rep. Ger.)described his rather complicated computer, Fairlight CMI, for composing multi-instrumental music. At this Workshop, Piggott demonstrated his Crumar Computer synthesizer and explained how sound parameters such as loudness, vibrato and modulation can be controlled by touch-sensitive keys. He produced some sequences of sounds that seemed to amaze the participants. The title of the second Workshop was Literature to Hear and See/Literature in Image and Sound, but only Heidulf Gerngross (Austria) used electronic means for making his ‘Volksbuch’, which he described. This book consisted of a collection of quotations from newspapers, detective and science-fiction stories, folk songs and some of his own stories. The material was arranged in a prescribed order with the aid of a computer and reduced to a printed book of 1280pages. I found the presentation nonsensical but enjoyable. Gerhard Riihm (Fed. Rep. Ger.). Alain Robbe-Grillet (France) and Bazon Brock (Austria) read poetry, gave views on the aesthetics of cinema and on interpretations of traditional pictures. At the third Workshop, whose theme was Electronic Media for Visual Creation, Hans-Martin lhme (Fed. Rep. Ger.) presented a Lightmachine that is controlled by microprocessors and that produces light patterns on objects. Otto Friihling (West Berlin) described his ‘Rotography’-Light Kinetic Art...


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