[artinfo] cake and art

blaumann radioedit at tilos.hu
Thu Dec 16 00:03:58 CET 2004

Kedves lista,

A Tilos Radio januar 17. (illetve a projekt nemzekozisegebol adodo idozona  
eltolodasoktol fuggoen 16-18.) a lent kifejtett tematikus napot tervezi. A  
Muveszet szuletesnapjat a Kultiplexben, illetve a Tilos Radioban sutemeny  
sutessel unnepeljuk, melyet az interneten keresztul megosztunk a vilag  
kulonbozo tajain (ld.: lent) levo radiokkal receptcsere,  
elmenycsere-online stream csere, beszelgetesek, helyszini sutes formajaban.

A projekt nyitott, ezert varom az erdeklodok leveleit e-mail cimemre.  
(Lehet jonni sutni, beszelgetni, kuldeni receptet stb., illetve egyeg  
otleteket is szertettel varunk.)

Blaumann Edit

    Edit Blaumann
radioedit at tilos.hu
blaumann at tyrell.hu

open concept

amsterdam, praha, moskva, viena, vancouver, stockholm, bratislava, hong  
kong, melborune, dobrichovice, tokyo, new york--- budapest???
International Eating and Cooking Cake Day
Cakes and Fakes.. Art s Birthday celebration 2004. 16 - 18 January 2004
czech fragment: Sediments and Meanders improvisation set

internet online collaborative project

local coordinator: michal rataj, milos vojtechovsky, jan dufek..
supervisor by: Czech Broadcasting Program 3 Radio Vltava, Lemurie TAZ,  
Amulab - Intermedia program of Film and Telvision Faculty AMU..
further cooperation:...........................................?????


Press release / call for collaboration

Art s Birthday is an open multi user communication-synthetic synesthetic  
opreration, intermingling sounds, images, tastes, locations, elements,  
and nonsences

"One million years ago, on January 17, Art was born...when someone dropped  
a dry sponge into a bucket of water.Modest beginnings, but look at us now.
Close the schools and the factories! Let them eat cake and make art! And  
the next year let it be two days of holiday, then three days, then four,  
six and so on, until everyday is art's birthday, at which point we can all  
get on with life",

Robert Filliou declared in 1963.

As a commemory to this declaration a loose network of sound artists and  
friends continues the tradition of making communication art and eating  
cakes. The
event started in Canada deep in the cold war in 1974 by Western Front  
includes since then a community dialogues of exchanging thoughts, first  
via analog
telecommunication networks such as telephone, fax, slo-scan video, and  
later as digital stream or live transmissions. This "fools day" survived  
because of its playful, fluxus roots, where art was made not to be bought,  
sold or traded as a commodity, but given "freely" as a gift.

For art's 41st birthday on Sunday January 16, 2004 several initiatives  
taking part in the network (in Prague radioacustica, lemure TAZ,  
    and will be joining the event connecting people across the globe from  
Japan to Australia and Austria to celebrate art's vitae in its 100 0043  
  Lemurie TAZ and other participants in Bohemia would serve as a hub for  
this festivity, where participats via words, texts, voices, noises,  
gadgets, sensors, softwares, hardwares, cakes can enter an activated  
social domain that reveberates with data flow. Radioacustica and other  
bodies will
host their own events, as well as connecting via network to each other to  
intermingle and generate sounds and listen to each other.(audio,video). We  
try to initiate events remotely and receiving data to modulate the event  
at the Prague recording studio. In one of the sisterhood spaces will be a
cooking distributing and eating cake-performance going on in the public  
transport in Prague which will simultaneously develope and tape into the

Come make give, eat cake , while listening to the sounds of the space  
filtered through sensors or microphones. The key here is play, and as such  
this is
an opportunity for experimentation. Various art birthday activities will  
be taking place to contribute to audio, visual, and movement flux,  
and responding to actual human conditions, in which public domain is  

This happening will start at  xxxxxxxxxxxx on January 16. It will end only  
once all the cakes are eaten give away and the networked festivities have
circled the world in honour of Art's birthday!

Prague sounds streamlined and transported by: ladin zelezný, ales kilian,  
jan dufek, jiri adamek, alena....., jan stolba, milos vojtechovsky

taste transmission and culinare supervisor...........

Virtual Links:




The European Broadcasting Union (EBU Ars Acustica)



sveriges radio??






contacts in CR


Michal Rataj: composer, musicologist, music editor

Jablonova 2882

10600 Praha 10

tel: +420 272 655 371

GSM: +420 608 474738


Milos Vojtechovsky


info at radiojeleni.cz



media at front.bc.ca

tel: (604) 876-9343

fax: (604) 876-4099

303 East 8th Avenue

Vancouver, BC, V5T 1S1



vpadmin at videopool.org

# 300 - 100 ARTHUR ST.



tel. 204.949.9134

fax 204.942.1555


scrambled bits server








Finland Helsinki







Toysatellite radio





Radio Kinesonus


tetsuo kogawa kogaway at tku.ac.jp



Life is Short, Art is Long

One million years ago on January 17, someone dropped a dry sponge into a  
bucket full of water; and so, art was born. Who that person was is not  
  for they are dead but art is alive. So goes the story of the origins of  
Art's Birthday, an international holiday declared by Fluxus artist Robert
Filliou in 1963 and celebrated around the world by a loose network of  
artists and friends to this day. He proclaimed: close the schools and the  
  Let the people eat cake and make art! And the next year let it be two  
days of holiday, then three days, then four, five, six and so on, until  
every day
is Art's Birthday, at which point everyone can get on with the art of  

Art's Birthday grew out of Filliou's concept of permanent creation -- an  
art practise entirely embedded in and inseparable from practises of daily  
More than a move to release art production and diffusion from the  
restrictive and competitive institutions of the art world, Filliou  
believed permanent
creation would saturate life with creative inquiry and interaction while  
reducing and eventually eliminating the divide between artist and audience.
Bound up in the idea of permanent creation was a desire for continual  
self-renewal through exchange and collaboration.

Filliou and George Brecht launched La fete permanente (or the Eternal  
Network as they dubbed it in English) upon the closure of their 'non-shop'  
Cédille qui sourit in southern France. Brecht and Filliou felt that their  
spirit of collaboration could continue without working together in the same
location, and by extension imagined a network as a means of continuing  
artistic endeavours with others over time and space. The postal system was  
pivotal communications conduit through which the Eternal Network could be  
realized internationally, giving rise to a flurry of correspondence art  
among a
growing number of self-styled artists.

The challenge posed by the Eternal Network is to expand the circle of  
interactivity and implicate both artist and audience in the creation of  
art. A
signature Fluxus postal work was initiated by Ben Vautier in 1965 entitled  
The Postman's Choice, consisting of a blank postcard with spaces to write
addresses and stick stamps on both sides of the card. The sender enters a  
different address on each side of the card along with the required stamps  
each destination, with the final destination to be determined by the  
postal worker. A whimsical collaborative work ensues, where Vautier has  
certain formal parameters of the work, to which the sender, the postal  
system, and the receiver contribute. Thus all parties act as generative  
nodes in
the network to realize the work.

Creative exchange via communications media like the post expanded to  
include Telematic networks such as telephone, telefax, radio and slo-scan  
video. The
late 70's and early 1980's saw experiments with large-scale international  
networking projects such as Die Welt in 24 Stunden (the World in 24 Hours)  
Telefonmusik. The Western Front was among the participating nodes, as were  
artists in Vienna. This led to the conception of Wiencouver, an extra-
territorial state existing in the networks established during a series of  
events between artists in Vancouver and Vienna.

The Western Front celebrated its first Art's Birthday thirty years ago in  
1974, and it has continued to be a part of the Western Front's cultural
calendar, with birthday presents being sent from friends around the world  
via telephone, fax etc. and eventually audio streaming and webcam. When
Wiencouver was revived in the late 1990s through renewed collaborations  
between the Western Front and Kunstadio in Vienna, one such Wiencouver  
event was
Art's Birthday 1999. The Vancouver festivities were a joint effort between  
the Western Front and CiTR 101.9FM, an independent radio station at the
University of British Columbia. CiTR hosted 24 Hours of Radio Art while  
the Front provided audio and video streaming capabilities, enabling  
Internet jams between radio artists at CiTR and at Kunstradio in Vienna. 6  
AM found long-time Wiencouver initiator Hank Bull at the helm of the Art's
Birthday breakfast show engaging in a duet with Tetsuo Kogawa on the phone  
 from Tokyo. These collaborations were possible through pre-established
friendships and exchanges, but their continued evolution expanded these  
networks to include younger generations of artists who came to know one  
solely through telematic events.

Art's Birthday festivities persist in part because of their playful Fluxus  
beginnings; but aside from the absurdist bucket and sponge premise, the  
continues to be a forum for permanent creation. The Scrambled_Bites  
residency celebrated Art's Birthday as an opportunity to further explore  
principles of diffused authourship, collaborative creation and generative  
artworks. And of course, throwing a good party is always an excuse to  
your friends at home and abroad, so the perpetual motion of the Eternal  
Network carried on through Art's Birthday activities in 2004.

Scrambled_Bites and Art's Birthday

This year the Art's Birthday network consisted of nodes in 12 cities:  
Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City, Columbus Ohio,  
Helsinki, Weimar,
  Vienna, Melbourne, Sydney and Tokyo. Each site had pre-existing  
connections to one or more of the other nodes, perpetuating and expanding  
a network of
media art exchange: some of the remote participants in Art's Birthday 2004  
were displaced Front members like Daniel Jolliffe in Ohio or Tagny Duff and
myself in Montréal, while others were long-time Wiencouver collaborators  
such as the Kunstradio crew, Tetsuo Kogawa, and Toy Satellite. Several  
chose to engage the trope of the Eternal Network in historical terms and  
through streamed real time collaborations: Pascale Malaterre at Studio XX
invited party guests to invoke the names of women artists and inventors  
who had influenced their work, while Margaret Dragu (Western Front) and  
Tagny Duff
  (Studio XX) exchanged signature gestures culled from the work of mostly  
Canadian performance artists from the past 30 years.

Kunstradio founder, Heidi Grundmann, notes that the stripped down data  
exchange enabled by the Scrambler harkens back to another series of  
network projects: Chip Radio (1992) and Real Time (1993), organized by the  
Transit collective. MIDI data was transferred via modem over dedicated  
lines connecting various regional ORF (Austrian National Radio) studios in  
Austria, so that an artist wearing a MIDI controlled glove could play a  
kit or vibraphone in another city. Both Chip Radio and Real Time allowed  
for performative actions in one space to trigger physical actions in  
another. By
working with the space between three studios, improvised music was created  
through remote collaboration. The Scrambler enables a similar exchange of
physical actions between numerous locations but with far less  
infrastructure (an average online connection will do), thus relieving  
artists and audience
 from performances revolving around the ubiquitous computer screen and  
instead manifesting the network in a more congenial social setting.

Many of the sensor-driven applications exchanging data through the  
Scrambler exhibited typical Fluxus prankishness, such as the cake crusher  
operated by
remote sledgehammer hits, the radioactive sponge in a bucket of water, or  
the various automated drink mixers. Recurring themes emerged from different
birthday celebrations: party robots of all sorts, at least three pieces  
deconstructing the "Happy Birthday" song, a blinking jello cake in Sidney  
and a
jello layer cake with embedded binaural microphones in Montréal, numerous  
exchanges of weather, wind and satellite data -- not to mention copious  
of cake and cookies.

Though the festivities as initiated by the Front were centred around the  
goals of the Scrambled_Bites residency and use of the Scrambler, not all  
were able to or interested in applying this focus to their events,  
favouring instead more conventional media such as radio, telephone,  
streaming and non-wired performance art. Kunstradio was exceptional for  
their dual focus of Scrambler-assisted data exchange as well as sending and
displaying audio and video streams. Producer Elisabeth Zimmermann notes  
that Kunstradio's intention was to host a great local party complete with a
plethora of robotic installations powered by Scrambler traffic, while  
still maintaining a web presence for online visitors and for other Art's  
locations to see and hear the party happenings in Vienna.

After the party had wound down in Montréal, I logged on to follow events  
in full swing in time zones further west. The Western Front webcam was  
zeroed in
on an excessively iced cake, its doom incrementally impending in the form  
of a toilet lid inching toward it on the cake crusher apparatus. In  
there were intermittent stills of a band playing in a room festooned with  
balloons, while satellite positions in Ohio determined the mix of drinks  
poured in both sites, or so I surmised from watching the data traffic in  
the Scrambler. As I poured myself a drink and settled in to see if the cake
would survive or be squished, I pondered whether the artist and audience  
had merged as Filliou intended.

In the days leading up to Art's Birthday, the Scrambled_Bites residents  
provided knowledge and tech support through the Art's Birthday e-mail  
list, as
well as teaching workshops and mentoring students to create sensor-driven  
works that could generate or respond to exchanged data. Diana Burgoyne
integrated technical explanations into her performance and use of  
robotics, so that partygoers could better understand the nature of the  
network in place.

There were many opportunities for the birthday-going public to interact  
and participate with the various installations onsite -- to enliven works
operating in their locale or in another city by dancing on a dancepad or  
taking a turns at sledgehammer hits. Some people were inadvertent  
such passers-by on the campus of Ohio State University whose positions in  
the Oval became data that fed gizmos two timezones away. Some participated
simply by eating cake. But just like a more conventional house party full  
of people, the feeling that you are attending a great party does not
necessarily stem from talking to everyone who is there, but rather from  
the excitement and energy generated by the combined presence of those  
people. The
Art's Birthday network boosted local parties with the added dimension of  
feeling the presence of others abroad, whether their remote activities  
lights to flicker and installations to move, or whether we could actually  
see and hear each other on our homepages. For all the disparate or random  
exchanged, the message could be reduced to this: we are here, and so are  
you, so happy birthday!

And as for the cake vs. crusher, apparently the crusher broke before the  
cake was little more than a third squished, proving that art is long, but  
is longer.

(Anna Friz, March 2004)

"Hello All! What a party!... we are still feeling the resonance here...  
I'm just going through everybody's documentation and I'm completely blown  
away by
the creativity and imagination that everybody pulled out of the hat!...  

Ken Gregory, e-mail to the Art's Birthday list, January 18th, 2004.

Essay from Scrambled_Bites / Art's Birthday, published by The Western  
Front Society, Vancouver, 2004, ISBN 0-920974-03-1.

milos vojtechovsky



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