sonambiente berlin 2006 offers a platform to the many different modes of sound art for the second time since 1996. The festival for hearing and seeing combines music, visual art, media art, performance and film. At centre stage is the sonambiente_exhibition, which shows the works of more than 50 internationally renowned artists at five central locations and a series of other venues, along with works by 20 up-and-coming art school talents in the sonambiente_laboratorium. Together with the sonambiente_live performances and concerts at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and the Volksbühne, and actions in the public urban arena, sonambiente berlin 2006 activates a dense network of events around the centre of Berlin. Many of its art works are being created especially for their sites. They generate intriguing interactions with pre-existing spaces and situations and occasionally play their own games with urban life.
sonambiente_discourse with theoretical debate at tesla salon and the sonambiente_filmseries iat Filmkunsthaus Babylon round out the programme. The sonambiente_website presents net-specific projects and documents the festival. The 400-page sonambiente_catalogue provides an introduction to the participating artists and their projects, and also contains an expert discussion of the field, with 25 original contributions on the theoretical issues in acoustic art..
sonambiente interprets the city as an actual work of sound art. Art experience is conveyed as urban experience, and vice versa. With art positioned at original showplaces and 'found locations' throughout the centre of Berlin, the festival also pursues critical reflection on urban development. sonambiente has been intentionally timed around the football World Cup, when the acoustic rituals of massive passions for football will lend a special tone to the city as sound art. Picking up on this, some of the artists execute a playful double pass between football and art. In addition, the festival extends an invitation to the sonambiente_public viewing world cup sound art lounge in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, where all the football matches will be screened live and given full artistic treatment. Berlin, one of the most important international centres for sound art, was the venue for sonambiente in 1996, when the festival was first realised with great success as part of the tercentenary celebration of the Akademie der Künste. Under the joint auspices of the Akademie der Künste and the Berliner Festspiele, sonambiente berlin 2006 revives the historic time-honoured partnership that already created a sensation back in 1980 with For Eyes And Ears, an exhibition by René Block and Nele Hertling that was pioneering for the interdisciplinary arts.
Our sincere thanks go to all participating artists, our backers, the cooperating and sponsoring institutions, and to all co-workers and helpers for their commitment. Special thanks are owed to the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, which made this project possible, and to the Polish Embassy in Berlin, which has granted access to its former embassy quarters on Unter den Linden as the German-Polish Culture Year draws to a close. We look forward to many open eyes and ears!
Matthias Osterwold Georg Weckwerth