A Critical Media History of New Music on TV 1950s–1990s
The project “Tele-Visions” presents treasures from over 20 television archives from around the world that tell a multifaceted story of the musical avant-garde from the 1950s to the 1990s.
News broadcasts, documentaries and portraits, concert recordings, talk shows and made-for-TV artistic formats from Europe (including the former GDR), the US, Latin America and North Africa paint a mass media image of Western art music, from the postwar period to the Cold War and the aftermath of the fall of the Iron Curtain. The flickering of this mostly unknown, extensive and yet necessarily fragmentary archive mirrors the personalities, institutions, forms and debates of the musical avant-garde as well as the grand cultural, political and ideological currents of the second half of the 20th century. “Tele-Visions” takes a critical long-distance look at this (self-)representation of new music on TV, a mass medium that is itself historic and disappearing.
Which historical narratives do we encounter in this archive? Which perspectives arise from temporal distance, not least with regard to current questions concerning diversity, gender inequality, intersectionality, coloniality and white supremacy? How does the development of the musical avant-garde relate to the societal fault lines of recent history, from classicism, sexism and racism to epistemic and aesthetic exclusions? In what ways do these fault lines shape the field of contemporary music to this day? In other words, what is the history of the (musical) present?
A film installation in the new Betonhalle of the silent green – open from 24th till 31st of March between 14:00 and 24:00 – is complemented by eight full-day film programs, selected by international scholars, artists and curators. Each of these programs casts its own lights onto the historical narratives of the musical avant-garde. Two movie nights, on the 25th and the 27th of March, with lectures, panels and presentations open up current perspectives on this still to be written media history of new music on television.
“Tele-Visions” is partly based on research conducted for a film program that was realized in 2009 as part of the festival Wien Modern under the artistic direction of Berno Odo Polzer and curated in collaboration with Andreas Lewin.
Programme details will be published shortly.
Curated by Berno Odo Polzer
in collaboration with Anke Charton, Diedrich Diederichsen, George Lewis, Nicolas Siepen and others
Research: Berno Odo Polzer, Ilse Müller, Nicolas Siepen, Linda Sepp
Research 2009: Berno Odo Polzer & Andreas Lewin
Production Manager: Linda Sepp
Production Assistant: Friedrich Weißbach