Art's Birthday 2006: TransDADAexpress

Just 90 years ago, on 5th February 1916, the Cabaret Voltaire opened in Zurich. It became a birthplace of DADA and of Ars Acustica as well. While the First World War destroying human beings and values, artists and writers from different countries met in Zurich and created the first multilingual Avantgarde movement, which really worked by international networking. Like today's Ars Acustica network Dadaism has been international from its very beginnings and spread out over the world - building centres and epicentres by creating events in New York, Paris, Geneva, Berlin, Cologne, Hanover, Holland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia, Rumania, Hungary, Zagreb, Italy, Barcelona and South America. Richard Huelsenbeck, one of its founding members, noticed: "The word Dada in itself indicates the internationalism of the movement which is bound to no frontiers, religions or professions".

Even the roots of acoustic poetry and sound performance in Ars Acustica derive from the new understanding of poetry and performing arts in DADA times. By using the techniques of montage, collage, bruitism, simultaneism and readymade the dadaists have developed a new approach to artistic material, which has became common in contemporary media arts - beginning with the Fluxus movement in the sixties. Even Robert Filious concept of "The Eternal Network" or "La Fete permanente", which has inspired the annual celebrations of Art's Birthday by media artists, can be seen as a revival of DADA spirit.

Art's Birthday, celebrated internationally on 17th January above all by the Fluxus movement and in 2005 for the first time by the EBU Ars Acustica Special Evening, in 2006 refers to the re-birth of art by Dada. So the 90th Anniversary of DADA will become a point of reference in most of the contributions to the EBU Art's Birthday Party 2006.

Traces and sound documents of the Dadaists are used by contemporary Ars Acustica now and then with the twinkle of an eye and far from historical intentions. In a lucid, serious or ironic way the roots of Ars Acustica in Dada will be recovered by the sounds of TransDADAexpress: a live event celebrated by 15 broadcasters around the world.

The criteria for contributions and means of linking them are based on the following, taken from a text by the artist Robert Adrian:

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 Fete 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 EBU Ars Acustica Group has designed a way to organize the contents and contributions under the idea of sound "presents". Two main points in Vienna (ORF) and Stockholm (SR) will collect them to feed two EBU satellite channels: Ravel (R) and Verdi (V). R channel will transmit the main items and signature tunes, while V channel will offer other contributions which EBU Members can also downlink to mix with the R channel signal. Apart from that, on the Ars Acustica Web page (, everyone can find the Web address of independent international Web projects also involved in the party. All this input lets every station and producer offer their particular approach to the event.

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