Sounding the Body Electric. Experiments in Art and Music in Eastern Europe 1957-1984
This book accompanying an exhibition at the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź explores both the optimism and the anxiety that was to be found in the experimental zone of art and music. Art Artwork from Poland
In the aftermath of Stalinism, composers and artists in Eastern Europe were given new opportunities to experiment. New recording studios equipped with magnetic tape recorders and later, synthesisers were established, first in Warsaw in 1957 and then throughout Eastern Europe. New and often challenging forms of music were produced in these laboratories of sound.
The connections between the visual arts and experimental music were closer in the 1960s than perhaps any time before or since. Sound and image combined in artists’ films, ‘happenings’ and sounding installations. Experimental forms of notation were also created to stimulate uninhibitd musical expression.
The early happenings and actions of the 1960s were associated with intellectual freedom and reform. The exhilaration of experimentation declined during the decade and in the 1970s new critical forms of art emerged which associated sound with surveillance and censorship.