Artist Talk

RUNDFUNK AETERNA X is a radio opera by Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag. As a symphonic-spatial re-composition of his 2017 work commissioned by documenta 14 and broadcast worldwide, the public is now invited to walk through a multidimensional listening room. This space and sound experience involves both instrumental soloists as well as a grid of 16 acoustic 360° emitters, a large diffraction horn, an Audion radio circuit and a transistor radio, as well as antennas and receivers for ELF waves.

In the 1930s, Rudolf Arnheim described broadcasting as the future medium of bodiless sound art. For Sonntag, sound art is above all a spatial art that addresses the body. In this opera, he traces the artistic and political visions of the first new (mass) medium, radio, starting from Arnheim, Benjamin, Brecht on later Stockhausen, Cage, Heidegger and Kittler. He argues that on the one hand, the technical prerequisites of radio have the same roots as the dissection of sound in new and experimental music and, on the other, the institution of broadcasters in Europe made the post-war avant-gardes technically and financially possible. The radio apparatus and radio studio became part of the compositions. RUNDFUNK AETERNA X is also the first presentation of the sonradiaGrids consisting of N-solab's newly developed acoustic omnidirectional radiators.

RUNDFUNK AETERNA X is a production of N-solab sponsored by Hauptstadtkulturfonds. It has its world premiere as an installation at the Akademie der Künste in collaboration with CTM and the transmediale 2019. The installation is based on a studio production commissioned by documenta 14, supported by Deutschlandfunk Kultur.

Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag (*1965) is an artist, composer, researcher and performer. He studied fine arts, art history, music theory, composition, philosophy and cognitive science; workshops with Phil Corner, Vinco Globokar, Albert Mangelsdorf, Ray Anderson, John Cage, Alvin Lussier. He was assistent of Mauricio Kagel and Rudolf zur Lippe, worked on performances with Franz Erhard Walther. He was a fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude and the Villa Aurora and received several grants or prizes among others the German Sound Art Prize, the Cynet Art Award, the emare-Mexiko-Grant.

His mostly spatial works are shown and performed worldwide. He has done more than one-hundred sitespecific installations, has written and provided four chamber-operas and hundreds of performances.

Since 2013 together with Sebastian Döring he has been the publisher of the Circutry Notations for Friedrich Kittler Gesammelte Schriften. 2015 he was invited for his midcareer retrospective Rauschen at the Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart. In summer 2019, RUNDFUNK AETERNA X will be shown as stage version at the Theater Freiburg.

RUNDFUNK AETERNA X marks the launch of the new event series "Anhörung!". In this series, some exemplary pieces are listened to and discussed anew, archives are researched, borderlands are explored and forms of the public sphere are put to the test. After the launch, the series will continue up until 2 June 2019 featuring radio plays by Heiner Müller/Heiner GoebbelsInge Müller, Kathrin Röggla and Hermann Bohlen, and the opening of the Hermann Naber archive.

Saturday, 2 Feb 2019

6 pm


Hall 1

Artist talk about opera, immersion, radio utopias

With Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag, Hubertus von Amelunxen and Wolfgang Hagen

Moderation: Detlev Schneider

In German

Free admission