Christian Marclay, 2010
© all rights reserved
Karl Holmqvist, Centre d'art contemporain, Genève
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Karl Holmqvist, Centre d’art contemporain Genève, 2017
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Affiche, Le colloque de Tanger, Gérard-Georges Lemaire, 1976
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Le colloque de Tanger, Brion Gysin et William Burroughs à Genève, 1975
© tbn

A-Sides - Audio editions by artists

March 2017 to March 2019

Leading institution: HEAD – Genève
Projet led by: Laurent Schmid, Professor, in charge of the work.master program of Visual arts
Project applicant : Laurent Schmid
Institution: ECAL
Co-applicants: Stéphane Kropf, Francis Baudevin
Team: Mathieu Copeland, John Armleder, Stéphane Kropf, Francis Baudevin, Roxane Bovet, Jonathan Frigeri
Partner: Ben Schot, Sea Urchin
Funding: HES-SO
Dissemination: Printed anthology and a series of vinyl records

Since their creation, records have always been used by artists as a means to distribute their sound recordings. Avant-garde artists experimented with records in the 1920s, before movements in the 1960s and 1970s redefined the role of this sound media for the proliferation and hybridisation of art forms between sound and language. Admittedly, recording media such as records and cassettes have been used to document happenings, readings and Fluxus concerts, but these have also become a means in their own right used by artists to broadcast their experimentation. Furthermore, the current economic and technological context has generated strong interest for editorial and multiple art practices.

The A-sides project is based on a network of actors related to the Geneva scene and focuses its research on artistic encounters and exchanges that have generated sound productions. The works produced and the methods used to explore this international network have laid the foundations of an artists’ sound recordings anthology.

That anthology fulfils a second objective, which aims to enhance knowledge and contextual analysis of the conditions and motivation that underlie the production of sound recordings as an art form.

In parallel to this analytic anthology, we have planned to produce a series of recordings and sound creations on vinyl, with artists whose works have contributed and still contribute to the music scene. 

Thus, A-sides examines the ambiguous relationship between the current technological context geared towards dematerialisation, and the persistence of sound works distributed on tangible recording media.

This practical publishing stage helps address issues of broadcasting and distribution in the field of art in connection with the artistic concerns of the last 50 years: “The definition of artistic activity occurs first of all in the field of distribution”, wrote Marcel Broodthaers

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