IMA | lab No. 19: TopoPhonien
Black and white photo of Sabine Schäfer, she sits lost in thought at the console.
20 Years of Sound Art by Sabine Schäfer
Sun, October 27, 2013 5 pm CET, Lecture
The nineteenth edition of the IMA | lab celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the Spatial Sound Art Project TopoPhonien, for which Karlsruhe artist Sabine Schäfer was awarded the Siemens Media Art Prize in 1993. As part of the project, two exclusive spatial sound steering systems were designed and built in 1993 by hardware and software designer Sukandar Kartadinata at the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics (IMA).

For the event, various multi-channel pieces will be presented, ranging from eight to twenty-seven channel installation works and concert pieces from the TopoPhonies cycle. All the works were specially arranged and adapted for the ZKM_Sound Dome by the artist. The concert/presentation will be supplemented by a short lecture in two parts by the sound art theorist and curator Dr. Kersten Glandien, London (UK). An introduction to the evening will be given by Prof. Dr. Michael Harenberg, Hochschule der Künste Bern (CH).

Underlying the series of works entitled TopoPhonien is the artistic idea of moving sound really with a computer-guided spatial sound distribution, namely, via a polynominal loudspeaker body situated in the space. In the new edition for the ZKM_Sound Dome, the works are reinterpreted whereby the single sound levels of the composition merge into a moving overall sound experience. In the original versions, these were distributed through groups of single loudspeakers in the architectonic space.

The event is held in cooperation with the field of studies Music and Media Art of the Hochschule der Künste Bern (CH).
With kind support of WDR Köln and SWR Baden-Baden Program Introduction
"On the Aesthetic Location of Non-simulative Spatial Sound Projections Based on the Example of the TopoPhonies and the Sound Sculpture, by Sabine Schäfer"
Prof. Dr. Michael Harenberg, Hochschule der Künste Bern (CH)

Short Lecture in Two Parts 
"Sound Spaces I: Reflections on Sabine Schäfer‘s TopoPhonies in the Interplay of Sound Art and Music"
"Sound Spaces II: Reflections on Sabine Schäfer’s Radiophone Works in the Interplay of Virtual and Real Space"
Dr. Kersten Glandien, London (UK)

Concert with Works from the Cycle TopoPhonien
The following works will be presented as a concert installation for the ZKM_Sound Dome on this evening 
  • LOST
1992 Badische Kunstverein/2013 ZKM_Sound Dome, premiere [5:04]
  • Sound Warp Vers. II
1994 Kunst-Werke Berlin/2013 ZKM_Sound Dome, premiere [10:15]
  • TopoPhonicPlateaus
1995 Donaueschinger Musiktage/2010 ZKM_Sound Dome [17:18]
  • Cycle of Sound No. 4-6
1997 MusikTriennale Köln/2013 ZKM_Sound Dome, first performance [05:16, 03:49 & 03:52]
  • Was erzählte ich über Sprach(t)räume? [What did I say about Language (dream ) spaces]
1997 5. Acustica International WDR Köln/2013 Remix for the ZKM_Sound Dome, first performance [10:12] TopoPhonie no. 4
1997 Einweihung ZKM | Karlsruhe/2007 ZKM_Sound Dome [07:30]

Composition, Sound Direction: Sabine Schäfer
Sound Engineering: Jannis Lehnert
Piano: Claudia Klinkenberg (TopoPhonicPlateaus)
Lectures: Kersten Glandien, Michael0 Harenberg Participants Sabine Schäfer
Sabine Schäfer, freelance composer, sound artist and media artist lives and works in Karlsruhe. She studied piano and composition with Matthias Spahlinger and Wolfgang Rihm at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe, and worked from 1982 till 1991 on interdisciplinary projects as as composer-performer. From 1990 to 1992, the artistic development of the space-sound art project TopoPhonies as well as the technical development of a digital space-sound steering system was initiated in collaboration with the software and hardware designer Sukandar Kartadinata. Since 1991 she has been working on the realization of computer-guided space-sound installations, accessible and concertante space-sound bodies, as well as on productions for <sabine schäfer / / joachim krebs>, and has been known since 2009 by the pseudonym <SA/JO>. From 2004 till 2008 she was member of the board of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Elektroakustische Musik (DEGEM) [German Society for Electro-acoustic Music].
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Kersten Glandien
Dr. Kersten Glandien is author, curator and lecturer in the fields of sound and radio art, aesthetics and contemporary art. She studied with Wolfgang Rihm philosophy, aesthetics and art history at the University of St. Petersburg in Russia. She worked as a lecturer and research scholar at the Technical University of Dresden, and as a research assistant at the Institute for Aesthetics and Art History at the Akademie der Wissenschaften Berlin. Since 1989 she has worked as a freelance author and curator in London, and has been teaching contemporary art at Richmond University London since 1993, and, from 2003, SoundArt at the faculty of art at the University of Brighton.

Her academic writings range across numerous publications in the field of sound and radio art, aesthetics and experimental music. She has curated concert series in experimental music, radio art events and sound art exhibitions. At present, she is working on a book on the subject of aesthetics of sound art.
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Michael Harenberg
Prof. Dr. Michael Harenberg studied systematic music theory in Gießen and composition in Darmstadt, before going on to gain his doctorate on virtual instruments in acoustic cyberspace. Harenberg is co-director of Bachelor studies in Music and Media Art as well as of Master of Contemporary Arts Practice (CAP) at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern. From 2004 till 2013, Harenberg was Chairman of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Elektroakustische Musik e.V. (DEGEM) and is director of DEGEM WebRadio@ZKM.
For further information, please see : and

Claudia Klinkenberg
The pianist Claudia Klinkenberg combines old music, classical music, world music, jazz and popular music in her programmes. She has made several radio and television appearances, among others, at Deutschlandfunk, the SWR, at South East Asia and Amrita Channel. She made guest appearances in Bonn, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Münster, Bachstadt Köthen, Munich, Milan, Paris, Vienna, Los Angeles, in various Indian cities (New Delhi Siri Fort Auditorium), and at many locations within Germany and throughout the world. Her CD recordings display her keen interest in experimentation and versatility. It was in Sabine Schäfer’s classes in improvisation at the Karlsruhe Music Academy in the 1980s that Claudia Klinkenberg discovered her love of free improvisation and New Music.
Project team

Komposition, Klangregie: Sabine Schäfer
Tontechnik: Jannis Lehnert
Klavier: Claudia Klinkenberg (TopoPhonicPlateaus)
Vorträge: Kersten Glandien, Michael Harenberg


Hochschule der Künste Bern, Studienbereich Musik und Medienkunst ; WDR Köln ; SWR Baden-Baden