Cold War Looney Tunes
A black and white picture shows an electric piano in front of cables and computers.
Sat, 15.12.2018, 8 pm CET

The »Polish Radio Experimental Studio« (PRES) was founded in Warsaw in 1957. As the largest platform for freedom of expression in the Eastern Bloc, its foundation also had a symbolic value. The ZKM presents historical works by the studio, including Bohdan Mazurek, Elzbieta Sikora and Eugenius Rudnik. 

The studio developed into an exclusive space for creative autonomy. Together with the »Warsaw Autumn. International Festival of Contemporary Music«, the PRES was the only platform that invited guests from the United States, Western Europe and the Scandinavian countries and thus made an exchange possible.

Thanks to its modern technology and two qualified, experienced technicians, the studio was able to meet the needs of composers from different backgrounds and, above all, promoted research in the field of tape music. Nevertheless, the studio concentrated not only on producing independent electroacoustic pieces, but also on creating musical »illustrations« for film, radio and television. Actually, the production of background music and what we now call sound design for various media was officially one of the main tasks of the studio. As a result, the electroacoustic experiments at the headquarters of Polish Radio in Warsaw had a profound influence not only on the development of art music in Europe, but also on the transformation of pop culture and imagination in the Eastern bloc.

The studio was a meeting place for engineers such as Eugeniusz Rudnik, Bohdan Mazurek, Barbara Okoń-Makowska, Wojciech Makowski, Ewa Guziołek-Tubelewicz, Tadeusz Sudnik, Krzysztof Szlifirski and composers. Among the members of the latter are: Włodzimierz Kotoński, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bogusław Schaeffer, Elżbieta Sikora, Krzysztof Knittel, Hugh Davies, Arne Nordheim, Kare Kolberg, Lejaren Hiller, Roland Kayn and Dubravko Detoni.

Later, the studio developed into an interdisciplinary institute for new media. The members of the PRES were constantly striving to spread and promote new forms of music by organizing lectures, producing series for broadcast and publishing treatises on the subject. The studio became a laboratory for visual artists and designers such as Oskar and Zofia Hansen, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Kazimierz Urbański and Józef Robakowski.


  • Eugniusz Rudnik – Stone Epitaph (8) 
  • Bohdan Mazurek – Epitaph (6) 
  • Elżbieta Sikora – Rhapsody for the Death of the Republic (12) 
  • Eugeniusz Rudnik – Guillotine DG (12)
  • Edward Artemiev – Solaris-Ocean

  • Marcin Cichy – Silent Star



Sebastian Schottke – Sound director

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media