Radio Freie Modulationen / Was kostet den Kopf?
Historical presentation of the technical device for measuring the speed of sound in water
A listening evening with FM Einheit and Siegfried Zielinski
Sat, April 13, 2024 6 pm CEST, Performance

»Radio Freie Modulationen / Was kostet den Kopf« invites you to discover a fascinating sonic universe that combines the radical ideas of the European avant-garde with the longings and fantasies of the present. The "Ab-Hör-Abend", consisting of a radio play collage and live acts, leads deep into the "An-Archives" of the musician and composer FM Einheit and the media archaeologist Siegfried Zielinski, who have been friends and artistic collaborators for many years.

FM Einheit is one of the best-known representatives of experimental sound art. Not only was he instrumental in developing the sound of the legendary band Einstürzende Neubauten, he has also established himself as a composer of film and theatre music and has received several awards for his radio play productions. FM Einheit and Siegfried Zielinski, who not only shaped media archaeology from the very beginning, but also extended it to non-European perspectives with the idea of "variantology", have realised a series of performances and radio plays together in recent years. For the evening at the ZKM, the two radio plays »Radio Freie Modulationen« and »Was kostet den Kopf?,« which were created for SWR and Deutschlandfunk in 2023, were combined into a version lasting almost one hour. The performance of the dense sound collage will be visually commented by Siegfried Zielinski, followed by a live performance by FM Einheit. 

»Was kostet der Kopf? Eine Ringschaltung« explores the universe of KINOKI, the legendary group of young documentary filmmakers around Dziga Vertov, who plunged into the reality of the big city in 1929 with his film "Man with the Cinematographic Apparatus" - between things, machines and people. KINOKI's radical texts are integrated into the network of the first European avant-garde in the form of a ring circuit and transformed into a rhythmic poetry of the now. Their longings, phantasms and ideas crystallize into striking paradigms of contemporary art and media production: the artistic cooperative as a possible alternative to the unconditional and vain genius ego, the exploration of the fragile hybridity of a new relationship between man, machine and nature, the anarchic and poetic potential of artificial extelligence and the possible future of hybrid existences. The speakers are Meret Becker, David Bennent, Teodor Currentzis, Anthony Moore, FM Einheit and Siegfried Zielinski.

For »Radio Freie Modulationen«, FM Einheit and Zielinski engaged in an intensive artistic exchange over a period of two years. For the project, they opened up their "an-archives" and allowed what they had found to proliferate and collide sonically.  The result is a critical, loud, unique sounding adventure - sometimes topical, sometimes phantasmagorical, sometimes poetic. "Art is resistance. There is no art without waste," says Zielinski. The researcher has been studying media archaeology and the function of the archive for many years. "Matter is active. It is a subject, not an object". 
"Radio Free Modulations includes text fragments by Vilém Flusser, Genesis P-Orridge, the Poetry Machine David Links, Antonin Artaud, Meret Becker, Walter Benjamin, Benjamin Bratton, William S. Burroughs, John Cage, Teodor Currentzis, Alexander Galloway, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Jennifer Minetti, Phil Minton, Alexander Moissi, Heiner Müller, John Peel, Michael Saup, Henning Schmidgen and Werner Schwab.

The ZKM | Archive
»Radio Freie Modulationen / Was kostet den Kopf« is an initiative of the ZKM | Archive. In 2021, FM Einheit handed over a copy of its digital sound archive to the ZKM. FM Einheit's archive comprises around 370 projects in the fields of music, radio and radio plays, theatre and ballet, installation and performance. It documents their creation and conception, their publications and live recordings and also provides access to the artist's numerous field recordings, samples and sketches.

FM Einheit is a musician, performer, art researcher and composer. He was a member of the band Einstürzende Neubauten from 1980 to 1996. Since the late 1980s, he has increasingly worked as a theater and radio play composer. Twice awarded the »Hörspielpreis der Kriegsblinden« (1995 and 2002). 2020-2022 he was Composer in Residence at Teodor Currentzis' international ensemble musicAeterna in St. Petersburg.
Since 2021 a digital version of FM Einheit's sound archive is part of the ZKM | Archive. [> Archive FM Einheit]

Siegfried Zielinski is a pioneer of an archaeology and variantology of media and the arts. He researches the tense relationship between art, science and technology. As a member of the board of trustees, he accompanied Peter Weibel and his work for the ZKM for many years. This collaboration resulted in exhibitions such as »Bodenlos - Flusser und die Künste« (2015), »Allahs Automaten« (2015), »Dia-Logos - Ramon Llull und die Kunst des Kombinierens« (2018), »Kunst in Bewegung - 100 Meisterwerke mit und durch Medien« (2018/19).