Sound Art

Sound as a Medium of Art

The cover of the publication "Sound Art. Sound as a Medium of Art". On view is the artwork of Douglas Henderson, "stop." from 2007 - an electric guitar half in cement in a concrete cube; connected with a Marshal amplifier and a Fender box.

Type of publication
Exhibition catalog
Author / Editor
Peter Weibel (ed.)
Publishing house, place
MIT Press, Cambridge (MA) / London, England

This milestone volume maps fifty years of artists’ engagement with sound. Since the beginning of the new millennium, numerous historical and critical works have established sound art as an artistic genre in its own right, with an accepted genealogy that begins with Futurism, Dada, and Fluxus, as well as disciplinary classifications that effectively restrict artistic practice to particular tools and venues. This book, companion volume to a massive 2012–2013 exhibition at ZKM | Karlsruhe, goes beyond these established disciplinary divides to chart the evolution and the full potential of sound as a medium of art. The book begins with an extensive overview by editor Peter Weibel that considers the history of sound as media art, examining work by visual artists, composers, musicians, and architects alike. Subsequent essays examine sound experiments in antiquity, sonification of art and science, and internet-based sound art. Experts then survey the global field of sound art research and practice, in essays that describe the past, present, and future of sound art in Germany, Japan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Turkey, Australia, and Scandinavia. The texts are accompanied by an extensive photographic documentation of the ZKM exhibition.


The essays collected in the volume give back all this complexity of sound art by examining experiments from antiquity to sound art based on big data and social dynamics. It defines a territory of global experimentation with reflections that describe the past, present and future of sound art in Germany, Japan, China, United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Turkey, Australia.
An important volume, therefore, which represents an excellent tool for study and knowledge, which goes beyond the strict narration of the exhibition at ZKM.

– Marco Petroni, "Il suono è arte. Il libro di Peter Weibel", 8. April, 2020,

744 p. ; numerous illustrations (ca. 1000), 28 x 22 cm, hardcover
Production / Corporation / Exhibition
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Kalrsuhe
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

Project management: Jens Lutz, Miriam Stürner

Layout: Jan Kiesswetter, Leonie Rapp

About the editors