Vladan Radovanović – Voice from the Loudspeaker
7″ single, PGP RTB, Belgrade, 1975

Serbian composer, visual artist and theoretician Vladan Radovanović (b. Belgrade, 1932), is a Yugoslavian electronic music pioneer who established former Yugoslavia’s first electroacoustic music studio, the Radio Belgrade Electronic Studio in 1972. During the 1970s, Radovanović turned to sound poetry and readings of conceptual texts.

Developed in a book of the same name in 1987, Radovanović’s Vokovizuel concept encompasses his activities as a sound and visual poet – of which some examples are included in this essay in Serb. In 2010, he published a study on electronic music titled Muzika i Elektroakustička Muzika, published by Izdavačka knjižarnica Zorana Stojanovića, Novi Sad, Serbia. глaс из динамика, or Glas iz zvučnika, or Voice From The Loudspeaker, was premiered at Belgrade’s Student Cultural Center in 1975. The Studentski kulturni centar, or SKC, was the most important venue for the Serbian capital’s avant garde artists – there was a retrospective exhibition on the Student Cultural Center with a PDF of the catalog here.

Voice From The Loudspeaker is a conceptual text about the recorded voice, the magnetic tape medium and the loudspeaker’s reproduction of the recording. In its use of self-referential speech, it is somewhat comparable to Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting in a Room, save for the sound treatment. The English version was translated and read by Australian-born saxophonist Paul Pignon, who lived in Yugoslavia at the time and collaborated with contemporary music composers.

“Since 1954 I have been developing a mental approach which I call Projectism. It is multidisciplinary because of its relation to both non-art and to the cerebral. Not identified with philosophy, science or art, it belongs to the higher-order category „mental activity“ or „spiritual creativeness“. Nevertheless, this research activity can be defined as art by placing it in an artistic context which is defined only by this activity. I was against the seductive voluntarism by which something was “Art” if someone regarded it as such. It seemed to me more important to establish an approach as independent as possible of the connotations of art.

From its beginning, Projectism was characterized by the use of a linguistic medium but not in the literary sense; by self-consideration and the consideration of different problems concerning perception, apperception, time and space; by an introduction of meta-language dealing with a primary language; and by a certain degree of the de-aestheticization. With these attributes, Projectism preceded the later Conceptual Art, differing from it, however, with the demand that an idea must be realized and that it may only be realized by the creator of the idea themselves.

In the early seventies, working within the frame of Projectism, I began a series of mental sound projects with fixed media; Voice from the Loudspeaker (1973) is one work from this series. It is linguistic and discursive; the voice expresses reflections on the consequences of its being heard. Spoken language creates a tautology that is evoked by the equalization of meaning and function. The listener is directed, by auditory-semantic assertions in the contexts of time and in space, to their own consciousness of the act of listening in time and space. Contextual dependency is resolved in that the work itself carries with it a context that ensures its own comprehensibility and autonomy.

Thanks to the receptive complexity called for by the work, it can function as a system relatively independent of one’s attitude to the context of art, the unartistic, and non-art, but is always necessarily dependent on conscious perception. Because it influences the listener’s awareness, the work also negotiates different levels of time flow as well as subjective reality concepts. Tape, with its ability to record a sequence of events occurring at one time and to play them again at a different time, allows references to any concept of time. The present can also formally refer to a future moment, considering that what is heard, what has been recorded, and what is being performed is always, technically, also in the past. Thus, the acoustic medium ultimately deals with a consideration of the self, by operating within the listener’s awareness, relative places in time, and realities.”

Vladan Radovanović

OKNA reopens its gallery by exhibiting a single artwork of contemporary visual art at a time. The showcases invite the visitors to discover and take interest in the works of emerging artists from East Europe and its contemporary art on the whole.

THU 18.06 – SAT 20.06 (18:00 – 20:00)

Free entry.
Gallery maximum limit: 4 visitors.
Masks must be used indoors.
2 meters social distancing.