Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Washington State University


Sound Art, or Audio Art, emerged as a phenomenon in the late 1970s and became fairly well known in '90s. The sounds used can be natural, man-made, technological, etc. Works can take form of Performance Art, Kinetic Art, Video Art, etc.

The "art of noises" was explored a bit by Futurists and Dadaists early in the century. Mid-century, John Cage redefined music as combinations of sounds and noises.

Robert Rauschenberg

Broadcast (1959)
Three radios behind a canvas and two tuning knobs on the surface.

Oracle (1962-1965)
A sculptural sound environment.

Soundings (1968)
A massive plexiglass screen with concealed lights activated by the sounds of the viewers.

Cordier & Ekstrom gallery, NY, 1964 "For Eyes and Ears." Sound Art show.

Lee Ranaldo (1956- )

Brian Eno (1948- )

Christian Marclay

Guitar Drag (2000)
A 15-minute video of an amplified electric guitar being pulled behind a pick-up truck along dirt roads of Texas.

Works Consulted

Dempsey, Amy. Art in the Modern Era: A Guide to Styles, Schools & Movements. NY: Harry N. Abrams Inc., Pub., 2002.

20th-Century Index