Radio programme: The Radiophonic Laboratory of Antimatter (SoundFjord / concertzender, Netherlands)

Earlier in the month I invited people to my studio to translate the abstract painting processes  of Situationist “Pinot” Gallizio into abstract audio. On Wednesday 23rd July, Dutch radio station Concertzender will broadcast a documentary programme I’m making about the process, featuring recordings from the workshop. The programme was curated by SoundFjord as part of Martijn Comes’ Inventions for Radio.

The show airs at 10pm UK time or 11pm CET. You can listen through the Concertzender website. Full details below:

In the series Inventions for Radio, July 23rd 23.00 CET the first of a triptich episodes curated and presented by SoundFjord London. Sound artist Graham Dunning explores the work of engineer, botanist, chemist and artist Giuseppe “Pinot” Gallizio in “The Radiophonic Laboratory of Antimatter”.


Concepts of eternity and immortality will disintegrate, and the woes of eternalization of matter will be reduced ever more to nothing …the stripteases of the constellations, the rhythmic dances of asteroids and ultrasonic music of thousands of fragmented sounds will supply us with moments worthy of demigods.

During the late 50s and 60s, founding member of the Sitationist International, Giuseppe “Pinot” Gallizio – an engineer, botanist, chemist and artist – developed a technique known as Industrial Painting. In a collaborative effort – a critical perversion of the assembly line – artists, scientists and local people used primitive machines to fill long rolls of canvas with abstract-gestural paintings. These mass-produced but unique objects were intended to be sold en masse, cut up by-the-metre, to usurp the art market.

Through an ongoing project, sound artist Graham Dunning explores Gallizio’s work by analogising the visual and auditory realms. This radio programme documents the latest stage in the process: The Radiophonic Laboratory of Antimatter. Here Dunning invites participants to a workshop at his London studio, the aim, to create abstract-gestural audio by transposing Gallizio’s original techniques into sonic equivalents.

Today man is a part of the machine he has created and which negates him and by which he is dominated. We must invert this non-sense or there will be no more creation; we must dominate the machine, force it to make the unique gesture — useless, anti-economic, artistic — in order to create a new anti-economic society, one that is poetic, magical, artistic. 

After lengthy discussions on how the process might possibly be achieved, the group builds a sound-making machine from record players, tone generators, elastic bands, kitchen implements and musical instruments. Working within and pushing against parameters set out in the preliminary discussion, the operators release the ghost in the machine. A collaborative exorcism: mixing desk as ouija board.

All quotes in italics:
Discourse on Industrial Painting and a Unitary Applicable Art
Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, Internationale Situationniste #3 (December 1959)

Artist Biography:
Graham Dunning’s art is tempered by his background in experimental music. This framework is a means to consider his preoccupations and negotiate concerns of thinking, making and doing within his practice. Graham is unrestricted by medium, though time and again he is drawn to working with sound, or found objects.

Experimentation and play are integral elements within the manifestation of his work. So too the desire to define boundaries, and assert restrictions – as one might conduct a scientific experiment. Noise, as unwanted sound – record crackle or tape hiss for example – is an ongoing motif within Graham’s work. Likewise, its visual equivalent, that of dirt, dust, decay. Analogy between sensory mediums, such as audio to visual and vice versa is a process and production method that Graham often works towards.

In his work, Graham considers Time as a concept, as well as its personal implication on everyday life. He is fascinated by how people store their memories – in personal archives: photographs, audio journals, post-it notes – and what becomes of those archives. Graham is a collector and is fascinated by how and why others collect. Discarded objects hold a particular interest as for him they are vessels for stories, suggested or inferred.

SoundFjord is a creative venture specialising in the production, curation, exhibition and promotion of sound, trans-media art and related research and practice. In 2013, SoundFjord unshackled itself from its North London studio and became a fully-fledged nomadic concern. Unfettered by the specificity of a single space, location or architecture, SoundFjord’s work is now to be found online, on air and in situ in a variety of places.

Producer: Martijn Comes


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