Broken Music is an essential compendium for records created by visual artists. The publication was edited by Ursula Block and Michael Glasmeier and originally published in 1989 by DAAD. Broken Music focuses on recordings, record-objects, artwork for records, and record installations made by thousands of artists between WWII and 1989.
It also includes essays by both editors as well as Theodor W. Adorno, René Block, Jean Dubuffet, Milan Knizak, László Moholy-Nagy, Christiane Seiffert, and Hans Rudolf Zeller, as well as a flexi disc of the Arditti Quartet performing Knizak’s “Broken Music.” The centerpiece of the publication is a nearly 200-page bibliography of artists’ records.
Works chosen for the publication revolved around four criteria: (1) record covers created as original work by visual artists; (2) record or sound-producing objects (multiples/editions/sculptures); (3) books and publications that contain a record or recorded-media object; and (4) records or recorded media that have sound by visual artists.
Artists documented in the volume include Vito Acconci, albrecht/d., Laurie Anderson, Guillaume Apollinaire, Karel Appel, Arman, Hans Arp, Antonin Artaud, John Baldessari, Hugo Ball, Claus van Bebber, John Bender, Harry Bertoia, Jean-Pierre Bertrand, Joseph Beuys, Mel Bochner, Claus Böhmler, Christian Boltanski, KP Brehmer, William Burroughs, John Cage, Henri Chopin, Henning Christiansen, Jean Cocteau, William Copley, Philip Corner, Merce Cunningham, Hanne Darboven, Jim Dine, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Fischli and Weiss, R. Buckminster Fuller, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, Jack Goldstein, Peter Gordon, Hans Haacke, Richard Hamilton, Bernard Heidsieck, Holger Hiller, Richard Huelsenbeck, Isidore Isou, Marcel Janco, Servie Janssen, Jasper Johns, Joe Jones, Thomas Kapielski, Allan Kaprow, Martin Kippenberger, Per Kirkeby, Cheri Knight, Milan Knizak, Richard Kriesche, Christina Kubisch, Laibach, John Lennon, Sol Lewitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Annea Lockwood, Paul McCarthy, Meredith Monk, Josef Felix Müller, Piotr Nathan, Hermann Nitsch, Albert Oehlen, Frank O’Hara, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, Dennis Oppenheim, Nam June Paik, Charlemagne Palestine, A.R. Penck, Tom Phillips, Robert Rauschenberg, The Red Crayola, Ursula Reuter Christiansen, Gerhard Richter, Jim Rosenquist, Dieter Roth, Gerhard Rühm, Robert Rutman, Sarkis, Thomas Schmit, Conrad Schnitzler, Kurt Schwitters, Selten Gehörte Musik, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Michael Snow, Keith Sonnier, Strafe für Rebellion, Jean Tinguely, Moniek Toebosch, Tristan Tzara, Ben Vautier, Yoshi Wada, Emmett Walsh, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, and Lawrence Weiner.
Ursula Block is a curator living in Berlin, Germany. From 1981 until 2014, she ran gelbe Musik, a gallery and record shop in Berlin that featured work by artists at the crossroads between music and art.
Michael Glasmeier is a professor, writer, and editor living in Berlin, Germany. Since the early 1980s, he has curated dozens of shows that explore the intersection between the visual arts, music, film, and language.