art sound machine

Mobile sound systems are fascinating audio devices somewhere between vehicle and sculpture. Having emerged from various street movements, they are today the catalyst for new artistic upheavals.


Art Sound Machine

15 February – 1 June 2014, Marta Herford (Gehry galleries)

For the first time an exhibition is dedicated to the fascinating combination of art, sound and motion, and generates a pulsating world of gentle tones and impressive sounds.

From the barrel organ and the ghetto blaster to the large speaker vehicles at parades or demonstrations, right up to acoustic warfare – regardless of the context in which mobile sound systems are used, we are directly impacted by their equally fascinating and threatening effect.

The exhibition “BOOSTER” inquires into the cultural significance of these constructions and their use in the creative arts. Since the start of the 20th century, artists have been producing breathtaking sound machines, again and again stretching the boundaries between different disciplines. The special combination of sculpture, movement and sound takes the visitor into a world that addresses many different senses at once: whether as fragile mechanisms or monumental objects, the mobile sound sculptures generate a pulsating world of (sub)cultural spheres in a choreography of gentle tones and high-volume sounds.

Against a background of spectacular installations and sculptures, the exhibition also traces the global roots of mobile sound systems.

The project was developed from a concept by and in collaboration with the artist Nik Nowak.


AUDINT/ Toby Heys & Steve Goodman, Arseni Michailowitsch Awraamow, Massimo Bartolini, Lothar Baumgarten, Benjamin Binder, John Cage, Katie Callan, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, James Cauty, Welimir Chlebnikow, Fortunato Depero, Marcel Duchamp, Carlos Rolon/ Dzine, Nikolai Foregger, Miquel Galofré, Jay Gard, Tamara Grcic, Gregor Hildebrandt, HEAVYLISTENING/ Carl Schilde & Anselm Venezian Nehls, Matt Hope, Karl Hans Janke, Shi Jinsong, Christine Sun Kim, Mark Leckey, Olaf Mooij, M11X/ Mikal Jessie Hameed, Nomadic Sound System/ Benjamin Newland, Nik Nowak, Lyle Owerko, Tintin Patrone, Picós-Archiv/ Fabian Altahona Romero, Gabriel Rossell-Santillán, Luigi Russolo, Tom Sachs, Aura Satz, Santiago Sierra, Konrad Smolenski, Moritz Stumm, Kurt Schwitters, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jean Tinguely, Dziga Vertov, Walter Zurborg

Exhibition views
Texts: Jessica E. Edwards, Friederike Fast, Steve Goodman, Toby Heys, Roland Nachtigäller, Nik Nowak
Format: 20 x 26 cm
184 pages
159 mostly color ill.
Gate-folded softcover
Language: German | English
edited by: Marta Herford gGmbH
publisher: Kerber Verlag
Price: 36 €
Exhibition supporters


Material sponsors


Thank you

Many thanks to the Marta Herford Corporate Partners and Corporate Premium Partners for their ongoing support of our program.

Mobility partner

Exhibition poster, original photo: Dominican mobile sound system ©2008–13 José Gutiérrez Producciones

Video: Exhibition trailer