Between 1967 and 1981 the pioneering sound artist Marianne Amacher produced 22 City-Links projects in total, connecting distant microphones to installations and performances using dedicated FM-quality analog phone lines. Areas of downtown Buffalo, MIT, Boston Harbor, the Mississippi River, the New York harbor, studios in various locations, and other sites in the USA and abroad were transported, sometimes integrating performers near the microphones (such as John Cage and George Lewis for City-Links #18 performed at The Kitchen in 1979). The exhibition at Ludlow 38 brings together a number of documents, images, and sound samples selected and reproduced from the nascent Amacher Archive as a first look at this important series of early telematic artworks about which little has been published.
Maryanne Amacher wrote about her City-Links series:
“In my first sound works I developed the idea of sonic telepresence, introducing the use of telecommunication in sound installations. In the telelink installations ‘CITY-LINKS’ #1-22 (1967- ) the sounds from one or more remote environment (in a city, or in several cities) are transmitted “live” to the exhibition space, as an ongoing sonic environment. I produce the ‘CITY-LINKS’ installations using real-time telelinks to transmit the sound from microphones I place in the selected environments, spatializing these works with many different sonic environments: harbors, steel mills, stone towers, flour mills, factories, silos, airports, rivers, open fields, utility companies, and with musicians ‘on location.’ The adventure is in receiving live sonic spaces from more than one location at the same time – the tower, the ocean, the abandoned mill. Remote sound environments enter our local spaces and become part of our rooms. Installations of ‘CITY-LINKS’ include works created for solo and group shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1974); Walker Arts Center ‘Projected Images,’ Minneapolis (1974); Hayden Gallery MIT, ‘Interventions In Landscape,’ Cambridge, Mass (1975); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Mass. (1975); Corps de Garde, Groningen, Holland (1978); the Kitchen Center, NYC (1979); Radio France Musique (1976); Mills College (1980 & 1994).”
Maryanne Amacher was born on February 25, 1938 in Kane, PA and died October 22, 2009 in Rhinebeck, NY. At Maryanne Amacher’s urging The Amacher Archive was initiated by her friends Robert The and Micah Silver during her illness in the summer of 2009.
A tribute to Maryanne Amacher will be held on the first anniversary of her death, October 22, 2010 and is organized and hosted by the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology, Cambridge, MA.
A special Maryanne Amacher: City-Links booklet (all rights reserved Ludlow 38, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Goethe-Institut New York, and Amacher Archive) is available as PDF download.
Maryanne Amacher: City-Links is curated by Tobi Maier, Micah Silver, Robert The, and Axel Wieder