The place makes the music. It shares responsibility for characteristic sounds and genre developments. In important locations of the genesis of pop culture, such as Memphis, Chicago, Detroit, London, Manchester or the Ruhr area, there has always been an important connection between the respective urban surroundings and the type of music (whether Blues, Rock’n’Roll, Punk, House, Techno, etc.) that emerged there— and could sometimes only have emerged there. The urban environment, the state of its society, and its architecture flowed equally into the local sound and image production, just as a certain unmistakable character usually echoed in the sound from certain big cities as well. The conjunction between local urban surroundings and the music styles arising from them is the central starting point for the chapter Site.Sound.Industry. Industrial cities assume a special position here, to which sound-defining characteristics have been repeatedly attributed. Conveyor belt production, exploitation and alienation of the labor force, unemployment, migration of industry, flexibilization of formerly fulltime employees—all these aspects can be identified one way or another in the music that comes from these kinds of cities. This is especially true for a style that developed beginning in the mid-1970s with a very direct reference to socio-urban environments doomed to downfall in its nihilist sound fantasies. Starting from northern English cities like Sheffield and Manchester, but also decaying urban areas of London, the wall city of Berlin or industrial zones like the Ruhr area, Industrial, as this style was called, conjoined a propensity for machinic, mostly electronic sound production with the downfall scenarios of a meanwhile dysfunctional industrial culture. It was not by chance that one of the first slogans for the movement was industrial music for industrial people. Site.Sound.Industry traces this connection in multiple respects. First of all, key stations of the development of this style are exemplified with selected image, sound and text modules together with artistic contributions. This ranges from the drab district of Hackney in north-east London to the coldly modern factory city of Manchester to the centers of the German steel and automobile industry. To what extent were the surroundings and the iconography of heavy industry and conveyor belt factories a decisive influence on the development of Industrial? To what extent were avant-gardist currents from art and pop culture involved in this development? In which visual images did the sound of industry become manifest? A second aspect applies to the historical transformation from industrial to post-industrial society. If Industrial originally referred to the socio-cultural surroundings of single industrial cities, how do production, distribution (the specific product form of this music) and reception reflect their gradual decline? Can the extensive economic restructuring, as it has continually taken place in recent decades, also be identified in post-industrial styles of music? In this context Site. Sound.Industry explores the ongoing fascination of various Industrial aesthetics, which are produced today largely using computers and in any location in the world. Finally, this also spotlights musical productivity and changing sounds in times of increasing de-industrialization and immaterialization. To which kinds of industry and its situations do variations of a type of music refer, the predecessors of which once focused on alienation in industrial mass society? Which connections are there today between local embeddedness and an orientation to life worlds in certain forms of music? Site.Sound.Industry spans the curve of this engagement all the way to antiindustrial forms of articulation and agitation in more recent techno culture.

Exhibition contribution curated by Petra Erdmann and Christian Höller

Throbbing Gristle, 1976-80

Derek Jarman, T.G.: Psychic Rally in Heaven, 1981

Andrew Gowans, Throbbing Gristle's Hackney, 2006

Einstürzende Neubauten, Stahlmusik, 1981

Peter Saville, 1978-82

Kevin Cummins, Photoworks, 1977–1989

Die Krupps, Stahlwerksynfonie, 1981

Test Department, Ecstacy Under Duress, 1984

Wolfgang Müller, Wolfsburger Modell zur Herstellung einer unsichtbaren Vinylscheibe, Linzer Version, 1980/2009

Jeremy Deller, Theory & Practice, 1997/98

Kerstin von Gabain, We Will Never Miss, 2009