Empty Music 1988

Rolf Julius
Factory Installed: October 8 – December 23, 1988
audio equipment, glass

Tiny speakers covered with panes of glass perch like insects on the walls and dot the floor Near a window the sky is reflected...


Tiny speakers, covered with panes of glass, perch like insects on the walls and dot the floor. Near a window, the sky is reflected in the glass covering the small speakers. Now and then, there is a pause in the chirping, tinkling, and pulsing sounds. Just enough to heighten your sense of hearing so that you feel the music as a palpable presence in the room.

Artist Statement

Empty music. Remember, there were three panes of glass at the wall, each with a pendulum (speaker) which only acoustically moved. And there was the small room and the beautiful view outside, there were clouds, there were birds, there was the sun, and inside, some feet away from the window, two small speakers each covered with glass, and some lost piano sounds.

About the Artist

Rolf Julius was born in Germany in 1939 and studied fine art in Bremen. In the mid 1970s he began using sound alongside his visual practice. Later he moved to Berlin and became an important figure in that city’s budding sound art scene. In 1980 Julius’ pioneering work “Dike Line” was presented at the “Fϋr Augen Und Ohren” exhibition alongside work by John Cage. He has created some of the most meaningful and moving works in the grey area between music and art, between sound and silence, slowly emerging as one of the most important and influential sound artists of our time. Whether using photographs, ink drawings, audio compositions, or subtle and sometimes almost hidden outdoor installations, Rolf Julius’ works serve as catalyst, increasing our awareness of the great beauty of the world that surrounds us.