Robert Adrian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Robert Adrian (1935–2015), also known as Robert Adrian X, was a Canadian artist who made radio and telecommunications art.[1] Adrian moved from Canada to Vienna, Austria in 1972 where he became known for creating experimental artworks using radio and communications technologies. His work The World in 24 Hours, which connected artists in different cities and continents through telephone lines and radio, is considered to be one of the first experiments in online culture.[2] Adrian is considered to be a pioneer in the field of telecommunications art and media art.


Adrian was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on February 22, 1935.[3][4][5] He moved to Vienna in 1972.[6][7]


Adrian was an early user of telecommunications and electronics technologies for artistic purposes.[8] One of his earliest telecommunications projects, in collaboration with Bill Bartlett, was a work that used the business computer network of the company I. P. Sharp Associates,[9] which Adrian had learned about and gained access to through fellow artist Norman White.[10] Called Interplay, the piece was a telecommunications event that linked a dozen cities in Canada, the US, Australia, Austria and Japan on April 1, 1979.[11]

Following Interplay, Bartlett and Adrian organized and implemented of one of the first electronic mail systems for artists in 1979/1980.[12][13] This again used the I. P. Sharp Associates computer network, this time from its Vienna office.[14] Adrian was instrumental in setting up the system ARTBOX (later renamed to ARTEX)[15] in 1979 for mail and media artists to use to communicate between each other.[16][17][18]

In 1982, Adrian organized Die Welt in 24 Stunden (The World in 24 Hours),[19][20] a telecommunications work that used telephone lines and slow-scan television to link sixteen cities on three continents together.[21][22] The piece is widely cited as an early example of networked electronic art and online culture.[15][2] It was commissioned by and presented at Ars Electronica Linz.[23][24]


In 2009, Adrian was a co-recipient of the US$50,000 Nam June Paik Art Center Prize.[25]


Grave of Robert Adrian

Adiran died in Vienna on September 7, 2015.[26][8][6] At the time of his death, the Austrian minister of culture Josef Ostermayer called Adrian "ein Pionier der Medienkunst" (a pioneer of media art).[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christa Sommerer; Laurent Mignonneau (19 August 2008). The Art and Science of Interface and Interaction Design. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 165–. ISBN 978-3-540-79869-9.
  2. ^ a b "Adrian, Robert, Papers". Carnegie Mellon University Libraries. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Medienkunstpionier Robert Adrian verstorben". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Artist/Maker Name "Adrian, Robert"". Canadian Heritage Information Network. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Pionier der Telekom-Kunst: Robert Adrian ist tot". Salzburger Nachrichten. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b "In memoriam Robert Adrian (1935 - 2015)". Kunstradio. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Robert Adrian 1935 - 2015". Kunstmagazine. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  8. ^ a b Bosma, Josephine. "If Art is Possible At All". Rhizome. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  10. ^ Medosch, Armin. "The Museum of Forever - Interview with Robert Adrian". The Next Layer. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Art and Telecommunication, 1979-1986: The Pioneer Years Robert Adrian". Walker Art Gallery. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  12. ^ Amelia Jones (9 February 2009). A Companion to Contemporary Art Since 1945. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 569–. ISBN 978-1-4051-5235-8.
  13. ^ Gauguet, Bertrand. "I – Interplay, ARTBOX et ARTEX". Archée. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  14. ^ Brandon LaBelle (2006). Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art. A&C Black. pp. 281–. ISBN 978-0-8264-1844-9.
  15. ^ a b Charlie Gere (9 July 2006). Art, Time and Technology. Berg. pp. 146–. ISBN 978-1-84520-135-7.
  16. ^ Annmarie Chandler; Norie Neumark (2005). At a Distance: Precursors to Art and Activism on the Internet. MIT Press. pp. 326–. ISBN 978-0-262-03328-2.
  17. ^ Frank Popper (1993). Art of the electronic age. Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-0-8109-1928-0.
  18. ^ Peter Gendolla; Jörgen Schäfer (July 2015). The Aesthetics of Net Literature: Writing, Reading and Playing in Programmable Media. transcript. pp. 156–. ISBN 978-3-8394-0493-5.
  19. ^ Jonathan Coopersmith (29 January 2015). Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine. JHU Press. pp. 166–. ISBN 978-1-4214-1591-8.
  20. ^ Dieter Daniels; Gunther Reisinger (2009). Net pioneers 1.0: contextualizing early net-based art. Sternberg Press. ISBN 978-1-933128-71-9.
  21. ^ Gabriella Giannachi (1 June 2004). Virtual Theatres: An Introduction. Routledge. pp. 104–. ISBN 1-134-45475-9.
  22. ^ Roy Ascott; Edward A. Shanken (2003). Telematic Embrace: Visionary Theories of Art, Technology, and Consciousness. University of California Press. pp. 64–. ISBN 978-0-520-22294-6.
  23. ^ Eduardo Kac (2005). Telepresence & Bio Art: Networking Humans, Rabbits, & Robots. University of Michigan Press. pp. 41–. ISBN 0-472-06810-5.
  24. ^ Annmarie Chandler; Norie Neumark (2005). At a Distance: Precursors to Art and Activism on the Internet. MIT Press. pp. 308–. ISBN 978-0-262-03328-2.
  25. ^ "Robert Adrian X shares Nam June Paik Art Center Prize". Northern Lights. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  26. ^ Feßler, Anne Katrin. "Künstler Robert Adrian X gestorben". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  27. ^ "Bundesminister Ostermayer zum Ableben von Robert Adrian". Retrieved 6 July 2016.