The Idea

trans-Art represents an intensified art experience through the synergy of audiovisual artistic collaboration. In the dialogue of new music and abstract drawing, the tradition-conditioned, encrusted boundaries of the respective art form are not only to be opened but overcome through and with the help of the respective other art form. This interactive moment that can arise in the interplay of new music and abstract drawing is what I call composition graphique musicale.


A trans-Art performance combines two art forms, visual art, and new music. I invite a musican to enter an interdisciplinary dialogue with me. The dialogue arises spontaneously and is based on mutual inspiration, bidirectional actions, abstract additive drawing, and concrete and abstract sounds of new music. Without rehearsals, without thematic guidelines, we modulate, act, and react. In this way, artists and audience enter a process of artistic creation that is different with each trans-Art performance. They witness a dialogue of the arts and can deepen their perception in simultaneous comprehension. This process takes place according to Jacques Ranciere's Division Of The Sensual, in the sense that trans-Art, by "opening up new realms of perception, also creates new publics" (Siegfrid Mattl).


As a visual artist with a deep appreciation for new music, Astrid Rieder began her first trans-Art experiments back in the 1990s. This developed into the performance series do trans-Art in her studio at Künstlerhaus Salzburg in July 2016, which has taken place monthly without exception ever since.

I. The Performance

In a trans-Art performance, the artist creates an art dialogue with a musician in real time. The musician brings one or more instruments. For the visual action, a paper canvas is mounted, graphic and painterly materials are available on a color table. By using contact microphones, the sounds created by the drawing process are played back into the room and could thus build bridges to the world of music. As early as 1973, Marina Abramovic recorded her performance with an audio recorder in her work Rhythm 10, in order to play the recording back loudly afterwards and thus extend the performance.


Before each trans-Art performance, Astrid Rieder conducts an interview with the performance participants. Topics are the individual approach to trans-Art, the own musical development and questions of interaction and dialogue.


A trans-Art performance usually lasts about 40 minutes. What develops in this time span remains open. Neither the music nor the drawing has priority. It is not decided who opens the performance - what is important is that it begins. From the first moment of the performance, the artists enter a bidirectional dialogue in which the arts meet at eye level. The performance partners show respect and trust, they observe and react. The audience can experience how the artists listen to each other and create a common level of dialogue, where alternating guided speech and counter-speech is possible. An encounter with a stranger turns into a conversation in which musician and artist work together to reach a peaceful consensus. "What art can do," Deleuze and Guattari write, is to create new bonds by means of the "presentation of the infinite in the here and now," even if only in the here and now.


With the trans-Art performance, traditional forms of presentation are abandoned and a freely associative presentation is made possible. Abstract lines, shapes and sounds interact, expand and complement each other. The drawing process is additive, which means that what has already been drawn can be overdrawn and thus expanded during the trans-Art performance.  This reflects the basic ideas of performance: "the principal unpredictability of its course", "the fleetingness of materiality", "a specific mode of perception as well as the generation of meaning and a transformative power" (Erika Fischer-Lichte).


After the performance, there will remain (1) an acoustic part, (2) a graphic part and (3) a documentary video. The acoustic part is broadcast as part of the radio program "Atelier für neue Musik/trans-Art". The sound of the performance is therefore not ephemeral, but audible long after the performance. The graphic part contains the drawing, which was created by additive processes during the performance. In order to capture the entire performance in its processuality, a documentary video is being be created.


II. Workshops

To immerse yourself in trans-art and experience the art form for yourself. In order to enable interested people to experience this interpersonal dialogue, I developed the idea of a workshop. The workshop follows a timed concept:


In the first hour we talk about the possibility and impossibility of dialogue, in trans-art and in everyday life. Then we step together to the color table and talk about the use of the pens. When everything has been discussed, the performance begins. 


For one hour, participants are invited to try, experience, co-create and experience trans-art, the interaction of free-tonal sounds and abstract drawing for themselves. Within this hour, participants can try themselves as graphic artists.


Each participant can work with a musician on the paper canvas for 5 minutes at a time. After 5 minutes there will be a change. I invite three musicians to participate in this experience. Each musician interacts twice, for 10 minutes, and then is replaced by the other.


A display above the paper screen shows the exact time span of 5 minutes. The musicians are positioned in such a way that they can easily see their performance partner during the interaction.


The trans-Art workshop is intended for adults, groups, companies and can be requested upon request.



III. The History of trans-Art

trans-Art developed out of Astrid Rieder's work over many years.


The first steps were already taken in the 1990s when she took part in a painting seminar in St. Virgil with Wolfgang Seierl (painter and composer from Vienna) in 1993. There, together with other participants, she drew unidirectionally to sounds by Morton Feldman, György Ligeti and John Cage. This was followed by further participation in painting seminars in the attic of the Gemacherhaus behind the cathedral, where the Baron Schwarzenberg Hall is located today.


 From 1996 to 2006, Astrid Rieder organised private concerts (peak in 2006: 74 people in her own living room), which produced the first interdisciplinary experiences. Among other things, premieres of new music, readings and video productions were presented. She repeatedly took part in the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts at the Salzburg Fortress (class Xenia Hausner, class Hella Berent and Kimberly Bradley) and from 2000 to 2006 in painting seminars with Johannes Ziegler in Salzburg.


With the move to the studio in the Techno-Z in Itzling in 2007, a new era began. The private concerts became studio concerts and more and more different art forms were integrated.


Until 2010 the studio concerts took place in Itzling, then, after the move to the Künstlerhaus in 2011, in the Great Hall of the Künstlerhaus. The low-threshold access made it possible for a broad audience (highlight in 2011: 180 visitors in the Great Hall of the Salzburg Künstlerhaus!) to access new music and transdisciplinary art.


Later, Astrid Riederndecided to focus more on her own art-making and began to commit to more trans-Art performances at home and abroad.

Through her participation in music-theoretical seminars at the Mozarteum with Christian Ofenbauer, she expanded her artistic endeavours.


The term Composition Graphique Musicale evolved at the closing event of the Schmiede in 2016. At the Perner Insel work show, the term Composition Graphique emerged from a conversation with Maurin Donneaud, media artist from France. This was later expanded on during a studio visit by Beatrix Zobl in the Künstlerhaus studio and is now called Composition Graphique Musicale.


In the meantime, trans-Art has become a coined term and is made accessible to anyone and everyone through regular events, such as the do trans-Art series, which has been held monthly on the 2nd Thursday since July 2016. In her studio at Bundesstraße 37 in Wals near Salzburg, Astrid Rieder creates and presents trans-Art.