“raster-noton.archiv für ton und nichtton” is meant to be a platform — a network covering the overlapping border areas of pop, art, and science. Founded in Chemnitz by Olaf Bender, Carsten Nicolai and Frank Bretschneider in 1996, it realizes music projects, publications and installation works. The common idea behind all releases is an experimental approach — an amalgamation of sound, art and design, which is not only apparent in the music, but also visible from the artwork and cover design.
So far, the catalogue of the label consists of about 175 publications, presenting very different artists such as fine artists, club musicians, noise pioneers, academically trained composers or classic instrumentalists. These publications are not restricted to audio formats such as CDs only, but also include books, magazines, DVDs, mass storage devices or art prints.
In the labels’s early years, the music projects were often released in the form of a series characterized by a minimalistic package design. One of these series, the »20′ to 2000«, was bought by the MOMA and the Paris Centre Pompidou and awarded the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica in 2000.
Over the last two decades, there have also been collaborations with institutions, fashion designers, museums and festivals all over the world, and once a year, the label is staging a showcase at Rome’s Academia Tedesca Villa Massimo to present current artists and releases.
Raster-Noton’s Founders on Twenty Years of Presenting Sound and Non-Sound.
Carsten Nicolai, Olaf Bender and Frank Bretschneider discuss the motivations and relationships that define their label: