Andreas Broeckmann on Wed, 24 Nov 1999 15:35:41 +0200

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Re: Syndicate: inquiry: public loudspeaker systems?

[the third instalment of responses]

From: "Elke Moltrecht" <>

1. I was following the discussions about the speakers system in the "old
East" . I know that such systems also existed in the China, Korea and
probably Vietnam.

From: Koralov <>

dear andreas,
yes, I precisely remeber the loudspeakers on the main square in Sofia. They
were used during big manifestations on the occasion of  official communist
holidays. There are loudspeakers in the main public garden in Sofia as
well. They were broadcasting  bulgarian pop music. But last year I had a
very strange experience in one very small bulgarian city on the Greek
border. There they still have and use loudspeakers exactly like 50 years
ago during the communist regime. They use them for announcements, music,
debates about problems of the city, etc. I was really surrprised because I
thought that already nobody remembers these systems.

all the best
Ilina Koralova, Sofia

From: "olga" <>

As I know small cities around Ukraine still have such kind of public sound
system. THey normally used to announce local radio news. But local news
coming ussualy very rarely. So speakers ussualy translate
ukrainian national radio station. The main staff is discussions which going
on Supreme Soviet (Verhovna Rada) sessions (it was legitimase that this
sessions should be on direct ether) which made people violently "sick" of
those bullshit in which they involved but politically inform about what
going on in Kiev (capital) and what their deputies are discussing. Sometime
some musical programm can be head from radio and for this small time people
can be relax a little till next portion of bored political staff will come.
I hate this speaker because all the time when I visited my parent it always
was so loudy and unbearable because my parent house in the center of the
town and we are just passive listeners of it. Feelings like you cannot
escape it.
Best, Olga

From: darko fritz <>

dear andreas

as far as i know there was not bigbrotherlook speaker
systems in foreign yougoslavia, apart of the speaker
systems setup in companys, factorys or millitary
barracks (bb intranet).

in 1990, within the performance of (zeljko serdarevic
and my) the 'imititation of life studio' in SKUC
zagreb we used such a speaker system placed outdoors
and at public buildings as well.
SKUC is a student campus including restaurant and
cinema and concert hall. we had a performance in the
cinema, but we played our (experimental) music intro
at the speaker system using (about 50)low file funky
tube-like speakers covering about 1 km2 of the SKUC

about real 'bb' speaker system i hear from my chinesse
friend jan rhen zhao (sound artist, btw, living now in
amsterdam): there is (still nowadays) the cheep paper
made speakers set up in the private living rooms.
i don't have jan rhen amsterdam telephone right now,
but i can have it if you are interesting in contacting

another masterpiece of the bb sound technology are
german '30 radios with one frequency only. ...

something oposite from the 'bb one way speaker sytem'
was realised in early '80 in Slobostina, new district
in zagreb ... a dream of early video artist become
thruth. architect ivan cizmek and his team designed a
local cable network (2 ways broadcasted system:
possibilities to broadcast from each home), and it was
in function untill 1997. it was broadcasted local
(district) tv. the printed fanzine was also around. i
am in contact with mr. cizmek now about putting the
system in function again, and made its capacities
wider including internet.

please update me about your project.


From: "Mihajlo  Acimovic" <>

As I read other people's replies to this question, I can't help remembering
some seaside places, now Croatia and/or Montenegro, when I was a kid (80s).
Some of those places had very strong low-quality music, comming from
somewhere at the more commercial beaches. It seemed as if the music was
comming from above. I was a kid and I didn't pay much attention except when
the sound gave me a headache (and I didn't even like the music). Me and mom
would normally locate ourselves on some other part of the beach, so we
wouldn't have to listen to it.

I watched a film, while I was in Belgrade, a US film, some place warm.
Someone got the idea to capture the public loudspeakers and broadcast
something over them. The entire film was concentrated on this attempt. The
public loudspeakers system was not being used and few people knew that it
existed. In the film, it belonged to the national guards or something like
that. Sorry for being ephemerical on this, it was too long ago to remember
well. I think the film was on Palma television.

In Vienna, some people I know were doing a postering action at the U2 metro
stations. Something against those FPOe posters "stop the overforeignering"
and "stop asylum misuse". In case you don't know, postering is forbidden in
Vienna, outside of the pre-designated expensive places which you have to
get a heavily payed permission for from the city government. That all means
you have no problem if you are doing commercial advertising or cultural
event advertising posters around the city, but if you try doing some
politicaly engaged posters with non-racist, non-fascist content, you get
arrested if they catch you and fined for a lot of money.
So, they were just putting up the first poster, when there was a powerful
"plakatieren verboten" from the loudspeakers.


From: alexei shulgin <>

i remember a famous photograph taken on june 22, 1941 where crowd of
soviet people were listening to loudspeakers on the street announcing
the beginning of 'the great patriotic war'. speakers looked like this:

 __/|  ~ ~
|__ |]  ~ ~
   \|  ~ ~


From: Dieter Daniels <> (by way of Inke Arns

-------------------- Beginn der ursprünglichen Nachricht
Inke Arns:
I know that some people in Leipzig were busy with this system. Dieter
Daniels should know more about this. He actually should by now have
completed his book on the history of radio ("Kunst als Sendung"). Maybe
there are/were even people doing research.
-------------------- Ende der ursprünglichen Nachricht

nee - mehr weiss ich auch nicht.... aber es gab dann nach der Wende
Probleme weil die auf einmal eine Rundfunklizenz habe sollten...
Und das Buch dauert auch noch was...
gruss DD

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