NEWS published on 11 Jan 2018 • Department / Unit Radio Media

​EBU Radio throws a virtual party for Art's Birthday

Self portrait of Robert Filliou (photo credit:

Every year on 17 January, EBU Radio organizations join forces to celebrate “Art’s Birthday”. Often wonderfully absurd and humorous, this cutting-edge event in memory of Robert Filliou (pictured) has its origins in the French artist’s declaration on 17 January 1963 that Art had been born exactly 1 million years ago when someone dropped a dry sponge into a pail of water.

After Filliou’s death in 1987, some artists began exchanging mail art, fax and slow-scan TV events to celebrate Art’s Birthday. Starting in 1994, the Internet became the medium of choice. Never a formal project, the party is organized by each participating venue or broadcaster as desired, on the sole condition that they exchange birthday presents for Art.

On Wednesday 17 January, the EBU Ars Acustica Group will once again organize a Special Evening of sound art content by EBU radio organizations, from 19.00 to 23.00 GMT. The two Euroradio satellite channels, Liszt and Haydn, will offer material that can be mixed or remixed with other live material. More details on the various events can be found here.

Contributions this year span the entire range of possibilities offered by sound art, from an audiovisual installation based on the doorbell of composer Pierre Henry at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp or two new works on Gertrude Stein and peace in the nuclear age with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, to a joint broadcast from Ostrava by Czech and Slovak Radios including boxers and body microphones, or historical documentaries about the 1917 Revolution as a starting point for works by Russian media artists.

Contributing EBU and independent radio broadcasters include:

ORF (Austria)
MUHKA (Belgium)
NAISA (Canada)
HRT (Croatia)
CR (Czech Republic)
YLE (Finland)
SRF (France)
BAUHAUS FM (Germany)
DIF KULTUR (Germany)
SWR (Germany)
RTÉ (Ireland)
RTP (Portugal)
ROR (Romania)
GROUND (Russia)
RTS (Serbia)
RTVS (Slovakia)
RTVSLO (Slovenia)
RTVE (Spain)
SR (Sweden)
RTS (Switzerland)
WFMT (Chicago, USA)

To see an online gallery display of the famous Art's Birthday folding hats from past years, click on



Contact detail

Dominic Hickey
Euroradio Project Manager
+41 22 717 2231