Fon

Biography by

They hide their bodies under big carpets when performing and hide their discourse behind an over-simplified alphabet; electronica duo Fon managed to cut itself a place in Vienna's early-2000s experimental…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

They hide their bodies under big carpets when performing and hide their discourse behind an over-simplified alphabet; electronica duo Fon managed to cut itself a place in Vienna's early-2000s experimental music scene by developing a conceptual side to their otherwise impersonal, deconstructed techno. Most of the duo's music is released on its own small label Werkzeug.

In 1994, two young Viennese electronicians, Hans Groiß and Manfred Söllner, began to work together under the name Formation ohne Name, which means "group without a name," eventually shortened to Fon. Their brand of experimental techno was first showcased on the 12" Vi Aux, released by Laton in 1997. The group's evolution paralleled that of many other Austrian and German electronica artists, with stylistic ties to labels like Mego and Raster-Noton. But while these circles often include gibberish computer programming code in their artwork, Fon went one step further. "An abandonment of the word is needed. Being creative has always been something different to communication"; this quote from French philosopher Gilles Deleuze explains the duo's sibylline use of printed words. After a period where press releases consisted of endless blocks of meta-theoretical declarations or character-corrupted strings of English-German gibberish, Groiß and Söllner developed their own alphabet by reducing each common letter to the four sides of a square. These "runes" have been featured on album covers since Headnlokbuzter in 2001.

After an initial full-length CD, Proof, that went largely unnoticed, Fon caught the attention of the specialized press in Europe with the 2000 Fakt. The following year the group released two 3" CDs in oblique conceptual packaging. Meanwhile it has presented its performance "Inviltration" around Europe, the two musicians hiding under a big carpet. Their work won them the 1999 Max Brand award and the 2001 Herbert von Karajan Media Art award.