Robert Henke

I explore abstract patterns in space and time, made of sound and light. My tools are computers, code and electronics. I create music, audiovisual performances, installations, and computer graphics.

My works cover a wide artistic spectrum, from musical compositions and concerts to large-scale audiovisual installations. They rely on technology for their creation and performance, and they often require to invent and construct algorithms and machines. I oscillate between being an artistic tool maker and a tool making artist.

My music is inspired by the raw repetitive power celebrated in techno culture and the complex, refined structures and rich textures of more abstract contemporary works. I am interested in the spatiality of sound and most of my concert pieces and installations are utilising multichannel surround sound.

I also record and perform music as 'Monolake', which started as duo in 1995 together with Gerhard Behles, and has been a solo project since 1999.

Other artistic collaborators include Marko Nikodijevic, with whom I created a work for ensemble, LED sculpture and electronics, commissioned by IRCAM and the ensemble intercontemporain, and audiovisual composer and toolmaker Tarik Barri.

I am one of the main creators of Ableton Live, a software which became a standard for music production and redefined the performance practice of electronic music. I write and lecture about sound and the creative use of computers, and I held teaching positions at the Berlin University of the Arts, the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University, the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris, and the Studio National des Arts Contemporains - Le Fresnoy, in Lille, France.

My installations, performances and concerts were presented at Tate Modern in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, Le Lieu Unique in Nantes, PS-1 in New York, MUDAM in Luxembourg, MAK in Vienna, Palazzo Grassi in Venice, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia, KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, STRP Biennale in Eindhoven, and on countless festivals including Unsound, CTM, MUTEK, Sonar, New Forms Festival.

I live and work in Berlin.

Photos © Robert Henke 2010 and © Ulf Buschleb 1993

Curriculum Vitae

selected installations

2020 Fountain Scan, Germany, Hannover, Schloss Herrenhausen
2020 Fragile Territories, Seoul, Korea, D-Museum
2020 Phosphor, Berlin, Gerrmany, Philharmonie
2019 Cos/Sin, laser installation, Germany, Essen, Zollverein
2019 Solo Exhibition (Fragile Territories, Ritual, Phosphor) Lima, Peru, Espacio Fundacion Telefonica
2018 Linee e Punti, laser installation, Rome, Italy, Sala Santa Rita
2017 Phosphor, laser installation, Rome, Italy, Palazzo delle Esposizioni
2017 Spline, laser installation, Beijing, China, Today Art Museum
2017 Spline, laser installation, Bern, Switzerland, Dampfzentrale
2016 Fragile Territories, laser installation, Berlin, Germany, Funkhaus
2016 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, Beijing, China, Beijing Design Week
2016 Fall, laser installation, Gijon, Spain, LEV Festival
2016 Deep Web, kinetic laser installation with Christopher Bauder, Berlin, Germany, CTM Festival
2015 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, Manchester, United Kingdom, The Lowry
2015 Werk III, Essen, Germany, Zollverein Mischanlage
2015 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, Krake Festival, Berlin, Germany
2015 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, STRP Biennale, Eindoven, Netherlands
2014 Fragile Territories, laser installation, Rennes, France
2014 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, Kunstwerke, Berlin, Germany
2014 Destructive Observation Field, laser installation, Le Fresnoy, Lille, France
2014 Ritual, sound installation, Stony Brook University, New York, USA
2013 Works for Wave Field Synthesis, CTM, with students of the Sound Studies faculty of the University of Arts, Berlin, Germany
2012 Fragile Territories, laser installation, Le Lieu Unique Nantes, France
2012 Eternal Darkness, site specific sound installation, Grosser Wasserspeicher, Berlin, Germany
2012 Fundamental Forces, FF03 screening, International Digital Arts Biennial, Montreal, Canada
2012 Fundamental Forces, FF02 screening, MAK, Vienna, Austria
2011 Fundamental Forces, FF01 screening, Musikprotokoll, Graz, Austria
2011 Transition Machine, audio visual installation, Fargfabriken, Stockholm, Sweden
2010 Traffic, video installation, Klang im Raum, Berlin, Germany
2007 Cyclone, interactive sound installation, Dis-Patch Festival, Belgrade, Serbia
2007 Linear Grid, interactive network installation, MUDAM Luxembourg and Philharmonie Luxembourg
2004 Atlantic Wave Terminals, interactive network installation, Singuhr Hoergalerie, Berlin, Germany

selected performances

2020 CBM 8032 AV, Amsterdam, Holland, Muzikgebouw
2020 CBM 8032 AV, London, England, Barbican Concert Hall
2019 CBM 8032 AV, Premiere, Unsound Festival, Krakow, Poland
2019 Venice Dust, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy
2018 From Within..., Cité de la Musique, Paris, France
2017 Lumiere III, Teatro Argentina, Rome, Italy
2017 Lumiere III, Premiere, Barbican Centre, London, England
2016 Lumiere II.2, ICMC Conference, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2016 Deep Web, with Christopher Bauder, CTM Festival, Berlin, Germany
2015 Dust, Acousmonium Version, Presence Electronique Festival, Geneva, Switzerland
2015 Lumiere II.2, Voelksbuehne, Berlin, Germany
2015 Lumiere II.2, Recital Centre, Melbourne, Australia
2014 Lumiere, Barbican, London, United Kingdom
2014 Fundamental Forces FF05, Live, IRCAM, Paris, France
2013 Lumiere, Unsound Festival, Krakow, Poland
2013 Stanford Dust, Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA
2013 Monolake Live, MUTEK Festival, Barcelona, Spain
2012 Iron Age, Sonar Festival Barcelona Spain
2012 Dust, Tau Acousmonium Versions, 104, Paris, France
2011 Dust, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
2011 Tau WFS Version, Technical University, Berlin, Germany
2011 ATOM, Mexico City, Mexico
2011 ATOM, Vienna, Austria
2011 Fundamental Forces FF00, Cinechamber, Club Transmediale, Berlin, Germany
2010 Monolake Live Surround, EMPAC, Troy, USA
2008 Layering Buddha, Planetarium Melbourne, Australia
2008 Layering Buddha, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
2008 ATOM, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
2007 Layering Buddha Live, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sophia, Madrid, Spain
2007 Running Boxes, with Lillevan and Wolfgang Mitterer, Krems, Austria
2005 Monolake Live, PS1/MOMA, New York, USA
2005 Studies for Thunder, MUTEK Festival, Montreal, Canada
2004 Monolake Live, Museum of Contemporary Art by invitation of the Goethe Institute, Vilnius, Lithuania
2004 Atlantic Waves, Tate Modern Turbine Hall, London, United Kingdom
2002 Monolake Live, Central Park Summerstage, NYC, USA
2002 Monolake Live, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
2001 Monolake Live, Metamorphose Festival, Mount Fuji, Japan
2001 Monolake Live, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, United Kingdom
2000 Monolake Live, Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2000 Monolake Live, Festival of Visions, Hong Kong, China

please click into the archive for a full listing of performances

selected music

2020 CD release: Monolake - Archeopteryx
2016 CD release: Monolake - VLSI
2012 CD release: Monolake - Ghosts
2009 CD release: Monolake - Silence
2009 CD release: Indigo Transform
2007 CD release: Atom / Document
2006 CD release: Layering Buddha
2005 CD release: Monolake - Polygon Cities
2004 CD release: Signal to Noise
2003 CD release: Monolake - Momentum
2001 CD release: Monolake - Cinemascope
2000 CD release: Monolake - Gravity
1999 CD release: Monolake - Gobi
1999 CD release: Monolake - Interstate
1997 CD release: Floating.Point
1997 CD release: Monolake - Hongkong
1994 CD release: Piercing Music

please click into the archive for a full listing of recordings

recognitions / residencies

2023 Best Production, 67th Intl. Festival of Contemporary Music - La Biennale di Venzia.
2019 Artist in Residence, Corte Supernova / Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy
2015 ILDA award for Destructive Observation Field installation
2013 ILDA award for Fragile Territories installation
2013 Artist in Residence, LeFresnoy, Lille, France
2013 Honorary Mention for Works for Wave Field Synthesis, Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria
2013 Mohr Visiting Artist, CCRMA, Stanford University, CA, USA
2012 Artist in Residence at Electroni[k] Festival, Rennes, France
2010 Artist in Residence, EMPAC, Troy, USA
2007 Artist in Residence at Tesla Media Laboratory, Berlin, Germany
2007 Artist in Focus at Dis-Patch Festival, Belgrade, Serbia
2007 Honorary Mention for Layering Buddha, Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria

selected talks

2015 LOOP, Berlin, Germany
2014 STEIM, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2014 IRCAM, Paris, France
2014 IMM, Duesseldorf, Germany
2014 Folkwang University, Essen, Germany
2014 CTM, Berlin, Germany
2013 Ultima Festival, Oslo, Norway
2013 Goethe Institute, Dublin, Ireland
2013 SETI Institute, Mountain View, USA
2013 MUTEK, ES, Barcelona, Spain
2013 UCC, Cork, Ireland
2012 STEIM, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2012 Laboratorio / Arte Alameda, Mexico City, Mexico
2012 Decibel Festival, Seattle, USA
2012 PNCA, Portland, USA
2012 MUTEK Monteal, Canada
2012 Goethe Institute, NYC, USA
2012 IET lecture, London, United Kingdom
2011 Sound Studies Department, Univeristy of Art, Berlin, Germany
2010 EMPAC, Troy, USA
2010 CalArts, Los Angeles USA
2010 DU, Denver, USA

please click into the archive for a more complete listing of talks


2015 Lecturer, CCRMA, Stanford University, USA
2013 -2014 Professeur Artiste, Le Fresnoy, Studio National Des Arts Contemporains, Lille, France
2013 Artist in Residence / Lecturer, CCRMA, Stanford University, USA
2013 External Examiner (PhD Derek Foott), Department of Music, UCC Cork, Ireland
2009 - 2012 Professor for Sounddesign, Berlin University of the Arts, Berlin, Germany


2013 'Monitoring for Laptop Performers'
2011 'Tod durch Uberfluss, Was tun wenn alles moglich ist?' in Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik, Ausgabe Februar 2011
2009 "Live Performance in the Age of Supercomputers Part II
2008 "Mastering", Interview with Rashad Becker (online, reprinted in DotDotDot magazine, NYC )
2007 "Live Performance in the Age of Supercomputers" (online, reprinted in various festival catalogues)
2005 'Live Performance' in Techno Visionen - New Sounds, New Image Spaces, Medienturm Gratz, Folio Verlag


2023 - ... strategic planning, product development, Ableton AG, Berlin, Germany
2011 - 2023 consultant, Ableton AG, Berlin, Germany
1999 - 2011 instrument and effects design, general specification, Ableton AG, Berlin, Germany
1997 - 1999 mastering engineer, Dubplates and Mastering, Berlin, Germany
1995 - 1996 sound engineer, Berliner Ensemble theater, Berlin, Germany
1994 - 1995 AVID student supervisor, HFF Babelsberg, Potsdam, Germany
1992 studio technician, Elektronische Medienforschungs Gesellschaft, East-Berlin, Germany
1988 - 1990 studio technician, BOA Videofilmkunst, Munich, Germany