Annette Wolfsberger | Sonic Acts on Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:55:49 +0100 (CET)

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Dear nettime-subscribers,

We’re very happy to announce that the SONIC ACTS FESTIVAL PROGRAMME IS COMPLETE!

Please join us for the festival, and apply for a professional accreditation here:

Sonic Acts – a festival at the intersection of art, music and science – takes place in Amsterdam from 26 February to 1 March 2015. The festival programme is complete with the addition of, amongst many others: Otto Piene, Shxcxchcxsh, Jananne Al-Ani, Murcof & Rod Maclachlan, Emptyset, John Foxx & Steve D'Agostino, Reza Negarestani, Jaki Liebezeit & Burnt Friedman, Jamie Kruse and Elizabeth Ellsworth, Le Révélateur, Mark Williams, Noam M. Elcott, Jana Winderen, Lukas Marxt and Shackleton. 

Sonic Acts Festival zooms in on planet Earth through the theme The Geologic Imagination. Fundamental to this theme is the thesis that we live in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Human activity has irreversibly changed the composition of the atmosphere, the oceans, and even the Earth’s crust. Humanity has become a geological force. 
The festival includes an international conference, concerts, installations, film screenings, masterclasses, and workshops. With the festival Sonic Acts examines how art and science map and document new insights with regard to the Anthropocene, and how the changes and transformations that occur on a geological scale can become something humans can feel, touch, and experience. 

See for the full programme

Highlights of the festival are listed below. 

The Sonic Acts Festival opens with a festive opening night at the Stedelijk Museum, which explores the real and the synthetic, and derails the senses. Highlights:

FLORIAN HECKER’s A Script for Machine Synthesis is a sound piece, an experimental drama, a model of abstraction that recalls Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty as much as Beckett’s minimalist narratives and neo-imagist poetry. It is the climactic third chapter in the trilogy of text–sound pieces that Hecker created with the writer–philosopher Reza Negarestani (after Chimerization, dOCUMENTA13 and Hinge, Lumiar Cité, Lisbon; both 2012).

KURT HENTSCHLÄGER’s Measure (2014) is a panoramic audiovisual installation that reflects on the concept of nature in the 21st century. As our experience of nature is filtered through digital communication channels, the boundaries between mediated and physical experience start to blur. The trance-like sequences of Measure move freely between natural and artificial forms, such as the lengthening of shadows, the passing of clouds, and ever-expanding grids. The work feels both organic and artificial. Hentschläger’s work probes the questions of whether ‘nature’ and the concept of an ‘original’ still exist.

For his performance A Tuned Chord is like a Scientific Instrument Probing the Universe, ESPEN SOMMER EIDE taps into his collection of musical tuning systems, both new and old, from the eerie Norwegian ‘troll tuning’ for the Hardanger fiddle to relaxing Pythagorean pure mathematical intervals. He constructs his own instruments – hybrids between acoustic and electronic – for the purpose of tuning into and out of the present time and place.

The conference brings together scientists, philosophers, theorists, artists, and researchers to reflect on the theme of The Geologic Imagination. How do we rethink our attachments to the world, our concepts of nature, culture and ecology? It is about understanding the systems and processes of nature, and our intentions and interactions with the planet, about the ways art and science map and document new insights. Highlights: 

GRAHAM HARMAN is Distinguished University Professor at the American University in Cairo. He is a chief exponent of object-oriented philosophy. He has written eleven books, most recently Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy (2012), Bells and Whistles: More Speculative Realism (2013), and Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Political (2014). 

JAMIE KRUSE (artist, designer and part-time lecturer at Parsons) and ELIZABETH ELLSWORTH (Professor of Media Studies at New School) are smudge studio, together they edited Making the Geologic Now and travelled the routes used by the trucks transporting transuranic nuclear waste through Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. 

Professor of Geology at Leicester University MARK WILLIAMS is particularly interested in the co-evolution of life and planet Earth, and how the biosphere is now fundamentally changing as a result of human activity.

JANANNE AL-ANI is currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of the Arts London. Throughout her work, Al-Ani tackles issues of conflict, loss and displacement. Her work is included in several collections, among which Tate Gallery and Arts Council England, Centre Pompidou, and Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation, Paris. 

ALAN WEISMAN was Laureate Professor in Journalism and Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. Much of his writing is about how the environment, economics, international relations, and human society and culture intersect. Weisman’s The World Without Us (2007) was a New York Times and international bestseller.

Four evenings of concerts and performances, from the insider perspective on underground club culture (in collaboration with Viral Radio) to an exhilarating programme that probes the deeper levels of the audiovisual experience (in cooperation with Rewire). 

VESSEL is one of a new generation of producers who propel electronic music forward with exciting, unclassifiable ideas. Live visuals by PEDRO MAIA. 

TCF is an artist and musician whose work explores the themes of code, cryptography and musical composition. His compositions draw on references from musique concrète, hardstyle, hardcore, poetry and digital artefacts.

KAREN GWYER mixes African beats with heavy synths, casually summoning feelings of a warmer, more futuristic house genre, by using repetitions that invoke a sense of sonic psychedelia.

OTTO PIENE's (1928–2014) spectacular multimedia performance Die Sonne kommt näher (The Proliferation of the Sun). Piene was a co-founder of the ZERO Movement in the 1950s and the first artist to make Sky Art in the 1960s.

Mexican electronic musician MURCOF teams up with visual alchemist ROD MACLACHLAN to create a new mesmerising experience of light and surround sound.

JOHN FOXX (Ultravox) & STEVE D’AGOSTINO feat. KARBORN, present the European premiere of Evidence of Time Travel, a sinister sonic architecture of drum machines and analogue synths, with haunting visuals by Karborn. 

A live set by enigmatic Swedish duo SHXCXCHXSH. Their sound is a deadly serious techno born out of the elements of noise, drone, glitch, broken beats, pounding industrial, and more. 

Legendary Can drummer JAKI LIEBEZEIT and electronic producer BURNT FRIEDMAN have been collaborating on their Secret Rhythms series for over fourteen years, generating umpteen records and countless live performances.

The new Berlin-based ensemble TONALIENS investigates the inner dimensions and outer limits of just intonation. With voice, brass, invented instruments, sine waves and live electronics, the members explore harmonic space and navigate intricate musical relationships using the Hayward Tuning Vine (an interface for exploring just intonation).

RAVIV GANCHROW’s Long Wave Synthesis is a land-art scale sound installation that investigates infrasound, and probes the relations between how we perceive the landscape and long-wave vibrations. It focuses on material properties of sound, and investigates ways in which a location manifests itself through interactions between walking, territory and sonic attention. 

For his’s classic three-hour film La Région Centrale MICHAEL SNOW had a special camera apparatus constructed that could move on all axes: horizontally, vertically, laterally or in a spiral. The film is one continuous movement through space.

Dolmen, a new installation by Mexican sound artist MARIO DE VEGA, is an intervention that explores the boundaries of human perception as well as the social, political and physical impact of telecommunications technology. De Vega is known for his confrontational works. 

The full programme of masterclasses & workshops will be announced shortly. More can be found on the website and here:

Tickets are already on sale and available through
You can apply for a professional accreditation here:

The Geologic Imagination is generously supported by Creative Industries Fund NL, Mondriaan Fund, City of Amsterdam, Paradiso, Fonds 21, Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Performing Arts Fund NL, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, PNEK, and UNSW Australia.
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