The 16th edition of Unsound Kraków starts this week, on Sunday 7th October, with the theme Presence. In addition to already-announced music shows, film screenings and workshops, an extensive discourse program has now been added to the schedule on the unsound.pl website.
The installation program includes the already-announced Ephemera: Foris, by CHRIS WATSON, GEZA SCHOEN and MFO, combining sound, scent and light. Tickets for the sessions, which last approximately 40 minutes each, must be bought on top of the festival pass– get them via Ticketmaster.
In response to the ideas behind the Presence theme, as well as the Foris installation and the abandoned space at ul. Kamienna 12, MIROSŁAW BAŁKA – one of Poland’s best known artists - has recreated his archival sound piece a, e, i, o, u. The work consists of field recordings of dogs barking and howling recorded at Celestyn Dog Shelter, located in a forest near Warsaw. Entry is free. Also on exhibition is Senster, a late-60s programmable kinetic sculpture created by EDWARD IHNATOWICZ. Its parts recently rediscovered, it has now been restored in all its glory by Krakow’s AGH University of Science and Technology. Finally, Monster is an exhibition at Henryk Gallery by BARTOSZ ZASKÓRSKI, an artist and musician working under the alias Mchy i Porosty. Entry to these installations and the exhibition is free.
Unsound’s discourse program is also entirely free of charge. As previously announced, the AUDINT research unit will give presentations on AI, time travel, signal jacking, virtually revived rappers and sonic mourning, with participants including STEVE GOODMAN, TOBY HEYES, KRISTEN GALLERNEAUX, ELENI IKONIADOU and DEMELZA TOY TOY. Visual artist SAM ROLFES - performing at the festival with Rabit and House of Kenzo - will present the possibilities of live improvisation within 3D design. Polish academic and theorist ALEKSANDRA PRZEGALIŃSKA will talk about creativity and AI, while JOHN DANAHER, the editor of Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications, will talk about sex between robots and humans. RYAN DIDUCK, Canadian author of Mad Skills: Midi and Music Technology in the Twentieth Century, will tell the story behind MIDI through the 20th century’s kaleidoscopic lens. The history of the aforementioned Senster kinetic sculpture will be described by one of its rebuilders, ANNA OLSZEWSKA.
Further additions to a program marking Berlin label PAN’s 10th anniversary include talks by TCF on swarm producing, artist JENNA SUTELA on biological and computational systems, and CORY LEVINSON on music infrastructure. As part of the program, AS WIFI will take place during Amnesia Scanner’s show in Forum, exposing a mobile chat interface for interaction with AS Oracle - the AI/spirit member joining them for the first time on stage. AS WiFi will also involve a virtual token drop, where users can connect through WiFi to get access to a special crypto-token that can later be redeemed online for an exclusive Amnesia Scanner track on their computer. The ideas behind this action will be explained in the discourse program by developers Cory and LOUIS CENTER.
JOHN DORAN is an editor of The Quietus, as well as the author of Jolly Lad, a memoir about addiction, mental illness and the healing power of music, about to be reprinted by Strange Attractor Press. He will lead a panel on mental health in the music industry, including participants JLIN, LOTIC and ELTRON. He will also give a presentation called Selected Ambient Walks on Aphex Twin, the Cornish landscape and mythology.
ARTnews editor and Unsound co-curator ANDY BATTAGLIA is back, giving a talk on presence in art history. ARTnews will also co-present artist talks with MOOR MOTHER, CHRIS WATSON and PHILL NIBLOCK. Resident Advisor will present a talk with OLOF DREIJER as part of their RA.Exchange series, as well as a talk on music in East Africa with DJ and writer KAMPIRE and ARLEN DILSIZIAN, one of the directors of Uganda’s Nyege Nyege festival and label. The Wire’s CHRIS BOHN will moderate a discussion on the expanse of music festivals and platforms internationally and the responsibilities involved, including directors from Unsound, CTM and Nyege Nyege.
The question of what cyberpunk means in 2018 will be explored in a discussion led by LISA BLANNING, featuring writer, theorist and strategist JAY SPRINGETT, musician LEE GAMBLE, Polish writer AGATA PYZIK and others. Jay will also give a talk on new kinds of mental models the rise of fake news demands, and the questionable “truthiness” in our present media environment. Previously announced, KRISTEN GALLERNEAUX will talk about her new book High Static, Dead Lines: Sonic Spheres & the Object Hereafter, as well as her short film The Hum.
LUKE TURNER, editor of the Quietus, is soon to publish his “spiritual memoir,” Out of the Woods. He will lead a conversation on whether it’s time to reconsider how we travel through the natural world, with Chris Watson, musician TODD BARTON and Polish environmental activist WIOLETTA SMUL. Luke will also explore Jewish presence and history in Krakow and Poland with historian EDYTA GAWRON and MICHAEL RUBENFELD, co-founder of Festivalt Jewish Art Festival.
The state of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe will be examined by ELISABETH ZEROFSKY from The New Yorker, with participants KAJA PUTO, KLEMENTYNA SUCHANOW and Agata Pyzik. STEFANOS LEVIDIS will present the work of multidisciplinary research agency Forensic Architecture, unearthing state violence through investigative practice that cross pollinates activism, academia, technology and aesthetics. LOU DRAGO of XenoEntities Network will explore boycott and protest in the Internet era with LUZ DIAZ of Room 4 Resistance, Ha!art’s writer JAKUB MIHILEWICZ, and TAMAR SHLAIM of Repeater Books and others.
Finally, a few final acts rounding out the music program include PAPER CUTS, a modular synth and drum duo, electroacoustic musician OLGA SZYMULA, DJ / MORGIANA HZ playing a hybrid live set, and another Szpitalna 1 resident KINZO CHROME.
Full program is available here, with tickets to most of the events still on sale.