2017 marks the 15th edition of Unsound, landing in a world that is very different from when we started. Past themes like HORROR, FUTURE SHOCK, INTERFERENCE and, most of all, THE END now feel more prescient than we would like. But resisting the temptation to spin off in a dystopian musical spiral in response to instability, we feel more than ever that this year’s theme should be multi-faceted, reflecting darkness and light, growth and decay, ecological vulnerability and resourceful regeneration. Welcome to Unsound 2017: FLOWER POWER.
FLOWER POWER is an exploration of counter-culture forged in opposition to dominant forces. It is in part a nod to the 50th anniversary of 1967 and the Summer of Love—a period rich with aspiration and riddled with contradictions—as well as dark, chaotic cross-currents of that era that now seem to crash over us again. Exploring protest and hedonism, oppression and resistance, and utopian and dystopian sensibilities, FLOWER POWER also aligns with Charles Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil, opium eaters, hackers, marchers, environmentalists, jazz, punk, black metal, idealistic early disco, rave...
From another angle, FLOWER POWER associates with dark ecology and biology both before and after human life, considering what might have preceded us and what might be left to sustain and grow after humans are gone. It is a response to the feeling of living in the shadow of the Doomsday Clock ticking ever more forcefully forward.
The music program will also include artists and commissioned works connected to the ongoing Unsound Dislocation project, this year taking place in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
To support and expand a significant discourse and screening program that has long been an integral part of the festival, Unsound is asking for writers, academics, filmmakers and artists to send in proposals for this part of the festival. We encourage wide and varied responses to FLOWER POWER and what it could and should mean. If interested, send a one-page pitch to email@example.com before May 15.
A reminder also that you can also join Friends of Unsound to show your support for the Krakow festival and the not for profit organisation behind its production. In return, there are members benefits, perhaps most importantly an invite to the 2017 festival including special events. More information here, and a big thank you to those who’ve already joined.
The designer for Unsound 2017: FLOWER POWER is Aleksandra Grünholz, also a Polish musician and audio artist under the name We Will Fail.