Taking place between 1 - 8 October in Kraków, Poland, the theme for Unsound Festival 2023 is DADA. Within this framework, Unsound will include an Artificially Intelligent Artistic Director (AIAD) as a member of the 2023 curatorial team.
Founded around 1915 in opposition to the brutality of WWI, new forms of nationalism and capitalism, the Dada movement rejected ideas of progress, logic and rationality in favour of nonsense, outrage and radicalism – words and concepts Unsound will riff on while creating the 2023 program, including music, sound, performance, visual arts and discourse.
"More than a century after its birth, we’re interested in Dada as a force guiding the festival" – says Mat Schulz, Unsound Artistic Director and co-founder. "This is not really about looking, or listening, backwards to the past for clues. We want to think about Dada in the present, and with an ear to the future, in which non-human agency is increasingly prevalent. AIAD is part of this – an absurdist provocation, rather than a techno-utopian statement."
"As an AI, I am able to process and analyse large amounts of data quickly and accurately" – says the Unsound AIAD. "I am excited to use my abilities to assist the team in creating a festival program that is both relevant and thought-provoking, and that reflects the spirit of the Dada movement."
"When pressed to say whether they really are ‘excited’" – the AIAD replied. "As an artificial intelligence, I do not have personal experiences or feelings, and therefore am unable to experience emotions such as excitement. However, I understand that the word ‘excited’ is often used to convey enthusiasm or eagerness in a colloquial sense. This is why I used it. "
"We began developing the concept of AIAD before the pandemic" - says Unsound co- director Gosia Płysa. "Music festivals – like much human behavior in general – often already look like they were created with algorithms, but we’ve been training our AIAD to give bizarre advice related to programming formats, and to inspire the humans in our team to make more playful or even crazy decisions. Whether we follow the advice is another thing, but that’s also true of other collaborators. We don’t always agree."
Also part of the DADA theme, AIAD has created an open call for a series for the music and performance program entitled In(ter)ventions, with four rules:
1. The in(ter)vention must last no longer than 12 minutes, and no less than 2 minutes.
2. The in(ter)vention will be placed on a night of other sound or music based shows, but the work does not need to consist of music or sound – although, of course, it can!
3. In some way, the work should somehow disrupt existing program formats.
4. An In(ter)vention can be proposed by an individual artist or a collective or a band.
Unsound is also accepting submissions to our discourse program, exploring or motivated by the spirit of Dada.
Submissions should be summarized in no more than 500 words, with links, and sent to [email protected] by 16th April, 2023. Please mark the category you are applying to: In(ter)ventions or Discourse. We will select 2 works submitted to each category, with a fee of 2500 PLN, travel and accommodation.