Sunday 24 September 2017, 7.30pm
Unconscious Archives Festival 2017 explores materiality and embodied liveness across sound art and electronic music, experimental new media and audiovisual art through three live events - Compositional Constructs, Haptic Somatic and Narrativize, as well as an exhibition Emotion + the Tech(no)body. The festival showcases over thirty UK and international artists, with a special focus on the Austrian experimental scene, and women artists leading the way in pushing new creative boundaries.
From the fabric of the experimental live film and sound art scenes, to the electronic and handbuilt and coded, UA2017 highlights ‘liveness’ encouraging the breakdown of the audience- performer space, and encompassing the ‘dialogical’ and the ‘practicable’ in music and new media art.
In this special event Cafe OTO hosts Compositional Constructs - a live event showcasing the vibrant systems of artist made technology and performance interventions. Featuring Myriam Bleau (CA), Mariska de Groot (NL), Leafcutter John (UK), and Dawid Liftinger (AT).
With thanks to Atau Tanaka, whose new text reflecting on this event features in the UA2017 festival programme.
Myriam Bleau is a composer, digital artist and performer based in Montreal. She creates audiovisual systems that go beyond the screen, such as sound installations and performance- specific musical interfaces. Her hybrid electronic practice investigates music performance as a codified cultural manifestation and recontextualizes pop culture elements and music history tropes. Her work has been presented and recognized internationally including at Prix Ars Electronica (AT), Sónar (ES+HK), Sonic Arts Award (IT), Elektra (CA), Mutek (CA+MX+JP), ISEA (CA), Transmediale (DE), ACT (KR), and LABoral (ES).
Myriam presents Soft Revolvers, an audiovisual performance for 4 spinning tops built with clear acrylic by the artist. Each top is associated with an ‘instrument’ in an electronic music composition, and the motion data collected by sensors placed inside the tops - informs the musical algorithms. With their large circular spinning bodies and their role as music playing devices, the interfaces strongly evoke turntables and DJ culture, hip hop and dance music. LEDs placed inside the tops illuminate the body of the objects in a precise counterpoint to the music, creating stunning spinning halos.
Intrigued by the phenomena and history of optical sound, Mariska de Groot makes and performs comprehensive analogue light-to- sound instruments and installations which explore these visual to aural principles in new ways. Her work often references media inventions from the past - updated with Mariska’s approach to using new artist built technologies to elicit multi-sensorial experiences in light, sound, movement and space. Mariska studied graphic design at ArtEZ Arnhem and received her masters diploma at the ArtScience interfaculty in the Netherlands. She lives and works in The Hague and is board member of iii (instrument inventors initiative). In 2009/2010 Mariska received a Startstipendium
from Fonds BKVB. In 2012 she won the BNG Workspace12 Projectprice and in 2014 she won the O68 Price for German/Dutch artists. For 2016/2017 she was granted with the Talent development grant from Creative Industries. Her work has been featured at STEIM (NL), Ars Electronica (AT), Lab30 (DE), NK (DE), Atonal (DE), TodaysArt (NL), NCCA Moscow (RUS), NCCA Arsenal (RU), Centras (LI), CTM (DE), IFFR in Worm (NL), Atelier Nord (NO), Eye Filminstituut Amsterdam (NL), Mirage Festival (F), Fort Process (UK), and NIME London (UK).
Electronic musician, inventor and teacher Leafcutter John explores microcosms of sound through instruments of his own making - be they photo-sensitive grids controlled by bike lights and sparklers, precarious, home-spun Rube Goldberg-isms or glistening modular banks. Leafcutter seems drawn to the aleatoric beauty of natural systems; he’s been heard baffling Max Reinhardt on Late Junction with an atomic recording of a peeling tangerine, and aurally charting the price of gold at the Roundhouse.
Dawid Liftinger explores sensory and synaesthetic states through hand built electronics harnessing the essential properties of light and sound across installations and performances. Flashlightinstallation #1 is an audiovisual installation which explores electronic flashes as an artistic medium, triggering color visions and disorientating the spectator. In this work Liftinger repurposes electronic flashes recycled from old disposable cameras, reworking photographic detritus into a new machine. Liftinger’s performance Sound and Light is a highly concentrated audiovisual performance which harnesses the frequencies of fluorescent tubes. Through a digital interface of software, Arduino and circuit relays, the fluorescent tubes are turned on and off, their sound recorded, replayed and amplified, whilst the audience sits in a circle around the tubes gathered as if around a bonfire.
Liftinger has shown work at Ars Electronica Centre and Festival (Linz), Austrian Cultural Forum London, Behördengang (Austria), Aglow Space (Taiwan), O'NewWall (Seoul), Böllerbauer (Austria) Born, Live, Die and Between (Seoul, Korea), Tenants Galerie (Taiwan), Medien Kultur Haus (Austria), and Mohsen Gallery (Tehran, Iran).
Atau is a composer and performer of live computer music and professor at Goldsmiths. He uses muscle sensing using the EMG signal in musical performance where the human body becomes musical instrument. Atau’s first inspirations came upon meeting John Cage during his Norton Lectures and would go to on re-create Cage’s Variations VII with Matt Wand and :zoviet*france:. He formed Sensorband with Zbigniew Karkowski and Edwin van der Heide and in the Japanoise scene he has played alongside artists like Merzbow, Otomo, KK Null and others. He has been artistic co-director of STEIM. His work has received awards from Ars Electronica, Fraunhofer Institute, and the Fondation Daniel Langlois, and been presented at Sonar, Womad Transmediale, SFMOMA, ICA, Eyebeam, NTT-ICC, and ZKM.