Sunday 24 September 2017, 7.30pm

Myriam Bleau – ‘Soft Revolvers’ – photo by Severin Smith


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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.

Unconscious Archives Festival 2017 runs until September 30th, with the exhibition Emotion + the Tech(no)body continuing until 17th November 2017. Festival passes available.

Press enquiries please contact


Myriam Bleau

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.

Mariska de Groot

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).

Leafcutter John

Bradford-born, Wakefield-raised, Leafcutter John has performed and collaborated widely, including as part of mercury-nominated band Polar Bear, and solo at places like Jarvis Cocker’s meltdown and Planet Mu raves. John first found recognition twenty three years ago through Mike Paradinas’s Planet Mu record label – a gold standard for the experimental fringes of electronic music. His discography ranges from the experimentalism of The Housebound Spirit, to the folk-infused Forest and the Sea – the latter containing “Seba '' which James Acaster named in his top nine essential tracks.

John moved up to Sheffield a few years ago and quickly fell in love with climbing. In this rare London performance John will explore using actual gritstone in his performance.

Dawid Liftinger

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 Tanaka

Atau Tanaka is an artist and researcher who uses EMG muscle sensing to turn the human body into a musical instrument. His first inspirations came upon meeting John Cage during his Norton Lectures. In the 1990s he formed Sensorband with Zbigniew Karkowski and Edwin van der Heide and in the Japanoise scene played alongside Merzbow, Otomo, KK Null. His trio, Sensors_Sonics_Sights was with Thereminist Laurent Dailleau and visual artist Cecile Babiole. He has performed in John Peel’s Meltdown at London Southbank, in the French improvised music scene with Camel Zekri, Metamkine, Le Quan Ninh, and Michel Doneda, and in duo with Adam Parkinson (aka Dane Law), and with the visual artist Lillevan. He has releases on Sub Rosa, Bip-hop, Caipirinha Music, Touch/Ash, Sonoris, Sirr-ecords, NX Records and is commissioning editor for the Sonics Series at Goldsmiths Press.