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Event: FIBER x The Rest Is Noise, club culture, electronic music & visual art

Text by Katazyna Jankovska

Germ in a Population of Buildings, upsammy & Jonathan Castro. Rewire Festival 2023

The FIBER Festival in Amsterdam kicks off the new year with the new edition of the audiovisual concert series FIBER x The Rest Is Noise. This year’s collaborative audiovisual performances focus on the cross-pollination between electronic music, club culture, media art, and film, representing a meeting ground for various artistic disciplines. 

Audiovisual performances became a new form of storytelling, crafting stories that ignite curiosity for both eyes and ears, guiding audiences beyond traditional sound performances and DJ sets. Fostering collaboration between artists from different disciplines and backgrounds, the flux of sonic and visual fragments shifts the focus from one performer to an immersive sensorial engagement with lighting and visuals. This interdisciplinary approach emphasizes inclusive technological and artistic dialogues and brings its audience to feeling multiple emotions all at once. 

On January 5th at Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, this audiovisual territory will be explored by CEM (Cem Duran), Berlin-based DJ, interdisciplinary artist, and co-founder of Berlin-based queer collective Herrensauna in collaboration with light and media artist Theresa Baumgartner and intermedia artist Mauro Ventura (DJ Saliva). Following that, upsammy (Thessa Torsing) will perform her latest album Germ in a Population of Buildings, accompanied by visuals from Peruvian artist Jonathan Castro. The evening will be tied together with Slimfit (DJ).

CEM’s performance lets the audience immerse in the hallucinatory realm of sounds, light, and shadows. CEM’s performance GEZEGEN merges sound, light design by Theresa Baumgartner, and a sculptural object made by Mauro Ventura. By incorporating mythological elements into GEZEGEN, the performance aims to explore the threshold between inner worlds. In its perpetual quest for self-understanding, using sacred chants and traditional elements, GEZEGEN blurs cultural boundaries, drawing from CEM’s family’s Sufi heritage. The performance embraces the power of inner monologues and uncertainty as a guide for exploration.

GEZEGEN, CEM with Theresa Baumgartner and Mauro Ventura. Volksbühne Berlin

The stage and light design plays a crucial role in creating this mystical, uncertain, hallucinatory realm. A delusive metal sculpture made by Mauro Ventura divides the performer and the audience. Ventura’s practice often centres on spirituality as a symbolic pathway to envisioning diverse realms. This stage design becomes a liminal space that raises speculation—is it a gate or a mere barrier? Here, amidst this uncertainty, Theresa Baumgartner’s ambient design juxtaposes light and shadows, creating the sense of a distant yet tangible realm.

Baumgartner is known for her immersive stage design, mixing together installation art, audiovisual performance, and experimental film. Using light design, the artist enhances certain moments while intentionally limiting visibility in others, allowing the audience to focus on the sound. Theresa’s work explores how spatial and light dynamics shape event experiences within nightlife culture, elevating emotions that resonate with the musical narrative. 

Following the critically acclaimed album Zoom in 2020, upsammy returns with the new album Germ in a Population of Buildings, which was released in May 2023. This 33-minute journey marks the upsammy’s first release with Berlin label PAN. Stemming from the artist’s curiosity about her surroundings and landscape architecture, the album comprises field-recorded material and rhythms of different locations mixed with electronic sounds. Navigating different environments and ecosystems, inspired by the recurring patterns found in nature, the artist focuses on often unnoticed inhabitants and forces. Upsammy then merges those collected field recordings with the electronic sounds, creating a vibrant texture of organic and electronic.

This auditory experience of constantly changing environments is translated into tangible visuals by Peruvian visual artist Jonathan Castro. By intertwining digital and biological imagery and blending raw nature recordings with frosty digital abstractions, Castro unveils visual interpretations of what the audience hears. Much like Upsammy’s focus on unnoticed, ever-shifting environments, Castro’s visual language roots itself in the natural world’s essence, where living spirits manifest within the material realm. Upsammy’s scattered rhythms and synths and Castro’s organic patterns and digital textures morph into a vibrating unique audiovisual journey. 

The 2024 edition of FIBER x The Rest Is Noise builds interpretative spaces within live performance settings, creating an intimate dialogue between sound, light, visuals, and installation. Bringing curiosity to performances that defy clear-cut categorization—neither purely music concerts nor DJ sets—where the audience viscerally experiences what they hear, this event experiments with the possibilities of creating new immersive experiences guided by a mutual interest in connecting art and music. 

FIBER x The Rest Is Noise 2024 takes place on January 5th at Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. Find tickets here.

(Media courtesy of the artists and FIBER)
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