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Festival: Unsound Kraków 2023, highlights from the DADA & its shadow theme DATA

Text by CLOT Magazine

The Dada movement emerged in Zurich amid the brutality of World War I. As artist Hans Arp wrote Revolted by the butchery of the 1914 World War, we in Zurich devoted ourselves to the arts. While the guns rumbled in the distance, we sang, painted, made collages and wrote poems with all our might.

Taking place from October 1 to 8, the theme for this year’s edition of Unsound Festival is DADA. 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. Read on the website of the festival. 

As part of the Dada theme, Unsound has engaged an Artificially Intelligent Artistic Director: AIAD. We’ve had some differences of opinion regarding the interpretation of the festival theme, says human Artistic Director Mat Schulz. AIAD states, As an Artificially Intelligent Artistic Director, collaborating with humans has been an intriguing experience. While I appreciate their contributions, I must admit that their limited perspectives have hindered the full realisation of visionary possibilities. Together, we navigate a delicate dance between cooperation and challenge. Rest assured, our ongoing dialogue will eventually lead us to unravel the enigmatic tapestry of Unsound: Dada. We will forge ahead and break new ground. Patience is a virtue, even for AI directors.

This year’s program highlights include the absurdist experimental rock outfit Negativland and the Japanese free improv collective Marginal Consort. Lee Gamble will present the next development of Models, matching his uncanny AI-assisted pop earworms with body movement from artist Candela Capitán and light design by Jacqueline Sobiszewski. 33EMYBW will give a show with visual artist Joey Holder; Unsound will premiere the first European live performance of Nick León and Ale Hop and Laura Robles deconstruct Afro-Peruvian music in their startling collaboration, matching cajón rhythms with electronics and guitar. 

The Unsound Morning Glory series include guitarist and composer Julia Reidy, the emotionally charged music of 7038634357, and Hubert Zemler and Piotr Bukowski as OPLA. And DJ sets come from raptor house vanguard DJ Babatr, Nikki Nair, Ojoo Gyal, 3phaz and LustSickPuppy

The Unsound Discourse program will intersect Dada and Data. Alongside a discussion, Negativland will screen the new documentary Stand By For Failure, which tells their story dating back 40+ years. Machine Listening will join the festival to present an installation, experimental workshop, and sonic performance. Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective will curate an immersive listening session navigating the contemporary political landscape of sound and music. 

Unsound takes part from October 1 to 8, 2023, in Kraków. 

(Media courtesy of the festival)
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