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Unsound Kraków 2021: deep authentic highlights

Text by CLOT Magazine

Visual imagery: Sam Rolfes

The theme for this year’s edition of Unsound festival is dəəp authentic—the gradual shift back from online to IRL events, a phrase that involves a questionable binary—for the online world is also ‘real’, and the IRL has long been digitised, distributed and mediated. dəəp authentic will consider methods of twisting, upending or even breaking the presentation of live music and sound that radicalise or bring a different kind of energy into performance spaces that the pandemic has already altered.

In the organisers’ words, The word ‘deep’ evokes conflicting ideas. On the one hand, there is Pauline Oliveros’ notion of deep listening, where the selective act of listening is explored through meditation, the body and performance, as well as the act of listening in everyday life. But ‘deep’ also suggests 21st-century phrases such as deep learning, deep web, the deep state and, most of all, deep fake, linked with concepts of AI, secrecy, conspiracy, surveillance and control. 

From 13 to 17 October, people behind the festival will try to answer questions such as how technology affects the idea of an individual voice, whether that be human or non-human? And What does sincerity mean in artistic terms, as well as for online personas and communities around music and art scenes? 

Weavings is a performance conceived and curated with Nicolás Jaar, featuring 12 instrumentalists. Originally taking place online in 2020, the piece will be presented with Jaar alongside Aho Ssan, Angel Bat Dawid, Antonina Nowacka, Khyam Allami, Oren Ambarchi, Pak Yan Lau, Pawel Szamburski, Raphael Rogiński, Resina, Tomoko Sauvage and Valentina Magaletti.

The music program includes the stereomodernist rhythm and soul of Speaker Music (DeForrest Brown, Jr.); Warsaw artist Lensk will DJ, as well as perform with K Allado-Mcdowell for a collaborative meditation and writing session with AI; a live show from Aya; Lawrence English/Room 40; Sam Rolfes who will premiere A/V show The Harlecore Experience; and the European premiere of a live show from Berlin-based Philadelphian Lsdxoxo, among many other names. 

Unsound 2021 will feature the premiere of Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s score for the horror film Candyman, directed by Nia DaCosta and produced by Jordan Peele. Joining him on stage are Matthew Morandi, Randall Dunn, Brent Arnold, Polish musicians Hubert Zemler and Resina,Kraków’sLKraków’swell as Kraków’s Spółdzielnia Muzyczna Contemporary Ensemble. The 80-minute show will focus on the music and immersive lighting.

The discourse program will be presented IRL and online and includes the return of Machine Listening presented with Australian sonic art organisation Liquid Architecture; Holly Herndon and Mat Dryhurst will present a special live session of their podcast series Interdependence; artist duo Eternal Engine will present Chakram Polarizer, a speculative sci-fi taking place around Kraków; and John Doran with a talk called Salford Psychic City, are some of our highlights. 

On 12 October, Unsound will screen a restored print of the 1973 film F For Fake by Orson Welles, paired with a presentation on post-truth by theorist Patrick Leftwich, leading to an audience discussion.

(Media courtesy of the festival)
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