Sonic Acts commissions and co-commissions new works for its festivals and projects. This is a selection of works that have been produced over the past few years. Older works will be added constantly.
Hugo Esquinca & Russell Haswell – Cadáver Exquisito Caleidoscópico En Cuatro Ejes
Cadáver Exquisito Caleidoscópico en Cuatro Ejes is a work by artists Hugo Esquinca and Russell Haswell and commissioned by Sonic Acts. It incorporates the game of ‘exquisite corpse’ – a technique of collective assembly in which they took turns contributing to the piece after receiving only a portion of what the other had previously contributed.
Sissel Marie Tonn – Plastic Hypersea
Site-specific sound walk Plastic Hypersea by Sissel Marie Tonn invites the listener to explore and imagine the environment as an extension to their immune system and to contemplate the many ways in which their bodies are entangled with microplastics in the sediments of Amsterdam’s waterways.
Dorian Concept and Zanshin – Half Chance
Dorian Concept and Zanshin perform Half Chance to the live audience on the Max Brand synthesizer. In their performance, Dorian Concept stepped on the foot pedals and played the keyboards, while Zanshin worked with the manual controls for the electrical production of sound.
Anthea Caddy – Long Throw: An Exploration of an Expanded Energetic System for Cello and Loud Speaker
Long Throw: An Exploration of an Expanded Energetic System for Cello and Loud Speaker is a live performance that expands the physical properties of projected sound energy via amplified cello. The piece premiered at Sonic Acts Academy 2020 as part of Sounding Provocations programme at Stedelijk Museum.
bod [包家巷] and Schwestern Sisters (SwS)– What If We Made A Video Game And It Was Like Dark Souls And All The Characters Were Artists (WIWMAVGAIWLDSAATCWA)
What If We Made A Video Game And It Was Like Dark Souls And All The Characters Were Artists (WIWMAVGAIWLDSAATCWA) is an enclosure of the audiovisual inputs of reality into the space of art that formally unifies performance and exhibition with the practices of organised interpersonal relationships.
Philip Vermeulen – More Moiré²
Philip Vermeulen’s sensorially powerful audiovisual installation More Moiré² premieres at Sonic Acts Academy 2020. In a panoramic Ganzfeld environment, with no horizon or anchor, the immersive cinematic experience puts visitors’ senses to the test. The tension between the experience of bodyless digitality and material physicality is palpable in More Moiré², which resets the senses in stimulating the awareness of one’s own material existence.
Hugo Esquinca and Yuk Hui – On 'A Psychedelic Becoming'
Hugo Esquinca’s live multichannel intervention On ‘A Psychedelic Becoming’ at Sonic Acts Academy 2020 confronts recursion and its openness to the necessity of contingency. The work follows that of his collaborator, philosopher Yuk Hui, who outlines these notions in his book Recursivity and Contingency (2019).
Karl Klomp – Sonic Acts Academy 2020 spatial media design
For Sonic Acts Academy 2020, Karl Klomp developed an extensive spatial media infrastructure for the festival's night programme at Paradiso. The work – an innovative spatial setup utilising various media – created an intense visual experience, complementing the presentations of performing artists and the progressive club environment.
Jennifer Walshe, Timothy Morton, Áine O’Dwyer, Lee Patterson, M.C. Schmidt, Streifenjunko and Vilde&Inga – Time Time Time
Time Time Time is an operatic work written by Jennifer Walshe and Timothy Morton, which premiered at Sonic Acts Festival 2019. Morton and Walshe join forces with an ensemble of renowned musicians and sound artists to explore the multiplicity of temporalities at the heart of being human.
Polina Medvedeva and Andreas Kühne – The Informals / Неформалы
The Informals / Неформалы is a part-autobiographical work and a universal statement on the notions of decentralisation, collectivism, and non-conformist ways of living in the digital age. The European premiere of The Informals / Неформалы was presented at Paradiso, Amsterdam, as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
HC Gilje – Radiant (live)
Radiant is an audiovisual work comprising a white laser beam moving over a large surface covered with phosphorescent pigment. The laser draws lines and curves that are only visible for a short moment before disappearing. The live performance of Radiant was presented at Paradiso, Amsterdam, as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
Filipa César and Jin Mustafa – Meteorisations: Reading Amílcar Cabral's Agro-Poetics of Liberation
Meteorisations: Reading Amílcar Cabral's Agro-Poetics of Liberation is a performative lecture by Filipa César with sound by Jin Mustafa and images from Sana na N’Hada and Flora Gomes, 1974, Cape Verde. The work was presented at De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
Christina Kubisch – Electrical Walks Amsterdam
Electrical Walks Amsterdam continues a series of works by the artist that trace the electromagnetic fields of urban environments. The work takes the form of a city walk and enables a new experience of Amsterdam, uncovering its hidden electromagnetic phenomena. The work is No. 74 in Kubisch's Electrical Walks series and was presented as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
The Rodina – Accidental Geopoetics
Accidental Geopoetics is a design intervention that takes revealing and hiding as two basic principles of design practice. At Sonic Acts Festival 2019, the work took the form of a navigational infrastructure at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, engaging the visitors while occupying the museum’s hallways.
Rana Hamadeh – Étude #1: On Recitation
Étude #1: On Recitation is a composition-in-progress with organ book, organ book machine, Disklavier, Sony cube monitor and horn speakers, and is a stepping stone towards a future compositional work by the artist. The work was presented at Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
Phoebe Collings-James and Last Yearz Interesting Negro – Sound as Weapon, Sounds 4 Survival
Charting psycho-emotional landscapes and mapping them on to the physical, Phoebe Collings-James and Jamila Johnson-Small work with their multi-dimensional bodies as the primary technology and source material for a collaborative live performance. Sound as Weapon, Sounds 4 Survival was presented at Paradiso, Amsterdam, as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
Karl Klomp – Sonic Acts Festival 2019 spatial media design
For Sonic Acts Festival 2019, Karl Klomp developed an extensive spatial media installation comprising a monumental LED structure suspended from the ceiling and LED screens on stage displaying live video footage of the performances. The spatial media design was presented at Paradiso, Amsterdam, as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
Ji Youn Kang – Untitled
Untitled plays with two customised bamboos and a small Korean gong, with analogue devices that connect the instruments for further real-time processing. The work was developed during a residency at STEIM (organised by Sonic Acts) and presented at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
Hugo Esquinca – Deformation Studies on Dimension and Structure for Fifteen Point Three
Deformation Studies on Dimension and Structure for Fifteen Point Three is a mediation on the acoustic resonances of space. The work was developed during a residency at STEIM (organised by Sonic Acts) and presented at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
Okkyung Lee – 틈 / Teum (The Silvery Slit)
틈 / Teum (The Silvery Slit) is an acousmatic piece written for computer-generated sounds, pre-recorded materials and cello that was developed for the Acousmonium sound diffusion system during a residence at Ina GRM, Paris, in January 2019. It premiered at Paradiso, Amsterdam, at the opening of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
BJ Nilsen – ORE
ORE is an acousmatic work that reveals the artist’s research into the mining of iron ore and its impact on society and cultural relevance. The work was developed for the Acousmonium sound diffusion system during a residency at Ina GRM, Paris, and was presented at Paradiso, Amsterdam, as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
Signe Lidén and Espen Sommer Eide – Vertical Studies: Acoustic Shadows and Boundary Reflections
In Vertical Studies: Acoustic Shadows and Boundary Reflections, a collaborative work with Espen Sommer Eide, Eide and Lidén wish to invite the participants on a journey to a 46 meter high former water tower in Sint Jansklooster.
::vtol:: aka Dmitry Morozov – Лесофон / Lesophon
Лесофон / Lesophon is an audiovisual installation. Slowly, adhesive tape rolls unroll themselves over the course of many hours. This process is recorded and the generated data produces an algorithm that generates sound which is subsequently transmitted on FM. People are invited to listen to the installation as it unwinds, through headphones and via FM radio.
Justin Bennett – Vilgiskoddeoayvir: Wolf Lake on the Mountains
At 12 kilometres deep, the Kola Superdeep Borehole is one of the deepest man-made holes on Earth. The Borehole was a Soviet geology research project that started during the Cold War. Justin Bennett created a soundwalk for this abandoned site.
Justin Bennett and HC Gilje – Mikro
Mikro is a series of improvised collaborative performances between HC Gilje (video) and Justin Bennett (sound) that draws its raw material from the immediate surroundings. On the last day of the Dark Ecology Journey, Bennett and Gilje performed the latest version of Mikro using material gathered over the course of the Journey.
Nickel van Duijvenboden – Echolocation (Session)
Nickel van Duijvenboden gave a performative reading inside a disused communal space belonging to the Kirkenes mine. He blended speech with sound recordings and live instruments in a loosely arranged setting, creating a parallel narrative based on a prior visualization of the location and a psycho-geographical exploration of the surroundings.
Cecilia Jonsson – Prospecting: A Geological Survey of Greys
Prospecting: A Geological Survey of Greys is an interdisciplinary, site-specific art project that appropriates the scientific geological methods of extracting, analysing and categorising mineral specimens. The work consists of drilling residue, fragments from inside the rock. These residues serve to identify the bedrock’s various grey tones and visualise a temporary juxtaposition; a massive cylindrical column of rock core sample shadowed by its negative – the adjacent 5-centimetre-wide hole in the basement rock.
Signe Lidén & Espen Sommer Eide – Altitude and History
Espen Sommer Eide and Signe Lidén took participants on an evening trek in the mountains above Nikel, where they investigated the acoustic phenomena in relation to the topography of the area while relating them to the local history. Eide and Lidén had their specially developed mobile, meteorological music instruments with them, which they installed and activated at various places during the trek.
LYSN: Murmansk Spaceport – ЛИСН: Мурманский Космодром
Hilary Jeffery’s Murmansk Spaceport is an environment designed for exploring unknown territories. During November 2015 musicians from Murmansk (RU) and Bodø (NO) in the Barents Region work together with Hilary Jeffery in a new formation of LYSN to perform Murmansk Spaceport.
Margrethe Iren Pettersen – Living Land - Below as Above
Living Land – Below as Above is a soundwalk developed by Margrethe Iren Pettersen. The idea of the soundwalk began with Pettersen’s interest in ice as a metaphor, and as the primary archival medium of the Arctic. In the dark wintertime, life in the Arctic is at rest, hidden, and the spectre of what is visual and audible is scaled down, and invites a deeper attention of our senses to nuances.
Sonic Acts & Radio Web MACBA Podcast on Dark Ecology
Before he left for the Dark Ecology Journey, Arie Altena contributed to Radio Web MACBA’S fourth episode in the OBJECTHOOD podcast series. This episode is about what lies beneath the surface: where development clashes with strange hyperobjects, where geology meets politics, where horror meets daily life. Altena talks about superstitions surrounding the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia.
Femke Herregraven – Staring into the Ice
For her Dark Ecology commission, Staring into the Ice, Femke Herregraven examines the relations between the financial world and global warming, and how the melting Arctic ice now opens up new investment opportunities and trading routes for financial markets by making it possible to lay submarine cables on the Arctic seabed.
Jana Winderen – Pasvikdalen
Drifting away from a state of stability, blurring acceleration, moving out of sight, but not out of mind. Invisible but audible, the consequences reveal themselves through the silence of species we have never heard. Jana Winderen’s new work Pasvikdalen is based on recordings made both above and under water close to the border between Norway and Russia.
Secret Chamber / Тайная Комната (Tainaya Komnata) – Anya Kuts & Ivan Zoloto
Anya Kuts and Ivan Zoloto from Petrozavodsk curated two so-called ‘Secret Chambers’. ‘Secret Chamber’, in Russian Тайная Комната (Tainaya Komnata) is the name they use for the audiovisual events they curate in unexpected, ‘secret’ locations.
Raviv Ganchrow – Long Wave Synthesis
Long Wave Synthesis is a land-art scale sound installation that investigates infrasound, and probes the relations between how we perceive the landscape and long-wave vibrations. The piece creates a complex topography of acoustic waves in a range of 4 to 30 Hz (mostly in the infrasound range, below the threshold of human hearing) spreading out from an array of custom-built, very low frequency generators. Commissioned for Dark Ecology Journey 2014
Billy Roisz & Dieter Kovačič – Bring Me the Head of Henri Chrétien!
Billy Roisz and Dieter Kovačič explore the world of cinematic formats based on the genre that experimented with the width of the screen to display spectacular landscapes: Western movies and their wide span of (male) heroism between life and death. Commissioned for Vertical Cinema
Gert-Jan Prins, Bas van Koolwijk, Justin Bennett, Tina Frank, Jerome Noetinger and Billy Roisz – The Synchronator Orchestra
The Synchronator Orchestra is a live performance project in which several artists produce sound as well as visuals, using a Synchronator device. Commissioned for Kontraste Festival Krems in 2012