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.
Anthea Caddy – Projection #3: The Wharf, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Projection #3: The Wharf, Amsterdam, Netherlands is the continuation of a long-term research project by Australian artist Anthea Caddy that harnesses projected sound energy to interrogate the physicality of environments.
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.
Ljubavnice – I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess
I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess is an audiovisual installation created by Croatian female artist group Ljubavnice (lovers). They introduce their seventh member: the virtual persona THE SEVENTH.
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.
Lag OS – Drasland Stretch
Drasland Stretch is a secret synthetic soundwalk premiering at Sonic Acts Academy 2020. Based on an outdoor collective listening experience, the work investigates the relationship between imaginary soundscapes and night-time dew from a specific location in Amsterdam.
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.
Joost Rekveld – #71.1
#71.1 is a generative audiovisual composition for radar display tube and analogue chaotic circuit. The work is part of STEIM’s microTONE series – a collection of 'sound art works in boxes’ – and was presented at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam as part of Sonic Acts Festival 2019.
Ryoko Akama – Kosetsu
Kosetsu is a new sculptural work by Ryoko Akama, examining accidental aural properties. The work is part of STEIM’s microTONE series – a collection of 'sound art works in boxes’ – and was presented at Stedelijk Museum 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.
Nina Pixel – Bias Loop
Bias Loop is a sonic poem about reconnecting with the self. 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.
Catherine Christer Hennix—Blue(s) in Green to the 31 Limit2018
Blue(s) in Green to the 31 Limit is a new work by Catherine Christer Hennix, premiering at Sonic Acts Academy with two performances at Stedelijk Museum.
Karl Klomp - Spatial Media Design
Media artist Karl Klomp designed the lighting and video elements of Progress Bar at Sonic Acts Academy 2018
Sam Rolfes – Progress Bar Video Design
As an accompaniment to the third season of the Progress Bar club night, Sam Rolfes developed episodic videos that re-appropriate and recast pop culture figures and experiment with emergent internet performance formats.
Jana Winderen – Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone
The listener experiences the bloom of plankton, the shifting and crackeling sea ice in the Barents Sea around Spitsbergen, towards the North Pole.
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.
Luke Fowler – Electro-Pythagorus: A Portrait of Martin Bartlett
Electro-Pythagorus: A Portrait of Martin Bartlett is commissioned by Sonic Acts & Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. With the film Luke Fowler pays tribute to the work and musical ideas of Martin Bartlett (1939–93).
Susan Schuppli – Atmospheric Feedback LoopsSusan Schuppli
Since 1970 the Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research has been measuring and monitoring the changes in the feedback loops between land surface processes and the airborne dynamics of our planet.
Lukas Marxt – Persistence of the Vacuum Without Grounding Definitions
This film is a survey of the industrial landscape of the Russian harbour city Murmansk and the surrounding Arctic tundra. It is both a documentation and an investigation of perception.
HC Gilje – rift
rift is flickering petrochemical microscope textures: deep-time crude oil is violently transformed into colourful plastic wrappers for consumer goods.
BJ Nilsen and Karl Lemieux – Yujiapu
During the winter of 2015 Karl Lemieux travelled to China with BJ Nilsen and a small camera crew to make a piece about the country's infamous ghost cities.
Karl Klomp – Sonic Acts Festival 2017 light design
For Sonic Acts Festival 2017, media artist Karl Klomp designed the lighting for Progress Bar and the evening in Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ.
Supreme Connections presents Maryanne Amacher's 'Mini Sound Series'
Sonic Acts and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam commissioned Supreme Connections to create a new interpretive, episodic iteration of Maryanne Amacher's 'Mini Sound Series'.
::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.
Thomas Ankersmit – Homage to Dick Raaijmakers
For this electronic music performance, sound artist and composer Thomas Ankersmit delves into the ideas and instruments of a Dutch titan of electronic music, Dick Raaijmakers (1930–2013).
HC Gilje – Barents (Mare Incognitum)
Barents (Mare Incognitum) is a video installation by HC Gilje. The installation shows a slowly rotating view of the Barents Sea: up becomes down, East becomes West.
HC Gilje – The Crossing
The Crossing is a light-motion installation by HC Gilje outside Zapolyarny (RU). It explores and re-activates an abandoned construction site using light and motion: ephemeral light meets physical structures.
Tatjana Gorbachewskaja icw Katya Larina – Nikel Materiality
Nikel Materiality by Tatjana Gorbachewskaja, in collaboration with Katya Larina, seeks to explore Nikel through the prism of the unique material substances that this city has created.
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.
Joris Strijbos – IsoScope
Joris Strijbos’ IsoScope is a kinetic sound-and-light installation. It consists of multiple robotic wind objects that interact with each other and with the landscape to perform a generative composition manifesting itself through emergent behaviour.
Mario de Vega – Dolmen
Dolmen is an installation by Mexican sound artist Mario de Vega, commissioned by Sonic Acts and Donaufestival. Dolmen is an intervention that explores the boundaries of human perception as well as the social, political and physical impact of telecommunications technology.
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.
Karl Lemieux & BJ Nilsen – unearthed
The border area of Norway and Russia, where the sparse beauty of the Arctic landscape meets industrial decay and heavy pollution, is where BJ Nilsen and Karl Lemieux collected material for their audiovisual collaboration unearthed.
Lucy Railton & Russell Haswell – Unknown
In residency in Kirkenes, Lucy Railton & Russell Haswell (UK) have researched, recorded and developed a new work. Their collaboration exploits the languages of contemporary instrumental music and hybrid analogue/digital synthesis.
Marijn de Jong – Grey Zone
The Dutch photographer travelled to Kirkenes and Nikel in the autumn of 2014. His series of photographs Grey Zone is a portrait of the area. The series was published in the book The Geologic Imagination. Commissioned for Dark Ecology
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
Signe Lidén – krysning/пересечение/conflux
For her commission Signe Lidén ‘sound-measured’ the border-zone during field trips in the surroundings of Kirkenes and Nikel. 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
Björn Kämmerer – Louver
‘What are we watching?’ is the first thing viewers of Louver might ask themselves. Commissioned for Vertical Cinema
Esther Urlus – Chrome
Chrome is inspired by the autochrome process, a colouring technique for black-and-white photographs invented by the Lumière brothers in 1903. Commissioned for Vertical Cinema
Gert-Jan Prins & Martijn van Boven – Walzkörpersperre
Light and sound engraving on weathered concrete created by scanning the architectural elements of a bunker wall. Commissioned for Vertical Cinema
Johann Lurf – Pyramid Flare
Pyramid Flare is the second in a series of experimental films about modern pyramids all over the globe.
Joost Rekveld – #43
The images in the film #43 are generated by systems in which the pixels are agents that are, in some respects, comparable to organic cells. Commissioned for Vertical Cinema
Makino Takashi & Telecosystems – Deorbit
Deorbit was a work by Makino Takashi & Telecosystems, commissioned by Sonic Acts and developed for Vertical Cinema (2013). Commissioned for Vertical Cinema
Manuel Knapp – V~
The vertical plan of V~ demonstrates – in the sense of presenting evidence as well as in the sense of a projection – the process of creation from forces of numerical matter. Commissioned for Vertical Cinema
Rosa Menkman – Lunar Storm
The surface of the Moon seems static. Though it orbits the Earth every 27.3 days, with areas of it becoming invisible during this rotation, it is always (visibly or invisibly) above us, reassuringly familiar. Commissioned for Vertical Cinema
Tina Frank – Colterrain
Colterrain, the title of this film, refers to a colourful landscape, a terrain described by lines similar to geographic mapping – in this case a mapping of sound. Commissioned for Vertical Cinema
Justin Bennett – Spectral Analysis WG
Justin Bennett’s soundwalk Spectral Analysis WG (2013) attempted to reveal energy phenomena in and around the WG Terrain while investigating the healing properties of sound and electricity. Commissioned for Sonic Acts Festival 2013
Matthijs Munnik – Citadels: Common Structures
As a window to a virtual world, Citadels: Common Strucutres visualised an abstract universe composed only of light and sound, exploring the borders of our sensory hardware. Commissioned for Sonic Acts Festival 2013
Yolanda Uriz Elizalde – ~~Kulunka~~
~~Kulunka~~ was an immersive installation that evoked visual and tactile ways of perceiving vibrations. Commissioned for Sonic Acts Festival 2013
Yamila Ríos & Joris Strijbos – COVEX
In this audio visual performance the duo researches the relations between electro-acoustic sound and diffracted light-patterns in a diagonal mixage between the two media. Commissioned for Sonic Acts Festival 2013
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