The 18th edition of the SIMULTAN Festival will take place between October 5-8, 2023 in Timișoara at Multiplexity (Corneliu Miklosi Museum and former STPT workshops).
Organized annually around a theme, SIMULTAN aims to explore and reflect on various aspects of society and individual life influenced by technology, to highlight how artists respond to the challenges of our times and how they perceive change and envision the future.
The festival program includes a series of events and actions, such as live sound and audiovisual performances, video art screenings, exhibitions, conferences and workshops.
This year’s live program features artists who are actively engaged in the field of sonic art and the experimental music scene.
The legendary Ilpo Väisänen, who generates his sounds and soundscapes using mostly the simplest devices, as analog keyboards and other oscillators he’s fabricated himself. His world permanently fluctuates between hot and cold; composed of creaks, whistles, strange noises and rhythmic improbabilities, it’s a world oftentimes futuristic, yet prehistoric. Together with Mika Vainio, Ilpo Väisänen was part of the Finnish duo Pan Sonic, one of the most ground-breaking and innovative projects in contemporary electronic music.
Composer and sound artist Dorit Chrysler, hailed as a Theremin Virtuoso and Pioneer. Her work explores the application of the electro-magnetic theremin instrument in various mediums. She will present live excerpts of her work entitled Calder Plays Theremin (commissioned by MoMA to make a sound piece in conjunction with the exhibition Alexander Calderas) as well as additional original compositions written for Theremin, synthesis and vocals.
Visual artist Alberto Novello will add audio reactive laser projections and analog video art to Dorit’s music.
Ana Fosca, emerging from the Danish underground scene. Fosca’s feral expressionism is preoccupied with humanity’s propensity for tragedy, violence, and blight. She composes along cyclonic patterns of oppositional forces, searing noise, and ominous drone. When employing her voice, Fosca bellows repetitive chants deep in the mix, a cathartic incantation where meaning can be found within all of this agony and despair.
Duo hÄK / Danzeisen, which one must imagine as a man-machine apparatus. A collection of cables, resonating bodies and restless limbs that together question all routines. They overthrow the conventional role of instruments and explore the possibilities of a new sonic language.
Bernd Norbert Würtz alias hÄK operates modular synthesizers, self-soldered circuits and control knobs. Philipp Danzeisen plays a drum kit enhanced with triggers and sensors.
Cosmin Nicolae, anti-disciplinary artist working with image, sound, text to produce works of intimate reflection at the intersection of autoethnography, psychogeography and possible futures.
Simina Oprescu’s multidisciplinary praxis handles from detailed oriented maximalist stereo compositions to immersive multichannel minimalism that alters the acoustic space. She creates strong yet sensible narratives around actively explored concepts inspired by spatial arts, psychoacoustics, and sculptural installations that involve a philosophy of participation, movement, and gesture.
They will perform Map x Territory, accompanied with generative motion pictures by Matei Băcanu.
Jasmine Guffond is an artist and composer working at the interface of social, political and technical infrastructures. Her practice spans live performance, recording, sound installation and custom made browser plug-in. Through the sonification of data she addresses the potential for sound to engage with contemporary political questions.
Jasmine’s performance will feature live visuals manipulated by Ilan Katin.
Composer and sound artist Robert Piotrowicz’s music embraces the abstractness of subjective sound, its physical essence, as well as the complex constructions of synthetic composition. Moving between intensity, intimacy and sensuality, the artist aims to fill and dominate the sonic space while making the experience inclusive.
Simon Whetham explores the energy and effects of sound, through resonance and psychoacoustics to the transduction of sound as movement and light. Recent projects find him repurposing obsolete consumer technology in kinetic performances and installations, notably “Made to Malfunction” and “Successive Actions”.
Svetlana Maraš is a composer and sound artist active in the field of experimental music. Performing live is part of her ongoing practice that utilizes a variety of physical controllers in a live concert setting that she interprets as a place for experimentation and collective listening. These performances stem partially from her practice as an improviser which reflects in the instrumental use of the setup that she chooses to play with. This approach allows versatile sound manipulation in real-time that appropriates playing with the acoustic instruments.
Thomas Ankersmit is a musician and sound artist, playing the Serge Modular synthesizer, both live and in the studio. He collaborates with artists like Phill Niblock and Valerio Tricoli. The Serge Modular has been Ankersmit’s main instrument since 2006. With this new project, he’ll be exploring the boundaries of its capabilities to create an almost organic, musique concrète-like sound world, but he’ll also go “back to the essentials” with a more purely electric/electronic sound.
Ioana Vreme Moser is a sound artist engaged with hardware electronics, speculative research, and tactile experimentation. In her practice, she uses rough electronic processes to obtain different materialities of sound. She places electronic components and control voltages in different situations of interaction with her body, organic materials, lost and found items, and environmental stimuli. Through a lecture performance, she will present Screaming Minerals, a project that follows the rise of information technologies and their environmental decay.
In her compositions, JacqNoise is looking for the spot where rhythms cross each other’s paths. She is deconstructing sounds in order to understand the symphony and the themes that are reflected in it. During live performances she synchronizes with her surroundings, finding her main source of inspiration in cultural cross-pollination.
SIMULTAN 2023 runs under the theme OSCILLATIONS: Things to Remember
In the modern cacophony of life, technology emerges as a double-edged sword, orchestrating a complex relation with nature, information, everyday life, memory and so on. While it promises convenience and progress, its pervasive presence and relentless intrusion raise profound concerns about the erosion of genuine human experiences and memories.
The natural rhythms of existence and the authenticity of human interaction become distorted by virtual substitutes.
Oscillation serves as a foundational principle in understanding and interacting with our world. From the smallest atomic vibrations to the grandest cosmic movements, oscillation shapes our experiences, communication, and technological advancements. Recognizing the significance of oscillation in our lives can deepen our appreciation for the complexities and beauty of the natural and technological phenomena that surround us. Our senses, such as sight, hearing, and touch, rely on oscillatory patterns to interpret the world around us.
Language and communication systems are based on patterns, whether in the form of spoken words, written text, or signs. Our interactions often involve subtle oscillatory cues, such as body language, facial expressions, and gestures. These non-verbal signals convey emotions, intentions, and attitudes, contributing to effective communication and social bonding. […]
(excerpt from the curatorial statement, Levente Kozma)
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The project is part of the national cultural program “Timișoara – European Capital of Culture in 2023” and is financed and organized in partnership with the Municipality of Timișoara through the Center for Projects.
Photos Petru Cojocaru