From 20th to 23rd of April, Rokolectiv Festival reaches its 12th consecutive edition, with a selected line up of artists that challenge their own artistic, sociological and biopolitical identities in music performances, installations, videos, special events.
On Thursday night, the festival moves downtown in the beautifully resuscitated Palatul Universul, with three performances in the Apollo 111 theatre, and the opening of “Notes on the Afterlife” - an exhibition speculating on the afterlife and the artificial, hosted by Salonul de Proiecte.
Inspired by galvanism and Frankenstein, Amy Whittle brings a personal interpretation of technology and spirituality coming together in a post-life construct. Chatonsky takes on the physicality of the internet trough a sort of meta-server-heaven, while Chinese artist Lu Yang creates a digital nonsexual human simulator in her own shape and imagines its digital funeral. In a more radical approach, the Iranian / American artist duo Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke, with their “3D Additivist Manifesto”, call to push additive manufacturing technologies to their absolute limits and beyond, into the realm of the speculative, the provocative and the weird.
The Opening Night’s performances in the Apollo 111 theatre contribute to a similarly mutating artistic nebula. Hailing from the anterior cortex of Berlin’s electronic hivemind, experimental duo Amensia Scanner decimate and regurgitate tropes of trance, future grime, noise, and mainstream pop, while further accentuating the anxiety that is the very breath of the internet’s post-truthisms. For further cyber ambience and slamming rhythmic constructions, J.G. Biberkopf’s performance takes a field trip into the representations of nature that emerge from the social media scape. And, coming all the way from Yokohama, Takahide Higuchi aka Foodman cooks up an exciting and very personal footwork, in one of the most deconstructed takes on Chicago’s ghetto generated sound.
On Friday, Rokolectiv teams up in premiere with Red Bull Music Academy to co-present a night celebrating shape shifting, club-reconstructionist sets and the transformative minds behind them.
Calling on images of high-tech tribalism, Black Zone Myth Chant, an alias of the French experimentalist High Wolf, conjures Afro-futurist psychedelia with trance-inducing beats.
From Sandwell District, Juan Mendez aka Silent Servant brings in his famous output that shows appreciation to both dark warehouse techno and to DIY post-punk and industrial.
With an unusual genesis in 90s L.A. and a constant shifting throughout our times, Silent Servant is an influential artist for an upcoming generation of young musicians. After studiously educating himself on the world of electronica and obscure electro whilst working in a record store in his native Holland, Berlin based Delta Funktionen comes with a set that reflect his years of dedicated digging and is designed with one eye on the past and two feet firmly stamping forward.
Upcoming elusive talent Șerb closes the night with a techno set that pours analogue honey in post rave ears.
Saturday night turns the scales in favour of forward thinking female musicians, with feminist upcoming star Princess Nokia heading the line-up. This self-proclaimed bruja, former Calvin Klein model and future Mayor of NY (we hope) never ceases to amaze, constantly genre-bending from her jungle rave-inspired “Dragons” to her latest album “1992”. Destiny Frasqueri embraces her Afro-Latino heritage, Harlem/Lower East Side upbringing and her own fashioning of queer mystic feminism to make music that talks to all kinds of people: “from Banjee girls in Harlem to teen brides in the Middle East, to gay boys in East Asia”. The ever surprising Rokolectiv favourite of the past years, Lena Willikens also returns to the festival with her mystical repertoire inducing sentimental flashbacks. Her renowned alien techno selections will wash over the dancefloor and resonate in an extended Sunday morning set.
For a third year in a row, Rokolectiv is part of the European platform SHAPE, co-curated with 15 like-minded festivals. In addition to J.G. Biberkopf, Amnesia Scanner, Black Zone Myth Chant and a list of side special events, the SHAPE pool this year also includes soon-to-be-cyborg Chlorys, Maoupa Mazzocchetti with a live set that gives sex appeal to discomfort, and St. Petersburg’s new kid on the block, Inga Mauer.
FESTIVAL PASS — 3 DAYS — 55 LEI
LIMITED AVAILABILITY AT EVENTBOOK.RO
SALONUL DE PROIECTE — FREE
NOTES ON THE AFTERLIFE, EXHIBITION OPENING
APOLLO 111 — FREE (LIMITED CAPACITY)
J.G. BIEBERKOPF (LT), AMNESIA SCANNER (FI/DE), FOODMAN (JP)
CONTROL CLUB — 35 LEI — AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR
BLACK ZONE MYTH CHANT (FR), DELTA FUNKTIONEN (DE), SILENT SERVANT (US),
ȘERB (RO), SCORO (RO)
CONTROL CLUB — 35 LEI — AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR
CHLORYS (RO), PRINCESS NOKIA (US), MAOUPA MAZZOCCHETTI (FR),
INGA MAUER (RUS), LENA WILLIKENS (DE), DAR ADAL (RO), HECTIC (RO)
SALONUL DE PROIECTE
23-25 ION BREZOIANU STREET, UNIVERSUL BUILDING, 1st. FLOOR
23-25 ION BREZOIANU STREET, UNIVERSUL BUILDING, CORP B
4 CONSTANTIN MILLE STREET
The installation focusses on mystifying technology, using exposed wires, apparatus and sockets physically connected with the dead.
"As a non believer I too desire a form of afterlife, as an interaction designer I believe these notions can be realised with the help of technology.” says Amy Whittle.
Inspired by galvanism and the famous novel Frankenstein, an analogue electronic circuit was created using deceased animals as an energy source. The deceased animal is the circuit's key, generating red and blue visuals on a monitor screen. Without this source, the monitor will not be powered nor will it produce any visuals. With this set-up I am trying to introduce a combination of opposite theories: technology and spirituality.
ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, describes a tingling sensation in the scalp and the spine, a physiological response provoked by soft sounds, such as whispering, nail tapping, and hair brushing. In recent years, a massive YouTube subculture has grown around ASMR, sharing over two million videos that recombine the soft, crinkly sounds in an incredible array of scenarios and soundscapes. The intention of these videos is not only to trigger the tingles, but also to ease anxiety, insomnia, and loneliness.
SHUSH is the central figure of Tolan’s forthcoming fantasy/ASMR tabletop role-playing game. In an attempt to entice SHUSH and speed its arrival, the SHUSH choir performs a devotional with bells and voices, utilising the methods of change-ringing. Change-ringing is a communal system of bell-ringing, developed in English church towers in the 17th century. Change-ringing patterns, or methods, cycle through variations of bell sounding order, following complex, braid-like diagrams. Most methods guide the ringers through a series of unique permutations that open and close with identical sounding orders, ending always where it began.
Participants will experiment with both ASMR and change-ringing techniques, resulting in a performance that plays through methods of whispers and ringing. These patterns combine into an infinitely iterative, looping construction, which locks the voices and the bells into a cyclical holding pattern.
The workshop will last for approximately two hours and it’s open to maximum 10 participants. Following a short break, the SHUSH choir will perform its devotional for an audience.
The Manifesto is produced by Morehshin Allahyari and Daniel Rourke in the form of a text and a video with sound design by Andrea Young. It calls for artists, activists, designers, scientists, and critical engineers - to accelerate the 3D printer and other Additivist technologies to their absolute limits and beyond into the realm of the speculative, the provocative and the weird.
“The 3D Printer is a metaphor for these weirdest of times: a technology with the capacity to channel creative endeavour, through digital processes, into the reformation of raw matter excavated from ancient geological eras. We propose #Additivism as a new movement in technological and artistic activism that contends with these concerns.”
“Additivism can emancipate us. Additivism will eradicate us.”
Lu Yang creates a digital nonsexual human simulator in her own shape for the first time to complete an artwork. Because of the powerful curse in the content of the work, the artist has to apply the spell to herself to avoid harming others.
This artwork is all about neurosciences, in which the artist is always interested. She makes use of the principle of the stereotactic system, the deep brain stimulation and RTMS working on the deep limbic system, in order to extend delusions, substitute into religious perspective and fugacious meditation on the material world and produce objective delusions.
Is consciousness adhere to the brain? Where on earth is consciousness? The artist simulates the delusions of damaging herself and her works over and over again. It can be sure that these delusions will eventually come true.
“Delusional Mandala” is the second piece of the artist’s new series of works. The first one, “Moving God” was presented at the Chinese pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015.
Chatonsky takes on the physicality of the internet trough a sort of meta-server-heaven.
The Web was introduced during the last century as something immaterial, « in the clouds ».
But the network is made of a heavy material infrastructure, cables from one continent to another and data centers that concentrate Internet data. « Horizon » is an endless traveling in photographs found on the web representing the corridors of these data centres. These images show a classical albertinian perspective. The eye moves it while remaining paradoxically immobile.
Gregory Chatonsky is a French artist based in Montreal and Paris. He works on the relationship between existence and technology. He explores the underlying structures of everyday technology to create variable and endless fictions.
He has received awards and grants including Dicream (2014), CAC (2013), CALQ (2012), CRSH (2011), Cap Digital (2010), Arcadi (2010), CNAP (2008). In 2013, he launched TELOFOSSILS at Museum of contemporary art (Taipei). A second version was showed in Beijing (2015).
"A tree climbing a piece of wood. A large bird sitting on a mountain.
A bike with a bike leaning against it.”
Point your camera at the world around you. Harnessing cutting-edge artificial neural network technology, AI • Scry (rhymes with "I spy") generates automatic textual descriptions of the objects it sees.
The matrix is subject to rigorous mathematical analysis that scientists have yet to fully comprehend. The detector system has no direct knowledge of objects in the world (donuts, bananas, skateboards, wine glasses, etc) as we know them. Instead, the detector maps patterns received on the signal line to a sequence of word-choice probability distributions and assembles an output stream. The internal routing through this artificial neural network is largely meaningless to a human observer. Nonetheless, it works (sometimes)!
With AI • Scry in your hand, you become an alien psychologist, probing the quirks, biases, impossibilities, and idiosyncrasies of this unknowable mind.
J.G. Biberkopf’s music spans club, theatre and digital radio contexts. His debut first EP, titled Ecologies, launched the new Knives label created by Kuedo and Joe Shakespeare of Berlin’s Motto Books. From cyber ambience and slamming rhythmic constructions, to instant trails of web-filtered grime and beatless studies of net phenomenology, Biberkopf’s first release was intended as a field trip into the representations of nature that emerge from the social media scape.
The resulting experience is oddly romantic, stripped of its tangibility yet with a synthetic vitality. In his own words, Biberkopf was intrigued by an oddly “naïve idea of nature that seemed strikingly prevalent in my social environment. I was curious to know how these simulations of Nature work in digital media, how do we do experience these simulated materials”. A follow-up recording, the full-lenght Ecologies II: Ecosystems Of Excess, was released in 2016.
J.G. Biberkopf is part of SHAPE platform 2017.
Hailing from the anterior cortex of Berlin’s electronic hivemind, experimental duo Amnesia Scanner have attracted a lot of attention lately with their various works focusing on the symbiosis of the biological and the digital through aesthetics. The Finnish duo, while mostly linked to the Janus platform, released their own EPs and a string of hyperglossy videos on YouTube, produced Mykki Blanco’s 2014 Booty Bamboo hit, and contributed to Holly Herndon’s excellent LP Platform. This year, Amnesia Scanner teamed up with PAN’s Bill Kouligas and OG net artist Harm Van Dorpel in the generative algorithmic performance Lexachast, performed at HKW as a CTM / Transmediale collaborative festival event.
Ville and Martti, formerly known as Renaissance Man, are fully embracing their new hyperextension identity. Their sound design decimates and regurgitates tropes of trance, future grime, Atlanta, noise, and mainstream pop, while it further accentuates the anxiety that is the very breath of the internet’s post-truthisms.
They contribute to a similar sort of shapeshifting, club-reconstructionist nebula as Arca, Lotic, and M.E.S.H, by sonically evoking ‘fictional’ alternatives to an already slippery reality.
Amnesia Scanner are part of SHAPE platform 2017.
Did you hear that juke is big in Japan? Juke is big in Japan. And what’s coming out of it is an exciting, structureless take on Chicago’s sound. Yokohama’s Takahide Higuchi cooks up footwork on “oiss”. While touring along masters of the genre like RP Boo, Foodman’s output is completely detached from Chicago’s conventions. His usage of sterile, MIDI-like electronic instruments and sporadic elements of J-pop have drawn comparisons to vaporwave, as well as to the PC Music label.
“Juke is a genre of dance music that originated in the so-called ghetto, but I feel like it’s unconsciously heading towards becoming academic music that modern musicians are making,” Higuchi says. “I personally want to explore it from an experimental angle. I feel like it has a lot of potential to be something other than dance music.” And so he does, by radical deconstruction techniques, by risk-taking experiments with rhythm and timbre, clever juxtaposition and bright, colourful sample palettes, while still keeping a cheerful feel to it.
Foodman is a westernized version of Shokuhin Matsuri, the name under which Takahide Higuchi goes in Japan. It means “food festival”. So, bon appétit!
A shaman leads ancient rituals in the desert with her iPad; a spacecraft hovers over the savannah, emitting purple smoke over the thirsty earth. Conjuring images of high-tech tribalism, Black Zone Myth Chant has been described as a melting between Sun Ra and DJ Screw (Houston based originator of the chop and screw DJ style). Slowed-down vocals, drones, and polyrhythmic bounce beats may lead to a headspace of higher consciousness. An alias of the French experimentalist High Wolf, this newer project conjures Afro-futurist psychedelia with trance-inducing footwork.
Black Zone Myth Chant is part of the SHAPE platform 2017.
Coming of age in '90s Los Angeles, Juan Mendez grew up with an equal appreciation for both warehouse techno and DIY noise rock, an unusual genesis that can still be detected in his musical output. At his core, Silent Servant is a maker of dark and dubby techno, but his vision is informed by the sounds of post-punk, industrial, and various strains of leftfield dance music.
It was during the 90’s that Mendez befriended Karl O’Connor, aka Regis, beginning a creative alliance that has lasted to this day and led to all kinds of interesting outcomes.
The two artists, along with Dave ‘Function’ Sumner and Peter ‘Female’ Sutton, turned Sandwell District from a functional 12″ series into a highly influential artistic collective and record label.
“I like my beats a bit firm, with balls so to say.” After studiously educating himself on the world of electronica whilst working in a record store in his native Holland, Delta Funktionen began releasing techno in 2008.
While his early productions on Ann Aimee, Delsin and Field Records skewed toward techno, his club sets have always been stacked with obscure electro, reflecting years of dedicated digging.
Delta Funktionen’s sets are about showcasing a wide variety of electronic sounds, with each one designed for maximum dance floor “demolition”. With one eye on the past and two feet firmly stamping forward, it touches on everything from house to acid to techno to electro. In other words, it contains traces of everything that has gotten him to where he is today.
It’s not surprising to learn that a degree in Visual Arts and years of dusting the vinyls in a famous Cologne record shop have influenced the ever-surprising and mystical repertoire of this Rokolectiv favourite of years past. It was her parents who planted the immediate seed for her penchant for the road less travelled in electronic music. Citing the new wave electronica Grauzones’ Eisbär as an early favourite – she was five – thanks to her mother, Lena found her way from early days into an array of artists operating on the periphery of cool, from Lee Scratch Perry to Carter Tutti Void.
Longtime resident of Düsseldorf’s Salon des Amateurs and curator of the monthly Sentimental Flashback podcast on Radio Cómeme, her bizarre and alien selections wash over the dancefloor and get bodies moving. Lena’s non-committal approach to genre bestrides proto-techno, industrial boogie, left-field disco, rough house and non-Western traditional dance music. There is never a dull moment in a Lena Willikens set. When she spins, she likes to let herself go, in the name of dance and free thought. And the crowd goes along.
Maoupa Mazzocchetti is a “French refugee in Bruxelles”. He manages to bring back to life the fascinating heritage of electro-industrial heroes such as Throbbing Gristle or Front 242 and turn it into a very contemporary form of scattered and anxious kind of EBM funk.
Be prepared for a live set with thick quakes, paranoid tones and caustic drum machine welts. Call it what you will, Maoupa’s vicious industrial terror for when the dancefloor turns ugly gives sex-appeal to discomfort. And get carried away…
Maoupa Mazzocchetti is part of the SHAPE Platform 2017.
Scoro started out back in 2009 with some rather difficult listening sessions in small venues around Bucharest, mixing electroacoustic improv, modern psychedelic and free-jazz pieces, something which he still occasionally does, using contemporary cassette tapes. This experimental approach was then channeled into club music as he is constantly being booked as a DJ alongside the more adventurous acts such as Rabih Beaini and Charles Manier in some of the biggest venues in Bucharest. Lately, he's been a part of festivals such as Konfrontationen, Music Unlimited Wels and Outernational Days.
For Rokolectiv 2017 he's prepared a set of rugged, polyrhythmic beats and subtle, atonal sounds usually found in his beloved EAI scene.
Chlorys is a DJ, visual artist and soon-to-be-cyborg based in Bucharest. After only one year of trekking through the murky & engulfing waters of electronic music, Chlorys is already a member of the Queer Night family of DJs.
Her music selection spans from electronica, disco, acid and beyond. She situates herself (or not) everywhere in-between or outside of the genre-formula, letting herself be seized by the limbo currents into undisclosed territories. Incorporating a background in visual arts, Chlorys emphasizes on a multi and interdisciplinary approach to music and is concerned about socio-political context. Noticing the need for an inclusive local (and international) electronic music scene, as of late 2016, she and other female-identified musicians (Admina, Cosima Von Bülove from Raze de Soare, Hipdiebattery & others) have started a platform and a studio called Corp. whose aim is to promote and encourage female musicians by offering them the space and time where they can exercise and outperform themselves.
Chlorys is part of the SHAPE Platform 2017.
This self-proclaimed bruja, former Calvin Klein model and future Mayor of NY (we hope) never ceases to amaze, constantly genre-bending from her jungle rave-inspired “Dragons” to her latest rap EP “1992”. This most recent album embraces her Afro-Latino heritage, Harlem/Lower East Side upbringing and her own fashioning of queer mystic feminism: “Talk shit, we can cast spells/ long weaves, long nails / corn rows, pig tails / baby fathers still in jail.”
Princess Nokia fuses music styles of diverse diasporas and reaches out through fresh, brassy lyrics to fringe characters and category hybrids across the world. “I’m making worldly music - music that will talk to all kinds of people. Banjee girls in Harlem, teen brides in the Middle East, gay boys in East Asia. Labels no longer matter.”
The founder of feminist collective Smart Girl Club, Destiny Frasqueri has experimented with a variety of styles and sounds since debuting in 2010, from her early Wavy Spice projects to her mixtape Metallic Butterfly which she released in 2014. In her live shows, Princess Nokia always summons the women to the front of the audience, manifesting her philosophy of female empowerment in a hetero-patriarchal industry.
Inga Mauer is the new kid on your block. Coming from St. Petersburg and growing up in a remote village in the heart of Russia, Inga listened intensely to early Bunker Records, Cybernetic Broadcasting System (now intergalactic.fm), Trax, and UR recordings which have set the scene for her seductive sound: a mix of blistering atmospheres and dark emotions, flirting with a wide range of genres like Industrial Techno, EBM, New Wave and Disco.
She’s gaining a fast-growing reputation from Den Haag to Berlin, from Cologne to Tel Aviv, and completing a circle of influence as a desired guest on intergalactic.fm.
Not only a great DJ, Inga is also a truly restless producer, constantly recording lunatic jams and wild rhythms in a world of no musical compromises.
She hosts a show called Bon Voyage for Radio Cómeme, and on each episode she compiles a playlist with a particular place or person in mind. (She dedicated her first show to the 19th century Russian explorer Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay, and she's talked proudly about having no fixed address.)
Inga Mauer is part of the SHAPE Platform 2017.
Knowing full well that pleasure lies in anticipation, Bucharest-based DJ Dar Adal gently draws his listeners in with hauntingly subtle sounds and a ghostly feel.
He leads, guides, and excites with a masterful blend of acid techno, dark undertones, and ravishing, chunky beats.
The result is, without fail, a long, sweaty, and inevitably outstanding journey.
“Inspired by old school UK , Detroit techno beats and the industrial decay around today's urban landscapes, I strive to recreate the crazy high energy sets that will keep your feet thumping until they start hurting. “ Bucharest DJ, Hectic says he has a different approach to techno than most of today's “stale electronic music scene.”
Fierce drums, industrial elements, fast breakbeat rhythms, abrupt cuts. Add in some high energy curveballs along the way and it gets, well ... hectic.
Upcoming elusive talent Șerb closes the night with a techno set that pours analogue honey in post-rave ears. Born and raised in Craiova he spent his youth playing guitar in a Nihilistic punk band.
After dabbling in post rock, electronic music and ambient, he released two albums as one half of Semiosis. Since 2014, Serb is part of Listen2Me, an independent label, where he released his debut 12” Transient Recs 1. Șerb’s new ventures into techno have lead him to a fresh release on Cosmin TRG’s Fizic label.
“Echo” is a sound installation put together by Nona Inescu and Chlorys, connecting 18 pairs of EarPods with 36 snail shells, which act as small resonance chambers. The analogy between the human ear and shells was first formulated by a 16th century anatomist, who named the inner-ear spiral cavity the Cochlea, Latin for snail.
The history connecting shells and sound is filled with popular science beliefs and symbolism, shells reflecting the inner sounds of human bodies or containing worldly echoes.
The work references an inwardly focused era, with both snail shells and headphones marking a personal space, allowing us to feel safe and comfortably alone. The outside world, once a shared auditory environment, has been effectively fractured by endless white earplugs, with shells as resonance chambers of individual located bubbles of self-programmed sound.
Nona Inescu was born in 1991 in Bucharest, Romania. After studying at the Chelsea College of Art & Design in London (2009-2010) and at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (2010-2011), Nona has completed her studies in 2016 at the National University of Arts in Bucharest (Photography and Video Department). Her art practice is interdisciplinary and encompasses photography, object, installation, digital artworks that incorporate poetic, historical references, challenge the conventional ways of viewing and thinking and open up new possibilities for deciphering 'The Symbolic'. Her body of work can be described as interweaving sensorial and conceptual qualities. Recent solo exhibitions include: Conversation with a stone, SpazioA, Pistoia (2016), Hands don’t make magic, Sabot, Cluj-Napoca (2015).Her work has also been included in group exhibitions including: Aerial Roots, Trapez, Budapest (2017), Gestures of Tomorrow, Kunstverein Nürnberg - Albrecht Dürer Gesellschaft (2016); The Disappearance of Technology, ODD, Bucharest (2016), Künstlich, Natürlich!, Sabot, Cluj-Napoca (2016).