Programme announced! Rosa Pistola, No Bra, Lone Taxidermist, SHYBOI and lots more confirmed for Sonic Acts Academy 2020

Published on Jan 27, 2020

The Sonic Acts Academy 2020 programme is now online, with a new wave of artists and speakers announced for a packed three days of live, immersive, expanded and charged experiences, and vital critical perspectives. 

Festival Passes, Day Passes, and individual event tickets are now on sale via Tickets.

Newly announced artists and thinkers are:

  • Ale Hop
  • Aliyah Hussain + Anna Bunting-Branch
  • Arie Altena + Katía Truijen
  • Ben Russell
  • Cõvco
  • Dehlia Hannah
  • DJ Serene
  • djb
  • Duncan Speakman
  • Elaine Gan
  • Ex Continent
  • Felicity Mangan
  • Go Me + Ity
  • Hatechild.
  • Heleen Blanken + Karl Klomp
  • LOKA
  • Lone Taxidermist
  • Malibu
  • Nadim Samman
  • No Bra
  • Rosa Pistola
  • Underground Division: Helen Pritchard + Jara Rocha
  • Vincent Meessen
  • Zohar

Academy 2020 participants:
Ale Hop, Aliyah Hussain + Anna Bunting-Branch, Anja Kanngieser, Anthea Caddy, Arie Altena + Katía Truijen, AYA, Ben Russell, bod [包家巷] + Schwestern Sisters (SwS), Bookworms, Cõvco, Daniel Mann + Eitan Efrat, DEBBY FRIDAY, Dehlia Hannah, DESIGN EARTH: Rania Ghosn, DJ Serene, djb, Duncan Speakman, Elaine Gan, Elvin Brandhi, Ex Continent, Felicity Mangan, Go Me + Ity, Hatechild., Heleen Blanken + Karl Klomp, Holly Herndon, Hugo Esquinca, Jonáš Gruska, Kali Malone, KJDENNNM, Lag OS, LOKA, Lone Taxidermist, Lukáš Likavčan, MÆKUR: Anton Kats + Eva Rowson + Maia Urstad, Maika Garnica, Malibu, Marja Ahti, Marjolijn Dijkman, Meuko! Meuko!, Nabil Ahmed, Nadim Samman, No Bra, Philip Vermeulen, Roly Porter + MFO, Rosa Pistola, RUI HO, S280F / 011668 / vvxxii, Sadaf, SHYBOI, SITOI, Speaker Music (De Forrest Brown Jr.), T. J. Demos, Tadleeh, Terike Haapoja, Underground Division: Helen Pritchard + Jara Rocha, Via App, Vincent Meessen, Zohar

Visit the Programme page to discover more about the Academy 2020 artists and speakers.

Sonic Acts Academy 2020: Programme rundown 

The Academy opening at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam features a wide variety of multidisciplinary interventions that are iterated throughout the evening, made up of audiovisual stagings, ritualistic performances and new installations, including a number of premieres and commissioned works. Alongside appearances from Ale Hop, Malibu, Felicity Mangan and others, Cõvco presents a performance of Conscient of the Soul – the invincibility of self-awareness to self-stimulation. This journey in sync with a cosmic state – a woman’s mortality – addresses the limits of mind and body, playfully bandaging fractures that unconsciously define identity’. While Ex Continent (Arnau Sala Saez) presents Sistemes Dintre de Sistemes Dintre de Sistemes, unveiling the relations within entropic systems in forming new structures as they pertain to audiovisual stimuli. 

The opening night continues at OT301 as Sonic Acts turns up the volume with a restless club programme of experimental electronics, generative sequencing and brutal rhythms. This adventurous programme is a dark reminder of the quivering extents where dance music lingers with chaos and disorder. A new wave of turbulent sonic explorers, rhythm analysts and improvisers present us with fragmented narratives and abstract impressions of technology that redefine the limits of dance music. New additions to the lineup include KJDENNNM, a sound project by returning Sonic Acts favourites Mario de Vega and Hugo Esquinca; and Amsterdam-based DJ Zohar.

Joining the two-day conference at De Brakke Grond are Underground Division, an action-research collective interested in technologies around subsurface rendering – a trans*feminist undercurrent exists in all of their projects intelligently engaging with the environment. Artist-theorist Elaine Gans lecture Enchanted Realists: Situated, Partial, Viral extends another fascinating proposition from her thought reservoir in which feminist theory meets art. Lauded curator and professor Dehlia Hannah delivers a lecture stemming from her environment-focussed publications and research projects, and curator Nadim Samman gives a performative lecture that takes to the psychology and aesthetic of the sea, drawing on his explorer’s path through art as co-founder of the Antarctic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015 and 1st Antarctic Biennale in 2017.

On Saturday night at Paradiso, Progress Bar showcases a growing community of artists, academics and activists who occupy clubs to empower through sound. Moving fluidly between rave and reggaeton, breakcore and ballroom, this special edition of the monthly club night features energetic hybrid performances, game demonstrations and live audiovisual premieres by some of club music’s most defiant voices. Wildly in-demand reggaeton DJ Rosa Pistola comes to Sonic Acts from a past drenched in Mexico’s underground noise scene. And presenting a special DJ set, Susanne Oberbeck aka No Bra is known for vocals laid over tripped-up cadences sanctioned by Pete Tong and breeding collaborations with everyone from The Raincoats to Arca. Other new additions include SHYBOI, Hatechild., LOKA, SITOI, djb, DJ Serene and Go Me + Ity.

Closing the Academy on Sunday evening are a number of performances from acts whose understandings of the ecological, political, technological and social landscape are absorbed in sound. Following on from topics explored during the conference, the performances are an opportunity to experience various soundings of technological development, providing audible feedback to the developing relationship between nature, technology and its interfacing with the human body. Offering gory visuals to stages like Jenny Hval’s, Lone Taxidermists (Natalie Sharp) music is silk entrails unspooling across the belly of a whale in breach; atonal triads implode into melodious chants and head-bobbing rhythms. In her performance BodyVice at Sonic Acts, the human body as instrument advances the understanding of chronic pain.

Throughout Sonic Acts Academy 2020, a number of soundwalks and installations can be experienced at various locations. Composer Duncan Speakman makes a return after a decade away from Sonic Acts when he spoke on locative media and how sound can accompany one on a journey. He brings this to practical fruition in Only Expansion, a poetic and cinematic audio tour that situates participants at once within the environment of the city, and amid encroaching global disasters, to hear how we really feel. Artist Vincent Meessen, who represented Belgium at the 2015 Venice Biennale, brings to Sonic Acts the film Ultramarine, featuring African-American poet and hip-hop precursor, Kain The Poet. In considering the exile of the Black Arts Movement member to Amsterdam in the 1980s, Meessen’s video portrays museological objects in relation to Kain’s own belongings.

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Rosa Pistola. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Ale Hop 2019 ph Rob de Kruif 2
Ale Hop. Photo by Rob de Kruif.
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SHYBOI. Photo courtesy of Discwoman.
No Bra by elly clarke
No Bra. Photo by Elly Clarke.
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Mario de Vega at Sonic Acts Academy 2018. Photo by Pieter Kers.
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Cõvco. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Gan Elaine photo
Elaine Gan. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo by Tim Van Veen
Lone Taxidermist (Natalie Sharp). Photo by Tim Van Veen.
Vincent Meessen Photo Wali Issa Lee
Vincent Meessen. Photo by Wali Issa Lee.