This post is part of a special series dedicated to the Resonate 2016 festival in Belgrade.
Last night I headed to Magacin Depo, an old industrial warehouse venue in the old area of Savamala, which is one of the most relevant nightlife destination of Belgrade. The usual atmosphere in this club recalls the Berlin-style scene so much. This is the first of the main parties of this edition of Resonate, which will be followed by other big parties around the city in the next two final nights.
First act was the Italian duo Ninos du Brasil, who made everyone jumping right at the start with their unstoppable percussive madness. Second and probably the most awaited performance brought on stage the unique Omar Souleyman, and that basically was the turning point when everybody went bananas. Just after that, Daniel Miller guided us to the late hours with some proper solid techno.
The fourth day of Resonate has been filled by so many lectures and panel discussions spanning from discussions about digital arts festival prospects to ways to support creators in the today industry, from lectures of visual artists to guests like Squarepusher. All of this split into four diverse locations and followed by hand gestures controlled performance by researcher and artist Atau Tanaka, who exhibited this evening in the Kinoteka Pool. The sensor based act created pitch and intensity variations that reached some very strong low-end frequencies points, that shook the entire hall.
Among all the lectures I had the chance to see, a special mention goes to the conversational-style meeting with Squarepusher, who, throughout a chat about how he started his own career, stressed on the concept of “cultivating the action of imagination”, creating music in your own way and dismantling the idea that there is a right way of doing things. He also said how the last available technology is not necessarily the best technology, even because music software houses are, regardless their best intentions, still moved by profits and business interests. On the other hand, he then highlighted the concept of the disease of nostalgia, or retro-mania, which is spreading in the industry nowadays, while, instead, this is the perfect time for all of us to experiment new ways of innovating our creation process. Despite his long career, he said it is not about reaching the top, but it is more about reaching what you are interested in and then restarting. Refreshing and inspiring.
The Kinoteka Cinema was busy for other interesting lectures today. Darsha Hewitt, a hilarious new media artist from Canada, showed her electromechanical sound installations based on junks and discarded machines/electronics, describing her attitude as opening the box and discovering how machines work. We also had the chance to watch a few of her brilliant Side Man 5000 Adventures tutorial videos, where she opens up tools and explains how to build DIY electronics with fun and simplicity. In one of her videos, she showed how a little disco led taken from a toy microphone could sound pretty much like Alva Noto. Fun! Her lecture has been a great reminder of not taking ourselves, and especially our work, too seriously.
Murat Pak, a well-known designer and motion graphic artist took the stage hereafter. He went through some of his visual work practice while explaining his obsession for perfection, despite that could lead to conflictuality with the meaning of what you create. He also talked about a few of his experimental works focused on the virtual social engagement, like Archillect, an artificial her, an automated curatorial process with the aim to share inspiring visuals. She learns and determinates what to share based not just on keywords but also analysing and collecting data from other users items and social structures, learning related new keywords and getting a mind blowing attention on the web.
A video posted by @mark_r_hancock on
Going straight to the evening, honorable mention goes to the smashing and schizophrenic Squarepusher’s live performance at the Magacin Depo. Psychedelic double screen visuals and exploding electronic sounds let us move our heads for a long time. His show was massive and unusually well over an hour long. He also played his virtuoso bass on top of his electronics showing his all-rounded craft. Totally recommended.
[Featured photo credits by Ilya Ryzhkov]
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