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STEIM Events | STEIM Events Archive 2012

23 February - 25 February 2012 | Concert

SONIC ACTS in collaboration with STEIM:


Original annoucement:


The bi-annual Sonic Acts Festival showcasing works at the cutting edge of art, technology, music and science will be held in Amsterdam from 23 to 26 February 2012. Over a period of four days Sonic Acts presents Travelling Time, an ode to the human experience of time. The festival takes place at seven different locations: the Paradiso, De Balie, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, NIMk, SMART Project Space, STEIM and Temporary Stedelijk 3.


Click here for the program.


The festival theme
Time is a complex and ambiguous concept. Relativity theorists and quantum mechanics have tinkered with the seemingly unambiguous concept of time since the beginning of the previous century. Art, film and music make abstract notions of time tangible and comprehensible, and manipulate how we experience it. The ongoing development and implementation of technology constantly challenge, change and undermine our perception of time. Communication networks function at the speed of light, and computers process data in real time, without human intervention. The rapid advances in technology are creating a gap between ‘machine time’ and ‘human time’. Travelling Time is a quest to reveal the significance and the intricacies of time and how we experience it.

Travelling Time examines the need for speed when performing improvised music, and the unavoidable amount of time that is spent programming or constructing an artwork, as well as time travel and how art can be a vehicle for imaginary journeys. The four-day festival brims with performances, lectures, exhibitions and presentations that intensify the experience of time.

Live Performances
A series of performances in SMART Project Space by Catherine Christer Hennix + The Choras(s)an Time-Court Mirage (including Amelia Cuni, Robin Hayward, Franz Hautzinger, Hillary Jeffery and Paul Schwingenschlögl) promises to be a highpoint of the festival. Hennix’s post-minimal drones elaborate on La Monte Young’s concepts, and attempt to halt our experience of time. The Paradiso forms the heart of the performance programme, with its numerous and surprising concerts, performances, film screenings and installations. The concert by the American composer Pauline Oliveros, the originator of Deep Listening and a key figure in music of the past 50 years is not to be missed. She celebrates her 80th birthday in 2012 and comes to Amsterdam especially for Sonic Acts.

Synthesizer specialist Eleh, who has released a split LP with Oliveros, will shroud the Paradiso in analogue drones on the same evening. The music programme also includes cybernetic music by the composer Roland Kayn, who passed away last year; post-dubstep performances by infra-sub specialists Roly Porter and Emptyset; radical asynchronous rhythms from Mark Fell; and process-based music by Keith Fullerton Whitman. Extensive attention is also paid to music by Wandelweiser composers, including Michael Pisaro and Taku Sugimoto, who integrate silence in their works to intensify our experience of time.

Musicians, academics, sound artists and new media adepts will gather for the Sonic Acts conference that will be held in De Balie from 23 to 26 February: four days of inspiration, immersion and discussions, with numerous lectures, presentations and interviews that reveal how artists operate at the boundaries of art, technology and science. In addition to the musicians and artists such as Catherine Christer Hennix, Michael Pisaro, Mark Fell and Pauline Oliveros mentioned above, the conference is also an opportunity for academics and philosophers to share their thoughts and ideas. George Dyson – whose new book, Turing’s Cathedral, will be published in early 2012 – talks about computer time; Siegfried Zielinski discusses his theories relating to Deep Time and Variantology; Hillel Schwartz talks about noise and time – his 1000-page Making Noise. From Babel to the Big Bang and Beyond has just been published; John Geiger discusses extreme mental and physical experiences; and David Edgerton dives into the history of technology and expounds on 'the Shock of the Old'.

Exhibition & films
The exhibition continues until 15 April 2012 at NIMk and includes light and laser installations by Mark Fell and Joe Gilmore, Space Surrogate by Philip Lachenmann, and much more. Also on show is Paul Sharits’ installation Shutter Interface which has never been seen in Europe before.


NIMk, Sonic Acts and STEIM are proud to announce the new joint Artist in Residence project City Velocities – Body Speed by Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec. The installation will be presented as part of the Sonic Acts – Travelling Time exhibition at NIMk from Februari 23 – April 15, 2012.

More info:



Pre-order the Sonic Acts publication

The Sonic Acts publication Travelling Time can now be pre-ordered at the Sonic Acts shop.
This lavishly illustrated, 304 pages long book discusses the festival theme from several perspectives. It features extensive interviews with Pauline Oliveros (by Nick Cain), Catherine Christer Hennix (by Bill Dietz), Mark Fell, Robin Hayward, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Hilary Jeffery, and Joel Ryan. There are essays by Hillel Schwartz on noise and time, Siegfried Zielinski on music automata, Omar Muñoz-Cremers on Science Fiction and time travel, David Edgerton on the history of technology, Enda Duffy on the adrenaline aesthetics of Joyce's Ulysses, Thomas W. Patteson on Roland Kayn’s cybernetic music, and furthermore texts by George Dyson and Timothy Druckrey. The book is edited by Arie Altena & Sonic Acts and designed by Femke Herregraven.

Pre-order the book via the shop

Conference & Festival Passepartout holders can buy the book with a special discount during the festival for €19.50 by showing their pass.


CC Hennix & The Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage
Live at the Grimm Museum

On the occasion of the fourteenth edition of the Sonic Acts festival, Important Records and Sonic Acts released a CD of Catherine Christer Hennix + The Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage. The CD contains a performance of Blues Dhikr Al-Salam (Blues Al Maqam), recorded live on 14 Aug 2011 at the Grimm Museum, Berlin. Featuring: Catherine Christer Hennix, Amelia Cuni, Robin Hayward, Hilary Jeffery and Michael Northam.

The CD is now available at the Sonic Acts shop

Conference & Festival Passepartout holders can buy the CD with a special discount during the festival for €10 by showing their pass.



Pre-sale of all individual and comprehensive tickets has started via our site.


Do you want to attend all the events? A conference and festival pass costs €85.00 (discount €65.00). If you want to attend more than one event in the music programme, the Festival pass costs €55.00 (discount €45,00).


Sonic Acts is looking for student volunteers who are interested in technology, art, new media and electronic music to assist with communication and production. Furthermore, we will need bloggers, photographers and stewards for the information desk and artist handling. Students who volunteer for Sonic Acts are offered a unique opportunity to gain valuable work experience.

Besides contributing to travel expenses and having free entrance to the conference and festival, students could use this voluntary work to gain individual credits that are obligatory in some programs.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Julia Nüßlein at: or +31-20- 6264521.

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