Platform for (Industrial) Culture
The goal of the Matters program is to create physical (and not only), educational, exchange, and discussion spaces for those, who consider themselves a part of the field defined by the term of industrial culture. The term “industrial” is not particularly relevant in this case. Rather, it is an abstract reference to various sound genres, micro, and macro styles, and in some cases movements, the members of which share a certain sense of community. Togetherness can be found not so much in the forms of expression but in ways of thinking about reality, which we are a part of.
MATTERS (things, questions, affairs, materials, contents, essences, etc.) program sees this field as fluid, shifting, and diverse, open to experimentation, dialogue and error. This program aims to share and ask rather than assert and define. The inclusion of audio and visual expressions seeks to reveal and promote a diversity of means, practices, images, and sound systems that function almost dialogically, and are, more or less, linked by associative chains. Matters treats this field, which it observes, reflects and participates in, not as a stage, but rather as a rhizome connecting creators, thinkers, producers, experimenters, critics, observers, and so on.
In 2018, three micro-residencies for sound artists were organized within the framework of the program. William “Bilwa” Costa (The US/other), who researched reflections and textures of brutalism, organized an experimental sound workshop and a performance with its participants at the Šelteris space that existed at the time.
During her residency, Donia Jourabchi (Belgium) explored all Kaunas forts, recording the noises at night, and organized workshops on experimental sound.
During the residency, Brigitta Bödenauer (Austria) worked in the former gunpowder warehouse of Kaunas Fortress in Freda and presented the collected material in the gunpowder warehouse (Parakas) in Šančiai.
All three residents prepared a piece from the collected material that was put into the Antropophonia collection, available here. The selected works were presented during an event at the Kaunas Artists’ House in January 2019.
In 2021 MATTERS resources are directed towards education: we start the summer season with intensive sound camp [0-|].
This camp is our aim to propose an intensive sound workshop program consisting of three modules to those that might most benefit from this educational experience at this point of their sound careers. The aim of the camp is not to educate towards the specific genre of style. The aim is rather to share the instruments and methods, as well as to assemble a small temporary community. The results of this week of activities will be presented in two events by the end of the week, in collaboration with Parakas venue.
Each of the modules in the program will be led by one of the artists that have previously in some form resided in MATTERS program. These are Brigitta Bödenauer – sound and video artist from Austria, Vygintas Orlovas – artist and lecturer in Vilnius Academy of Arts, William Bilwa Costa – sound artist from the USA / Germany. More…
In 2019 Matters organized an interdisciplinary symposium to discuss a variety of important contemporary terms, events, and aspirations. The symposium’s keywords included posthumanism, cyborgs, body, access, monsters. Through an open call, a group of people from the fields of music, visual arts, philosophy, anthropology, walking, hacktivism, and others were rallied up. The event consisted of an acousmatic lecture, listening session, algorithmic readings, open-fishbowl discussion, walk-narration, noise concert, installations, human-transformation-machine sound performance, experimental electronics lecture-museum, cyber war disco, running through obstacles, etc.
The symposium was co-curated with Gabrielė Gervickaitė. The mural she designed found its space in November in Žemieji Šančiai, next to Parakas, depicting the conception of the symposium. The program marked the end of the year with MaxMSP advanced programming workshop led by lecturer Mindaugas Badokas.
What MATTERS programme has in the plans this year are four concerts in public, nonconventional and/or transitory spaces and a sound album in the form of a compact disk.
The concerts will run over the summer until September, once monthly. They are organized with the aim to, on one hand, research multiple genres and approaches to sound making that we are confronted with in this complex field of electronic music which is often defined using a blanket concept of industrial. This multifaceted field of sound-ings is such due to a multiplicity of humans that shape it via their sounds, texts and other traces.
There is a plethora of relationships that establish themselves in this variety of aesthetics, multitude of visual forms, between heavy rhythms breaking down and rhythms that you can merely suspect. These relationships establish themselves among those that play and those that listen (and oh so often they switch places in front or on the stage); between the waves of sound, the bodies that absorb them and walls that reflect; among unintentional audiences and city space politics; between that which is here and that which takes place someplace away.
This resonance between spaces, humans and things, regardless of a distances between them, as well as relationships that we choose to establish between outselves and various others, are the foundation on which MATTERS is being built this year. The war, so close to us this time, resonates here too, sipping in through our porous everyday, in which we take part via our daily choices.
In 2020 matters officially became one of the programs of Kaunas Artists’ House, in partnership with Kaunas 2022. During the year marked by the global pandemic and other crises, the program aimed at organizing an accessible educational program for sound programming, implement a discursive/concert program during the summer, and create a support program for sound artists in the form of remote residency. The series of programming workshops was led by lecturer and artist Vygintas Orlovas, who uses PureData in his own work.
In the summer, a series of XAW concerts took place, which was attended by 2 creators using slightly different technical or conceptual approaches. Each event began with a small discussion moderated by the curator, during which both artists spoke in more detail about how they work with sound.
Remote residencies emerged as an effort to support creators who were forced to pause their performances and releases and faced various challenges posed by the pandemic by setting up small scholarships. The works of the first residency suddenly took on even a physical format. Works by the selected participants of the second round of applications are available [here].
The Matters program has been running since 2018, emerging as one of the initiatives of Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022.
MATTERS is announcing a second call this year for sound artists. Sound artist is a broad concept, and in the context of this platform noisemakers, experimentators, soundscapers, chaos engineers and authors of industrial are thought of as sound artists. However, if you do not associate yourself with any of the definitions above, but feel you’re a part of whatever you think industrial music and cultural field is, you’re very welcome to apply.
In the beginning of June, Matters, a platform for industrial culture, coordinated by Kaunas Artist House, has launched an open call for the selection to the compilation -Scape. A total of 38 applications by 37 artists has been received for the call, out of which 16 were by Lithuanian artists. Overall geography of the call is international: proposals were received from artists living and working in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, USA, Russia and Chile.