Unsound 2020 Intermission: Machine Listening

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Unsound 2020 Intermission: Machine Listening

Piątek, 2 października 2020


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Liquid Architecture and Unsound join forces to launch MACHINE LISTENING, a new collaborative project engaging artists, musicians, writers, activists and educators.

Our devices are listening to us. Previous generations of audio-technology transmitted, recorded or manipulated sound. Today our digital voice assistants, smart speakers and a growing range of related technologies are increasingly able to analyse and respond to it as well. Scientists and engineers increasingly refer to this as “machine listening”, though the first widespread use of the term was in computer music.

Machine listening is much more than just a new scientific discipline or vein of technical innovation however. It is also an emergent field of knowledge-power, of data extraction and colonialism, of capital accumulation, automation and control. It demands critical and artistic attention.

Across three days at the start of October, as part of Unsound Kraków 2020: Intermission, we will investigate the implications of the coming world of listening machines in both its dystopian and Utopian dimensions. Comprising conversations, performance, provocations and writing from contributors around the world, the online gatherings are divided into three sections, open to all:

FRI, 02. OCTOBER 2020
(diagnostic, critical, pathologies of the present, listening effects)

SAT, 03. OCT 2020
(tactical, activist, direct action, abolish big data, tech hacks)

SUN, 04. OCT 2020
(automated corona voice diagnostics, pandemic soundscapes, profiteering, big tech moves into health, biopolitics, biopower)

These sessions will be accompanied by Massive Device Orchestration, a program of experimental artworks, accessible online throughout the festival at the start of October, along with an open curriculum comprising interviews, audio, video, and essays corresponding to the themes and sessions above.

Amidst oppressive and extractive forms of state and corporate listening, practices of collaborative study, experimentation and resistance will, we hope, enable us to develop strategies for recalibrating our relationships to machine listening, whether that be through technological interventions, alternative infrastructures, new behaviors, or political demands. With so many cultural producers - whose work and research is crucial for this kind of project - thrown into deeper precarity and an uncertain future by the unfolding pandemic, we also hope that this project will operate as a quasi-institution: a site of collective learning about and mobilisation against the coming world of listening machines.

More details, including participants, to come. Stay tuned.


Curated by James Parker, Joel Stern, and Sean Dockray.

Developed in partnership with Melbourne Law School, ANU School of Art & Design , and NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore

This event takes place online, and across multiple unceded Indigenous Lands.




Wydarzenia online cieszą się obecnie rosnącą popularnością, oferując rozrywkę bez potrzeby wychodzenia z domu. Stand-upy, koncerty, wykłady, webinaria, treningi a nawet festiwale muzyczne odbywają się w sieci, angażując tysiące uczestników. Uwaga! Wydarzenia online źle znoszą osoby, które lubią płacenie za szatnię, kolejkę do baru oraz bolące nogi. Zdecydowanie docenią je za to domatorzy a także osoby, które mają zamiar przetrwać pandemię COVID-19 i dożyć późnej starości.