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Before the entire programme for 16th edition of Elevate festival is revealed in 2020, we can provide you with a few highlights from the areas of music, arts and discourse.

From 4 - 8 March 2020, not only will the music programme offer exciting live concerts, electro-acoustic experiments and some stirring beats, but the arts and discourse
programme will bring a variety of esteemed names and themes to Elevate Festival.

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ELEVATE MUSIC: Human-Machine, Trance and Psychoacoustics

This year the Mausoleum will again be featuring three acts. In a project initiated by Elevate, Dorian Concept and Zanshin artistically approach one of the synthesizer‘s prototypes - the Max Brand Synthesizer. The first schematics of this instrument were created in 1957 by Bob Moog, who designed a unique machine based on the ideas of composer Max Brand. The monstrous machine differs from other synthesizers not only regarding its sound, but also its interface: in addition to two keyboards and additional manuals for voltage control, there are also two foot pedals. While Synth Wizard Dorian Concept will be working on the keys and pedals, Zanshin will be using the sound generation controls. A dialogue develops between the two musicians who, in a time of user-friendliness, welcome the imperfections of this instrument and believe that they recognize the nature of man through this. Together they try to decipher this idiosyncratic instrument and reinvent it. The instrument that plays the installative performance „Torso“ is similarly idiosyncratic. It contains four 100V loudspeakers, which were installed on four rotors and rotate at varying speeds. In addition, microphones were installed to make the sounds resonate in feedback loops. In his 2019 Prix Ars Electronica, Golden Nica award winning work, Peter Kutin explores psychoacoustic effects. The composition of the Austrian sound artist is minimalist and subtle. It works with otoacoustic effects and blurs the difference between synthetic and human sound production. The psycho-acoustic effects irritate our senses, while additionally installed strobe flashes catapult us into a trance-like state.

Another commission brings together filmmaker Vincent Moon and experimental vocalist Hatis Noit. Moon has travelled the globe for over a decade to make films about the different musical languages and scenes. Among them are recordings of ritualistic ceremonies as well as recordings from the legendary Berlin club Berghain. In addition to an extensive installation at the Orpheum, in which a four-hour film of him will be shown, he will perform at the Mausoleum together with the musician Hatis Noit. Inspired by Nepalese monk‘s chant, it works its way through the expressive spectrum of the human voice, interweaving Japanese classical music and Gregorian chants, Bulgarian folklore and avant-garde experimentation. Her transcendental avant-garde pieces are based exclusively on the modulation of her voice, the impressive range of which has also inspired musicians such as Kevin Martin aka The Bug and pianist Lubomyr Melnyk to collaborate with the Japanese musician. Her latest release has been released on Erased Tapes. At Forum Keller, The International Nothing can be heard, a clarinet duo based in Berlin. Michael Thieke and Kai Fagaschinski elicit every imaginable timbre from their instrument and yet are advocates of radical minimalism. The duo operates with psychoacoustic strategies such as difference tones and at the same time focuses on silence and transience

Saturday in the Dom im Berg features Gudrun Gut, an icon of the early Berlin underground scene. As a founding member of bands like Malaria! or Matador and former member of Einstürzende Neubauten, Gut is considered a central figure of the German industrial and post-punk scene of the 1980s. With her solo project, gender activist Gut presents enigmatic electro-pop, in which lascivious spoken word, hypnotic synth sounds and techno beats come together in an idiosyncratic way. The work of producer and singer Kelly Lee Owens, who this time can be heard with one of her Dj-sets, is also characterized by originality. Similar to her self-produced releases and remixes for acts like Björk, Mount Kimbie or St.Vincent, she combines springy minimal techno with ambient sounds and dreamy electro-pop songs. The night at the Dom im Berg is concluded by London-based Peach, who skips through the genres just as light-footed as her colleague and constructs narratives in which vibrating tracks of wave, electro, funk, house and disco play the leading role. Their sets are full of charm, rousing and uplifting.

Discourse programme 2020 - „Human Nature“ - Many international Speakers have been confirmed

Together with scientists, activists and representatives from the media and civil society, the Elevate team invites to an extensive and inspiring discourse programme at the Orpheum in Graz, the Literaturhaus and the Forum Stadtpark. In a total of more than 30 events in the discourse area of the Elevate Festival 2020, more than 40 international speakers will contribute a great deal of knowledge and raise awareness of important socio-political issues. It is essential for the Elevate team to inspire, to encourage discussion and to point out concrete options for action. The contents of the Elevate Festival 2020 oscillate between the recurring question of „human nature“ and the fundamental question of humanity in the spectrum of socio-political, climatic and technological processes of change. In addition to the opening show, the discourse programme in the Forum Stadtpark offers four thematically structured days of lectures, workshops, film screenings and, of course, the core element of the panel discussion. The programme is further extended by interactive and participative formats through a variety of cooperations and guest curators. Cooperation with the Literaturhaus Graz, the Women Action Forum Graz, the esc medien kunst labor, Skug Magazin and a symposium by Oliver Ressler at Camera Austria prior to the Elevate Festival round off the programme.

The Brazilian indigenous human rights activist Daiara Tukano; the co-founder of the climate protest movement Extinction Rebellion, Gail Bradbrook from England (via video stream); Nnimmo Bassey from Nigeria, environmentalist and poet, winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize „Right Livelihood Award“; the US-American author and founder of the think tank „Center for Planetary Culture“, Daniel Pinchbeck, as well as the world-famous media theorist, TV host and book author Douglas Rushkoff (via videostream). The P2P peer technology economist Michel Bauwens from Belgium, the Slovenian expert for „Holotropic Breathwork“, Simona Rakuša, the British musician and Shakuhachi (Japanese Zen Flute) player, Adrian Freedman, the French artist, music video and film maker Vincent Moon, the British doctor of physiology, book author and music researcher Harry Witchel, the co-founder of the cyborg foundation Moon Ribas from Spain, the Ethereum-Blockchain expert Griff Green from the USA (via videostream), the British activist John Jordan, the Russian-born doctor of sociology and technology researcher Xenia Ermoshina, the artist, lawyer and activist Nayantara Ranganathan from India, who, together with the Spanish artist Manuel Beltrán, is also involved in the project at the ESC, are just a few examples of the international participation in the discourse programme of the Elevate Festival 2020.

From the German-speaking world, we are looking forward to welcoming the bestselling author Norman Ohler („Der Totale Rausch“), the Thema1 think tank and Green Music Initiative founder Jacob Bilabel, the philosopher and author Ariadne von Schirach, the change maker, transformation designer and governance consultant, and founder of the Institute for Participatory Design, Jascha Rohr, the Viennese transformation psychologist Irina Nalis, the Austrian Blockchain expert and crypto-economist with Iranian roots, Shermin Voshmgir, the co-founder of the BlockchainHub Graz and the Blockchain incubator lab10 collective eG, Thomas Zeinzinger, the Berlin songwriter and AI music expert Jovanka von Wilsdorf, the outstanding Austrian climate researcher Helga Kromp-Kolb (via video stream), the professor of international politics at the University of Vienna, Ulrich Brand, the Austrian writer, Cyberneticist, language theorist Oswald Wiener, the journalists Lea Susemichel, Markus Gönitzer, Daniela Oberndorfer and Frank Jödicke, the Women Action Forum Graz, as well as young activists of the Fridays For Future and Extinction Rebellion movements, and many other guests.

Elevate Arts & Sound-Art – Installation

The artistic duo Nayantara Ranganathan from India and Manuel Beltrán from Spain take a provocative statement with their project - „Political subjectivities are manufactured, commodified, and on sale. What happens to political participation now?” In cooperation with esc medien kunst labor, Elevate Festival is presenting a new installation by the two artists, which explores ideas emerging from and will take place in Graz from March 1st to March 11th. questions the foreclosure of access to political advertising information. The project collects records of political ads on Facebook and Instagram and creates interfaces for their use to provide the opportunity to explore them more closely. With, country-specific contextual themes and political strategies as well as questions on the infrastructures of persuasion through the use of personal data can be examined.

The Entropy Gardens is a VR work by the artist duo Depart aka Leonhard Lass and Gregor Ladenhauf. In their latest project they deal with one of the most archetypal arts of mankind - garden art. The Entropy Gardens constructs a virtual garden as a poetic ecosystem and positions itself in the field of tension between experimental film, media art and computer games. Entropy Gardens will be shown from 04 March to 07 March in various festival locations.


Ticket sales starts on 11.12.2019

Weekend passes and day tickets are now available in all categories.

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