All events are free of charge except our concert on Saturday, April 2.

Friday, April 1
17h: Exhibition opening! (at ACUD Macht Neu and online)
18h: Welcome!
19h: Panel Discussion 1 – Searching for Utopias: Is technology the answer in an unjust world?

Saturday, April 2
12-17h: Exhibition open
17h: Panel Discussion 2 – The Sound of Blockchain: A Critical View on Music and NFTs
20h: Concert with Kaj Duncan David and Lara Alarcón + DJ set by Isa Wolff
> CONCERT TICKETS (€10 – entrance at 19:30)

Sunday, April 3
11-14:30: Exhibition open
15-17h: Workshop – Your Friendly Guide to NFTs And Blockchain for Artists

Due to the current high case numbers in Berlin, we are imposing a 3G rule at all festival events. Only those who are recovered from COVID-19, fully vaccinated or tested on the day will be admitted.

Panel Discussion 1 – Searching for Utopias: Is technology the answer in an unjust world?

New technologies often spark a blind fervor. Many people place a lot of hope in technological developments, enthusiastically embracing these new tools as the keys to solving social, political and economic problems across the globe.

Technology, however, is not neutral. It is a tool which, more often than not, reproduces and furthers existing biases and deeply-rooted inequalities, ultimately becoming a mirror of the capitalist system we live in.

For technology to be a space of and for progress, it needs to be approached critically. With our speakers, we will explore broader questions around the non-neutrality of technology through presentations of three projects that seek to address this issue. Penny Rafferty will speak about artistic interest in Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) and the Berlin-based Black Swan DAO; Valeriia Panina (on Zoom) will speak about MetaHistory: Museum of War, Ukraine’s new NFT Museum that seeks to use the security offered by blockchain technology to document the Russian invasion; and Khyam Allami will speak about Apotome, a project highlighting the cultural asymmetries, biases and non-neutrality inherent in modern music-making tools and its two related non-commercial applications.

Khyam Allami (b. Damascus 1981) is an Iraqi-British multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, researcher and founder of Nawa Recordings. He holds a BA and Masters in Ethnomusicology from SOAS, University of London and is currently completing an M4C/AHRC funded PhD in composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, UK.

Valeriia Panina is a product specialist, keen on education, blockchain and art. She’s an invited expert at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine virtual assets office, a UX mentor at Projector creative & tech online institute, and a co-founder and COO of SharpShark.io, a startup that employs NFTs to fight for copyright protection, currently participating in the Filecoin (Protocol Labs) Techstars WEB3 accelerator in Seattle, US.

Penny Rafferty is a writer, critic and visual theorist based in Berlin. Her theoretical essays and creative texts have been commissioned for Cura, Kaleidoscope Magazine, Flash Art and Elephant Magazine, amongst others. She was the in-house critic at STATISTA (Berlin, 2020) and is one of the founders of Black Swan DAO (2018 – ongoing). She co-developed the think tank series Artworld DAO’s (2019-2022) with Ruth Catlow in coordination with Ben Vickers, Serpentine Gallery, Furtherfield Gallery and Goethe Institute and continues to work as both a writer, auditor and researcher at the crossroads of art, culture and technology.

Panel Discussion 2 – The Sound of Blockchain: A Critical View on Music and NFTs

NFTs have become a hot topic on the art scene. On the one hand, NFTs are opening up a world of new artistic approaches that intersect with blockchain technology and, on the other hand, they are entangled in market-led value inflation that ensures only a handful of people accumulate wealth. Circling this topic are questions on autonomy, ownership, and capital.

Music-makers have been slower at diving into this world. Can music-makers counteract the neoliberal and capitalistic tendencies of the NFT market? Is there space for non-commercial music on the blockchain? Can marginalised music-makers also benefit from this technology?

Using these questions as our first prompts with our panellists Billy Bultheel, Jean-Hugues Kabuiku, and Andra “Amber” Nikolayi, we will take a critical look at NFTs from the perspective of thinkers and artists coming from different musical scenes.

Billy Bultheel is an artist based in Berlin and Brussels. His practice encompasses extended notions of composition and choreography, embracing an interdisciplinary approach to music, performance, sculpture, video and online art. In 2021, his work was shown internationally at the Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin, Athens Biennial, PAF festival in Olomouc (CZ), and the NFT series Songs for the Contract on the online platform folia.app, amongst others. Bultheel has been a long-time composer and collaborator of the performance artist Anne Imhof and the choreographer Michele Rizzo. His music is released on the Berlin-based labels PAN records and C-A-N-V-A-S.

With a background in electronic music and web development, Jean-Hugues Kabuiku specializes in the discourse around music valuation as a technomaterialist. He believes technologies should be re-engineered for their actual benefit to society, not to propagate existing oppressions. His mission is to counter the technodeterminist dominant discourse. Jean-Hugues’ work around music valuation has been published on Mixmag, Resident Advisor, Horst Digital Lab, Corner Späti, dweller forever, Ryerson University, and more.

Andra “Amber” Nikolayi is a non-binary writer and sound artist currently based in Bucharest, Romania. Ze writes about electronic music, queer culture and contemporary art. Occasionally DJs and curates sound. Bylines in Bandcamp Daily, The Wire, Positionen, Electronic Beats and Revista Arta, among others.