The Creative Europe-supported SHAPE platform for innovative music and audiovisual art is announcing its 2016 list of artists. The artist selection for the platform’s second year traditionally places a diverse selection of audiovisual projects and sound artists alongside musical acts that range from post-grime and techno to free improvisation and experiments with field recordings. The platform is run by a union of 16 European festivals, including SONICA, TodaysArt, Biennale NEMO, RIAM, UH Fest, Unsound and CTM.
A 3-year initiative co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the SHAPE project reunites 16 European non-profit organizations active within the ICAS – International Cities of Advanced Sound network to create a platform that aims to support, promote, and exchange innovative and aspiring emergent musicians and interdisciplinary artists with an interest in sound. SHAPE stands for “Sound, Heterogeneous Art and Performance in Europe”.
SHAPE annually chooses 48 musicians and artists to participate in a mix of live performances, residencies, workshops and talks across member festivals and special events.
The selection process
Each year, the curatorial teams of all 16 SHAPE festivals and initiatives come together and choose 48 artists. The artist roster has been created disregarding divisions of genre, age or popularity. Rather, creative novelty and successful experimentation have served as core values, with additional emphasis on the inclusion of upcoming and underexposed artists as well as representing local scenes of involved festivals and art centers.
Musically, the SHAPE artist roster of 2016 is no less diverse than that of the previous year: you can find the Polish synthesizer musician Piotr Kurek and his dancefloor-oriented project Heroiny next to Viennese improvising bass clarinetist Susanna Gartmayer or the Brussels-based industrial techno duo Orphan Swords next to Norwegian vocalist and composer Stine Janvin Motland. This eclecticism is, first and foremost, a result of the diverse interests of involved festivals drawn together. In addition to that, a more deliberate desire to detect streams of fresh ideas and unexpected influences beyond genre categories has influenced the choices of SHAPE’s curators.
Despite a general interest to work with emergent artists, links to well-known independent music labels can be observed: the new roster includes Swedish electronic music composer Klara Lewis, whose debut album “Ett” was published by Editions Mego, Berlin-based producer M.E.S.H. whose first full-length of abstract grime “Piteous Gate” was published by PAN and Killing Sound, a quartet of British producers – all part of the Young Echo family – whose first two recordings have been put out by Blackest Ever Black.
A similarly kaleidoscopic view characterizes the audiovisual and sound-art oriented part of the roster: the rugged resourcefulness of Slovak artist Jonáš Gruska, who utilizes industrial objects in his site-specific sound installations, is contrasted by the nuanced aesthetics of Clock DVA collaborator TeZ, whose minimalistic a/v piece „PV 868” uses flickering monochrome lights in order to allow a peculiar effect of moving visual patterns to emerge directly in the brain of the viewer, while the duo of Gas of Latvia and Katrīna Neiburga present a dream-like blend of ambient music and cinematic projections.
First showcase and Meet & Greet
The first SHAPE showcase of 2016 will occur at Berlin’s CTM festival (29.01.2016 – 07.02.2016), featuring Peder Mannerfelt, KABLAM, Charlotte Bendiks and T’ien Lai as well as SHAPE 2015 alumni Aisha Devi and Borusiade.
On February, the 4th, the free entry Collaborative Network Meet & Greet at CTM 2016 will provide a chance to learn about and exchange with various projects that CTM is involved in, including SHAPE. SHAPE representative Lucia Udvardyova will speak with 2015 alumnus Marco Donnarumma about his experiences and tips for emerging artists wishing to get involved. Click here for more info.