Poster for Biidaaban: First Light , Source: Sensorium Festival on Facebook

Sensorium: Beyond The Sound 2021 opens in Bratislava

Sensorium: Beyond The Sound 2021 opens in Bratislava

The festival is based on the theme of restoring positive features to the future

Non-traditional live concerts, installations of virtual reality, audio walks around the city, compositions for afternoon napping, micro-concerts over the phone and "deep listening sessions"... These unusual aural and visual experiences, presented by acclaimed artists from the United States, France, Canada, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, are all part of Sensorium: Beyond The Sound 2021. The festival will take place in various Bratislava locations (FUGA, Luna Bar, LOM Space) and partly online from 25 June  to 11 July.

Reimagining a better future

The festival programme is based on the theme of Refuturing, a term coined by consultant strategist and writer Jay Springett. Refuturing reflects the need of humanity to restore positive features to the future, despite - or precisely because - reality often paints it black.

In the face of ongoing crises – economic, environmental or epidemiological - we are surrounded by dark visions of the future. But, in addition to "soundtracking" global threats, art and sound imagination can offer a different way of thinking. So, the message of Sensorium: Beyond The Sound is: "Before we can build a better future, we must first imagine such a future." 

A walk through abandoned Toronto

The main attraction of the festival is the award-winning VR installation Biidaaban: First Light by Canadian / Anishinaabe multidisciplinary artist Lisa Jackson, winner of the prestigious Webby award for excellence on the Internet. Jackson’s work, an example of the so-called Indigenous Futurism, has already been seen by more than 25,000 visitors around the world.

Biidaaban takes the audience through a vision of Toronto, depopulated and engulfed by nature. The installation looks at the postcolonial future through the lens of the original Anishinaabe tribal culture, highlighting the links between colonialism and the current environmental crisis. But it also brings a climax that is surprisingly different from the clichés of Hollywood dystopias.

You can immerse yourself in this futuristic world from 25 to 27 June via a VR headset (Luna Bar, below Kiev Hotel on Kamenný náměstí).   

Music from within your ears

Thomas Ankersmit specializes in acoustic phenomena, such as co-infrasound and oto-acoustic emissions (sounds that arise directly in the human ear). The Berlin-based musician will present his acoustic experiments on 6 July in the specially adapted backyard of the FUGA / Bukowski Bar club.

The concert evening will be opened by Marta de Pascalis, an Italian living in Berlin who is a master of analogue synthesizers. 

Engaged nap and phone concerts for one listener

International studies have revealed a clear link between sleep deprivation and socially, racially, and gender-based discrimination. Exploiting this vein, American experimenter Emily A. Sprague and sound artist Alexandra Cihanská Machová have created a series of compositions for "engaged nap" called Little Nap Music, which will be available on the festival website. 

Gender-fluid singer and songwriter Holland Andrews reacts to the depersonalization of ordinary concert streams by creating intimate connections for one listener within a non-traditional performative space - a phone call. 

In her performance Stories of the Inflamed HeadDorota Brázdovičová will focus on the toll that modern-day information overload takes on our mental and physical health.

German multidisciplinary artist David Helbich and Czech sound nomad Martin Bukáček will offer the opportunity to turn a seemingly routine reality into an extraordinary experience through hybrid sound walks, self-performance and "deep listening" workshops for children.

The full programme of the festival can be found at

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