Sonica's 2021 theme Labyrinth gives way to skin is taken from the title of a composition by Maryanne Amacher for Merce Cunningham Dance Company, serves as a launching point for an exploration of the invisible forces surrounding and emanating from our bodies in relation to our environment, one another, and the multitudinous entities that comprise ourselves. From the subtle bodies, a non-dualist Eastern mystical and medical concept of the holism of mind/body dynamics and energy flows, we extend our presence to notions of the social, collective, and cyborgian bodies, opening the possibility that our bodies are not only our own and conception of the festival as a body in itself; a body which is stirred and reconfigured by sound.

Labyrinth gives way to skin opens with the exhibition Boundless BodyMinds, featuring metaphysical artworks grounded in a common understanding of embodied cognition, which rhizomatically draw from a synthesis of ancient and contemporary spiritual, technological, and scientific knowledge, taking the viewer on an involutionary journey towards a sympoetic evolution. With a more surgical approach to unifying identity, Fractal Flesh’s film and performance program incises the festival body from emotionally arresting angles, penetrating intimate zones via transgressive acts of love and visceral explorations of physical degeneration.
Ascending on the path of knowledge, Labyrinth gives way to skin hosts a discourse program with a keynote on its namesake, expounding on the activation of mental and physical spaces through sound, with pragmatic, technical, and historically oriented conversations and reflections, followed by Prosthetic Aura’s program of cyborg rhythms and holographic melodies.

Reaching the summit of the dark night of the soul, the initiatic Silver Cord concerts, a ritual lead by experienced psychonautical sound guides leading us on an out-of-body journey to the outer limits of consciousness. With the encounter inscribed into the fibers of our being, we’ll be prepared to contemplate Vibrant Matter, an intimate exploration of stimulated materials, inert and alive in embrace, making for a sensual night of meditative drones with self-made instruments, in altered tunings and states of mind. From this transmutation of sonic matter, a chemical romance will be stirred within the spirit unlocking heretofore uncultivated powers and awareness by means of Suspended Animation’s revelatory sonic alchemy, completing the ouroboric cycle.

Curator’s note︎︎︎