For those unfamiliar, Bunker A/V is home to some of the most forward-thinking media artists around in the nightlife scene, both in NYC and SF. This Friday, they’ll be premiering AtomTM’s live audio/visual show. AtomTM (Uwe Schmidt) comes from a background of music koncrete-esque (I think there might actually be a Musique Non Stop sample in his new album) genre blending, resulting in the creation of a number of new genres including electrogospel, aciton (acid-reggaeton), and electrolatino. Needless to say, his productions are carefully crafted and arranged like that of a composer, weaving seamlessly between hypnotizing German/Spanish/English vocals, stabby synth lines, and sparingly used warehouse style drums. That’s not to say he adheres to one style or even personality – he’s been known as the man with a million aliases in the past, but has recently tried to unite electronic music with the AtomTM project. He hopes to break some of the rapidly forming cliches forming around popular electronic music, and seems to be succeeding in spades with his recent album HD. He’s bringing the art and science back into programmed computer music, forsaking the ease and simplicity of standard dance music structure for a more machined, composed form of music. Think Chemical Brothers meets Kraftwerk meets Simian Mobile Disco, and that’s still only half the story.
Providing support is Derek Plaslaiko, a German producer bringing the warehouse back to techno. Think Chris Liebing, Carl Craig, and old school Detroit vibes with a heavy German accent.
We had a chance to chat with GAFFTA (Gray Area Foundation for the Arts) regarding the Bunker project and the upcoming show:
I wanted to start off by asking what the idea behind Bunker A/V is?
The Bunker is a longstanding New York monthly event, it’s well known for bringing some of the best techno and electronic artists from around the world. Its been going on for over 10 years now, and I think we hosted the first Bunker San Francisco four years ago. It was a really great partnership where Grey Area (GAFFTA) was able to bring in some of our favorite software/visual artists to collaborate with the sound artists. That’s how the partnerships work: GAFFTA curates local and national visual talent and the Bunker curates the sound.
What kind of artists do you look for when curating a show?
I guess we’re looking for the best and newest electronic music. For example with this event, AtomTM is one of our favorite electronic musicians and he’s got over 100 monikers. He just released this new album a couple months ago. We’re really trying to break new ground with some of the artists that are just releasing new content and presenting it in the format they would like. We try to put a lot of production value into our events. It’s unfortunate because this event coming up we were hoping to have at The Lab, but then we had to move it last minute to Project One. We’ve been scrambling to change our whole production (laughs).
This show will immediately follow the creative code meetup. Do you see the workshop and the show as connected? It seems like the two would have a very clear connection.
It’s a big community for sure. We’re very community driven, there’s a clear connection between artists using software and visuals to express themselves. We definitely like to intermingle the two communities, especially doing late night events we reach the dance crowd. They obviously won’t all come to the creative coding meetup, so we like to mash those two communities together. That’s sort of our specialty, mashing things up and trying to figure out what sparks happen.
It seems like technology plays a pretty big part both in what you guys are doing and what the Bunker shows have been promoting recently. Do technology and general media literacy play a big role in what you guys do?
Our longest running program has been our creative coding education class. For the past several years we’ve had several creative coding workshops where we teach code to create art work. Its pretty unique, I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the Bay Area or really even the west coast that specifically teaches interactive art. Education and bringing new artists and designers into the digital world has been very important to us and a big part of our mission statement. Often times when we run these workshops the majority of participants are artists and designers who have basically never coded who are looking for a developer to make their painting light up or something like that. Technology is definitely at the root of what we do and gives us the ability to help artists create their work.
What can we expect from Bunker moving forward in the year?
We don’t have any big acts to announce just yet, but we are going to continue to collaborate. This year we’ve done about three and last year we did about three Bunker events, so you can expect to see them at least quarterly here. In terms of GAFFTA, we’re actually going to be announcing a bunch of workshops coming up in the fall that will really allow us to bring more people on board.
Bunker A/V Sessions is sure to be hypnotic and heavily machined come this Friday. Be sure to follow GAFFTA on Twitter to stay up to date! Check the video below to get a quick taste: