Soundwave ((7)) Architecture: Re-­structured Futures

As part of Soundwave ((7)) Biennial, musicians explore virtual and imagined architectures through sound, movement, and visual storytelling to dismantle our notions of both physical and digital space. Featuring Surabhi Saraf, Drought Spa, and Nonagon with Colin Evoy Sebestyen.

The Soundwave festival pass gets you into all Soundwave ((7)) events with the exception of the fundraiser and Nightlife events. Click here for more information.

Soundwave is San Francisco’s acclaimed biennial of innovative sound, art and music, now in it’s 7th Season. Every two years, MEDIATE Art Group launches a citywide summer-long, multi-venue experiential event series in San Francisco. Each season investigates a new idea through sound and invites diverse multidisciplinary artists and musicians to explore the season’s theme in new and innovative directions.

Soundwave ((7)) Architecture explores sonic connections to our built environment which shape our lives as humans. This season commissions 30 new performances and works from over 50 dynamic artists to examine the rapidly transforming landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area and the world-at-large while considering the physical and phenomenological aspects of constructing, designing and inhabiting our built environments through sound. Daring artists will present projects that explore spatial acoustics, biological architecture, personal and communal site histories, urban somatic/acoustic fields, psychosomatic effects from architectural designs, ambisonics, architectural drawings as musical scores, and neural architectures. These works hope to inspire audiences to to listen beyond the surface, connect with each other and find innovative ways to see, hear, and interact with the environment around us.

Musician Nonagon and visualist Colin Evoy Sebestyen will explore the constant state of flux and shifting dichotomy of the San Francisco landscape in their work Start Up/Shut Down. The two artists will tightly integrate audio and visual performance, where larger conversations shape the resulting pieces. Whether for reasons of worship, commerce, residence, punishment, or leisure, a city tells the story of its people and the concerns of those people. This work is not a judgement of this moment, this economy, or the situation of the current. This work is about analyzing and contrasting this moment with the ineffable and infinite.

In Command Shifts performed by Surabhi Saraf explores our current global issues of displacement, migration and homelessness, in a time where we often find a temporary refuge in our technological devices. The performance draws upon Martin Heidegger’s Building Dwelling Thinking essay from the 1950s, examining our kinship to places asking “what does it mean to BELONG?” in conditions where the role of architecture has become as disposable and replaceable as our contemporary technologies. Perhaps, then, the only place we continue to belong is within ourselves, while we remain in transit.

Extensivity+Entrapment by Drought Spa is a generative visual, sonic, and literary performance, based upon an essay by Cruse which attempts to “parse the symbology of architecture in technological, corporate realms: of opaque, secretive data centers and tech­industrial zones”. Via a patch created by Lo, the reading of said text will loop, fragment, dissolve into itself and offer moments of clarity, and otherwise parallel the transmissions of textual data and its attendant signal noise as it traffics through our networks. Lo will control a series of iterative visuals that rework Cruse’s own simulations of digital 3D landscapes.



As a performer, Nonagon (aka John Brian Kirby) brings the skill and technique of a traditional instrumentalist to the cutting­edge of live electronic music. His live sets are heavily improvised through hands­on manipulation of a carefully­curated combination of commercial and hand­built hardware and software.

Colin Evoy Sebestyen

Academy of Art University professor Colin Evoy Sebestyen creates cinema­quality live concert visuals from an all­original palette of 3D rendered imagery, motion graphics, and manipulated photography. Colin combines the immediacy of live performance with the multidisciplinary study of design, animation, and code.

Surabhi Saraf

Surabhi Saraf is a media artist, composer, and performer based in San Francisco. Surabhi has performed solo at Thessaloniki Contemporary Art Biennial, Greece, Currents International New Media Festival, Santa Fe, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, SF and Max Mueller Bhavan Goethe Institut, Mumbai & New Delhi among others. Her collaborative work has been performed at NETMAGE 10 International Live Media Festival, Bologna, Soundwave Biennial ((5)), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

Alex Cruse

Alex Cruse is a writer, artist, and educator, whose work synthesizes the disciplines of poetry, video, installation, and new media. She is interested in systems of governmentality/surveillance as social modalities; technology’s capacity to both build and dismantle informational and linguistic structures, and the politics of representation produced therein.

Kevin CK Lo

Kevin CK Lo is a composer, choreographer, writer and artist living between Oakland and Melbourne, Australia. In his compositions for live performance and installation, he utilizes instruments, digital sound processing and generative programming environments to examine spatial and auditory sensitivities, topological structure and audience kinesthetic response while seeking to corrupt conventional compositional/performative/installative rationale.