is an exciting interactive program developed under the artistic direction and curation of Nik Nowak within the context of his exhibition Schizo Sonics currently exhibiting at Berlin’s KINDL – Center for Contemporary Art (13.9.2020 – 15.5.2021).

The bonus concept will unfold via a one-day symposium and three live performances during 20.03.2021 – 24.04.21.

– All elements to be streamed by United We Stream

SOUND(ING) SYSTEMS examines the history of the Cold War via the so-called ‘Lautsprecherkrieg’ (loudspeaker war) and the ‘Studio am Stacheldraht’ (Studio at the Barbed Wire) in Berlin. The program focuses on the surprising political entanglements of Jamaican and Korean sound systems in the global struggle between the great powers fighting for ideological influence; the controversial use of acoustic weapons in Cuba as well as the politicization of subcultural movements. A critical analysis of the ideological demands made on sound systems separate to the Cold War, examining the global transformations of sound system cultures.

What factors might account for both how, and why, sound system culture, (in its varied, widereaching global forms), and the medium of sound itself, have become gravitational spheres to which the military, covert government agencies, cultural producers, and theorists alike have been increasingly drawn since the onset of the (first) Cold War? At which point did sound politics become an increasingly important weapon in the cultural-political armory for factions of the fine arts, philosophy, scientific research, sound research, feminist and queer discourse and practice, as well as for clubs and subculture?

SOUND(ING) SYSTEMS is a free program that interrogates the political and sonic resonances of physical and virtual boundaries. During the Cold War there were fortified borders, especially along the Iron Curtain.

Since the 1990s, there has been increasing investment in border installations to ‘protect’ against immigrants from the global south. Thousands of people escaping all forms of war, persecution and seeking asylum, die in their attempts to flee these unlivable conditions every year. Organizations like Sea-Watch are continuously fighting the deadly consequences and indifference of the increasing isolationism of Europe.

If you have liked our symposium and program of musical events please help us in our support of Sea-Watch and donate here or via bank transfer to:

IBAN: DE77 1002 0500 0002 0222 88
Bank: Bank für Sozialwirtschaft Berlin
Name of account holder: Sea-Watch e.V.


We thanks you for your invaluable support!