Sónar 2014 :: 12.13.14 June 21st Barcelona International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media

Sónar and the Sorigué Foundation announce SonarPLANTA, a venture for the creation of artistic productions in the new media sphere

The project will invite three internationally renowned artists to submit a proposal for a new creation that experiments with creative languages and technology. The selected artist will receive the prize of the production of the piece that will be premiered each year in the new SonarPLANTA space, in Sónar by Day at Sónar Festival.

Sónar 2014 hosts the first SonarPLANTA edition, which features one of the most important explorers of digital aesthetics in art: Carsten Nicolai (born Chemnitz, Germany, 1965), presenting his workunidisplay: a monumental immersive audiovisual installation that explores the logic of self-organizing systems and the limits of perception.

The piece consists of a wall of light and sound of colossal proportions: 6m x 36m, with a side mirrors that give it infinite aspect.

PLANTA is the new headquarters of the Sorigué Foundation and the Sorigué Group, which has just been premiered at the 14th Biennale di Architettura di Venezia. This artistic and business project is surrounded by an industrial landscape and will be the basis of inspiration for the creation of the works presented at SonarPLANTA in Sónar.

What is SonarPLANTA?
SonarPLANTA is the joint initiative by Sónar and the Sorigué Foundation which is being launched this year. It will be held over the next three years and aims to foster and celebrate research and experimentation with creative languages around the technology and New Media art.
Candidate artists invited to participate by SonarPLANTA must submit a work that takes as its starting point PLANTA – the new project by the Sorigué Group and the Sorigué Foundation, located in La Plana del Corb (Balaguer, Lleida), a space where industrial work, technology, art, architecture and nature all coexist.
SonarPLANTA is a key element in the philosophy of Sónar+D. Recognizing the creative maturity of digital languages and aesthetics, the aim of this project is to enable new artistic productions in the field of new media and other forms that are taking shape in the cultural space between new technologies and contemporary art.
Each year, a renowned artist in the field of art and technology will create a new production based on the natural and industrial landscape where PLANTA is located: mountains of cement, olive groves, digging machines, asphalt plants and concrete blocks stacked between natural fields.
The candidature selected each year will be presented in public for the first time at the next 3 editions of Sónar: 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Aims, recipients and artistic areas action
This initiative stems from the wish of Sónar and the Fundació Sorigué to:
– Promote and celebrate research and experimentation in creative languages in the field of technology and digital arts.
– Support and promote the work of the present generation of artists within the field of art and technology.
– Make it possible to produce new projects of great technical and aesthetic value.
– Raise the visibility of artistic creations by exhibiting them at Sónar Festival in Barcelona.
The selected project will be chosen from a restricted call for projects open every year to three international artists acclaimed for excellence in their work and for their unique contribution to the new media creative sphere. The call will include both well-established artists and up-and-coming creators who already have some successful productions under their belt.
Candidates who could apply can be artists, collectives or studios working in the following areas:
– Performance
– Live audiovisual composing
– Sound art
– Kinetic sculpture
– Wireless technologies
– Robotics
– Video mapping
– Augmented reality
– Data visualisation
– Transmedia narratives
– Any other emerging forms in the cultural space between new technologies and contemporary creation
Artists will have to present a work featuring Planta as a starting point. PLANTA is the new project at the very heart of Fundació Sorigué and Grupo Sorigué, located in the business group’s quarry at La Plana del Corb (Lleida/Spain) combining art, science, technology, environment and architecture.
Sónar and its historic relationship with new media art
The investigation of the aesthetic possibilities of digital technologies, experimentation with new formats and languages on the frontier between sound, image and space has been one of the hallmarks of Sónar since it was held for the first time in 1994. The festival was launched in order to create a space for creators working in the territory where technology, cutting-edge contemporary culture and new sensory experiences converge. Since then, Sónar has been one of the key international events for this area of artistic production.
On its 20th anniversary, the festival implemented its commitment to contemporary art and the exploration of postdigital languages further by creating Sónar+D, the large forum for communities of the creative technologies. Sónar+D is a forum for thought and an active agent that promotes creative innovation in various fields, from the emerging industries that bring together culture and technology in unprecedented ways, to the expressive forms which are being shaped by a new generation of digital artists who are no longer emerging, or instead at the forefront of the artistic creation of our age.
unidisplay, the colossal immersive audiovisual installation by Carsten Nicolai
The central figure of the first SonarPLANTA is undoubtedly one of the most important explorers of digital aesthetics in artCarsten Nicolai (born Chemnitz, Germany, 1965). At the forefront of contemporary art, his work dates back over twenty years and blurs the boundaries between sound and visual exploration and technological investigation, and between the laboratory, the stage and the gallery.
unidisplay is the most ambitious project by Carsten Nicolai in the festival’s historya monumental immersive audiovisual installation that draws an infinite line in which the logic of self-organizing systems and the limits of perception are explored. 
This installation – which has been thoroughly checked for its presentation at SonarPLANTA – presents the most basic items in his vocabulary, elevated to a monumental scale: clean lines and basic sonic tones that extend to infinity in a black box that envelops the viewer and plays with the principles of their perception.unidisplay is a project that constructs space and constantly reconstructs the landscape that the work itself creates. The elements it uses are reminiscent of indu
strial technologies – the pixel lines of the interfaces we use every day, the sonorous tones of electronic machinery – which in their work become principles for digital poetics that are all their own.
Sónar was one of the first international events to recognize the importance of the work of Carsten Nicolai, which makes him the perfect artist to launch the SonarPLANTA project. Few artists in the world represent the values of constant experimentation and the ability to transcend disciplines as well as he does. The German artist has been redrawing the boundaries of sound and the digital image for two decades, in both his musical work, with the Alva Noto project, and with the installations that bear his name, which are today present in museums and art centres throughout the world.
PLANTA and the Biennale di Venezia
PLANTA is a project dedicated to the essence of the Sorigué Foundation and the Sorigué Group which organically link the arts to their environment. PLANTA is based in a working industrial complex in Lleida (northeastern Spain), and was conceived as a meeting point for talent and creativity where art, science, technology, social responsibility, the environment and architecture all converge.
The building, for which construction began in the spring of 2014, will be a space dedicated to multidisciplinary artistic production and the new “flagship” of the business group. Sorigué Foundation will establish its art collection and generate synergies between artists and business by means of projects that invite artists from all over the world to produce their work based on the experience of this environment.
The architectural project, created by Kees Kaan and devised in the offices of Kaan Architecten, was recently premiered internationally by the Sorigué Foundation at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia.
Sorigué Foundation
The Sorigué Foundation, established by Julio Sorigué and Josefina Blasco in 1985, works in the cultural, social and educational sphere with the support of the Sorigué Group, a business group that is a leader in the construction sector and industrial services in Spain. Since 1999, the Sorigué Foundation has been working on creating a collection of international contemporary art consisting of more than 450 works from all disciplines, alternating between internationally renowned artists and virtually unknown creators.
The Sorigué Foundation maintains an active policy of loans to Spanish and international institutions, collaborating with leading centres including the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, the MOMA in New York, the Tate Gallery in Liverpool and the Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona, among many others. Since 1995, it has also maintained a system of scholarships in order to support young talents in the arts, and it participates in various social projects.
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