Sweætshops® (swextshops) presents their second witchtrialversion, an ongoing series of experimental AI/færie surreal sound-performances mapping out Scotland.
witchtrialverson2 is the second instalment in a series of sound performances forming an allegory for the witch burnings as a social mechanism. The ongoing project explores the idea put forth by Silvia Federici that the witch hunts were used to destroy and restructure communities in the transition of power from feudalism to capitalism. Taking this concept, a stage further, witchtrialversion views the witch burnings as unconscious mass human sacrifice events, ushering in the spirits of the press and industry.
Just as færies in Scottish belief would offer us convenience at a risk following a logic we do not fully comprehend risk so too does our real-time manipulation by algorithms and machine learning technologies. An entire realm of feedback loops we are inescapably and inexplicitly engaging in collectively.
These works view this history through the lens of the manufacturing of Scottish national identity using the persona of Sawney Ha’peth (a name taken from an old slur against the Scots) to surrealistically examine Scotland’s legacy as both oppressed and oppressor through dismantling traditional folk instrumentation. In this iteration both the Northern traditions of precenting the line and bothy ballads will be processed.
As a location specific series witchtrialversion2 explores Aberdeen’s cultural significance in being the arguable starting point of the Great Scottish Witch Hunt of 1597 with the printing and publication of King James VI/I influential witch-hunting book Dæmonologie that same year.
In the lead up to the show, in the Kirkyard the artists will distribute printed generative patterns of the 175 accused ‘witches’ in the Aberdeen area, which will be filmed in the early hours of the morning under the full moon.
Location: St Nicholas Kirk
Date: Saturday 10 September
Sweætshops® (alternatively stylised as swextshops) is a “multipersonality conglomerate” creating ceremonial muzak, mystery-shopper plays and public disruptions out of the waste of consumerism and pop culture. Their name a portmanteau of sweatshops and sweetshops representing the contradictory social lottery (exploitation and indulgence) of the 21st century.
Blurring the lines between live-art, sound, music, AI, magick and disruption. Previous campaigns and services include; getting simultaneously married/divorced for the Brexit deadline, collecting the general public’s recollections of 9/11, a matinee show about conspiracy theories for 0-5 year olds and attending the X-Factor auditions as the blood-vomiting ghost of a humiliated contestant. Consumerism, nationalism, media, technology – misinformation overload is all processed through the psychic conveyor line, bloody and shrink-wrapped.
Described as “a whole load of nonsense pretending to be art or performance art at its best” (The Write Angle) and “varicoloured and raw…the undeniable energy of a high doom” (Phasmid Press). Recipient of the //BUZZCUT// Emerging Live Artist Award, their work has been featured in music festivals such as Radiophrenia Festival, film festivals such as Alchemy Moving Image Festival and Palić European Film Festival and theatre organisations such as National Theatre of Scotland.
Explore our much-loved city and see it as never before through art, dance and sound installations, all in unusual places and spaces across the city with live music, theatre and family events in our magical Wonder Hoose venue in Marischal Quad. – see the programme for full details.
Leave everything to the imagination and most of all, enjoy your weekend in Wonderland.
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