Imagination Abounds at Experimental Fest 'Soundwave (8) Infrastructure'

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Alexa Burrell is one of the interdisciplinary artists performing at Soundwave (8). (Courtesy of Soundwave/Alexa Burrell)

Soundwave (8) Infrastructure is the latest edition of the music and sound art biennial taking place in Oakland and San Francisco in September and October. This time, its diverse programming centers on the theme of interconnectedness—not just via roads and bridges, but the social structures we inhabit and the power dynamics that govern them.

Soundwave (8) kicks off on Sept. 8 at CounterPulse with new work by Dana Hemenway and Surabhi Saraf, who collaborated with several other artists to create a "journey through sculpture" that uses sound and movement to examine the effects of temperature-controlled environments. Hidden Refuge, a performance showcase at San Francisco's historic Grace Cathedral, features Indigenous performance artists—SAMMAY, Layel Camargo, Erika Vivianna Céspedes and Alejandra Fernandez García—whose work examines ritual, spirituality and decolonization.

Time: Miracle at the Lake Merritt Bonsai Tree Garden on Oct. 5 investigates trauma and healing. The curator, Sharmi Basu, and one of the performers, Titania Kumeh, are two of the founders of The Multivrs is Illuminated, the Bay Area's black and brown punk festival. (Prolific electronic artist Aja Archuleta, who also performs as Piano Rain, and Alexa Burrell, a video performance artist from the collective House/Full of Blackwomen, are also on the bill.)

Black Fighting Formations on Oct. 13 at Eastside Arts Alliance features musical performances inspired by various periods of black resistance. Its lineup, curated by Ryanaustin Dennis, includes Marshall Trammell from the acclaimed experimental duo Black Sprituals, as well as Mogauwane Mahloele and Jeremy DiCristo. Finally, Soundwave (8) concludes with Wall on Oct. 26 at the Internet Archive, which features performances by interdisciplinary music and art duo Xuxa Santamaria curated by chief festival organizer Tanya Gayer. For the full schedule of programming, check out Soundwave's website.