Should one google the definition of the industrial culture online, one will first and foremost visit Wikipedia, which defines it as “a genre of electronic music and experimental music which draws on harsh, transgressive or provocative sounds and themes.”

Those that have been close to industrial music and culture at their dawn will surely recall another pearl for those interested in industrial matters – the Industrial Culture Handbook by V.Vale and Andrea Juno (it first saw the light of day in 1983 and was published by Re/Search Publications). Further on this way, one will inevitably pop into the website of a tiny German label named “Industrial Culture”, right along the title sporting the legendary phrase “Industrial Music for Industrial People!”, presumably coined by infamous Monte Cazazza, a member of the legendary British band Throbbing Gristle.

The genre of industrial music, which was born on both sides of the Atlantic in the 70s, went beyond sound practice and delved into the visual and performative arts. Noise, industrial aesthetics, annihilation, bodies, sex, occult – all and any themes that were breaking the standards, defying the expectations of the audience, scaring, shocking and exploring the boundaries of the possible, were taken up by those creating industrial culture. Hence pretty soon industrial culture became home for a variety of deviant pieces of art and liminal artistic practices.

Over the span of forty years, industrial and later post-industrial culture has emerged from the deep underground and ended up on a well-lit stage, misdemeanours which would have been regarded as despicable in the seventies, along with the aesthetics, have been borrowed or sometimes even stolen by the pop culture. Here we are, trying to answer to ourselves what, at present, might be called industrial culture? What does it comprehend now, when there’s very little left to shock us?

The primary aim of the Matters project is to explore what the contemporary industrial culture has to offer. The exploration will be carried out as a series of events, including as sound residencies, workshops, interdisciplinary symposia, festivals, labs, performative discussions or anti-panels. Another aim is to amalgamate the sparing international community, associating itself with the industrial.

The preliminary list of Matters keywords is as follows: the other, noise, glitch, hacktivism, non-bodies, technocracy, extreme, body, cyber-, cyborg, post-truth, security, geolocation, soundscapes, bioart, capitalocracy, trans-species, post-humanism, irony, context, isolation, monsters, mutation, feminism, queer, layers, manipulation, disintegration etc.

Industrial platform MATTERS is part of KAUNAS 2022.