*1988 in Randers, lives in Berlin
Kaj Duncan David is a Berlin-based composer of experimental music. Many of his pieces are audiovisual, exploring gestalt relations between sound and light in concert settings. More recently, his work deals with themes at the intersection of speculative theories of mind and matter, ecological awareness, and science fiction. Alongside concert works, he has devised theatre/music/opera/installation hybrids, created music for dance, and performed and released electronic music.
Lecture About Myself
2019, audiovisual musical theatre settings for two performers
A fictional supercomputer gives a short lecture on the subject of artificial intelligence through the medium of text, image and sound. During its presentation, the protagonist confronts us with ideas that range from the benign to the provocative, in a manner that is both playful and enigmatic. Alongside this ‘presentation’, two musicians enter into a sort of transhumanist dialogue, communicating through a networked machinic interface, in part inspired by the concept of evolutionary linguistics. The piece draws heavily on ideas from Golem XIV, a 1981 sci-fi novel by Polish author Stanisław Lem, in which a supercomputer confronts humanity with various hard truths, not only about their future but also about their present. The retro futurism of Lem’s book collides with contemporary – and often antithetical – philosophies, via Donna Haraway and others, resulting in a cryptic mini-critique of the promise of Homo sapiens’ salvation through artificial intelligence.
Percussion / Performance: reConvert (Lorenzo Colombo & Roberto Maqueda)
Composition / Text: Kaj Duncan David
Video: Carlo-John Hoffmann
Dramaturgical Collaboration: Thomas Fiedler
The piece was produced in part at the Studio for Elecroacoustic Music, Akademie der Künste, Berlin.