Dream Cargoes at Unsound Festival, Poland, Ft. Sinfonietta Cracovia. 2013.



"A gripping musical narrative. The visual element, which can so often be lacking felt very much the focus; a desolate, almost Martian, landscape hummed vividly with subtly shifting textures and colours, and across the hour-long performance, the audience were taken gradually closer into the developing ecosystem, with microsopic level of detail unfolding like a new universe " - Scott Wilson, Juno Plus

Jennifer Lucy Allan from The Wire talked to Lucy Benson, Marcel Weber,Keith Fullerton Whitman, Roly Porter, about Dream Cargoes at Unsound the day before the performance: The Wire Q&A

‘Dream Cargoes’
Live-Cinema Performance

Dream Cargoes is a live-cinema work from Lucy Benson (Screenplay, Direction, Filming, Video/VFX) and Marcel Weber (video/VFX) featuring an original score by Roly Porter (plus string quartet) and Keith Fullerton Whitman. The original concept was written by Lucy Benson.

Partly inspired by J.G.Ballard’s story of the same name, Dream Cargoes explores the predicament of the last man on an exploited and abandoned Earth, who, in the toxicity of nano and bio-tech waste witnesses a wondrous flourishing of new life forms and an unprecedented expansion of space and time. The work is performed live by the four artists and a string quartet.

The wrecked ship of Ballard’s story is replaced with our own planet Earth. The ship’s toxic cargo becomes the industrial waste and nano and bio-tech pollution of the near future. Visually the story is told through the protagonists eyes, immersing us in an increasingly psychedelic landscape comprising original cinematic footage, shot on location in Iceland by Benson and Weber, with analogue and algorithmic mutations created by the artists in their Berlin studios.

The score is performed by Porter, working with a string quartet, and Fullerton Whitman, operating modular synthesizers. The score’s acoustically-driven beginning, by Porter, suffers under increasing interference from the electronic side, eventually finding a new synergy with the chaotic, generative energy of Whitman’s modular evolutions, echoing the work’s narrative and conceptual trajectory across the duration of the performance.

Co-Commissioned by Werkleitz
and Unsound