Studio Labour


Pleased to share the 9th episode of the Kuboraum Digital Sound Residency, hosting Studio LABOUR’s mind-altering soundscape mass and mess, dispersion of subjectivity.

LABOUR is the Berlin-based sonic entity composed by multidisciplinary artists Farahnaz Hatam and Colin Hacklander. Bringing together their experience in molecular biology, sound art and post-tonal theory, they compose ambitious and reverently experimental audio works centering around the transformative potential of sound. Their practice promotes active listening and a heightened sensory awareness, interrogating existential questions and the power structures that form our collective reality. Through immersive performances shifting between digital sound synthesis, algorithmic compositions, percussions and vocals, LABOUR explore the juxtaposition of amplified and unamplified sounds within specific architectural spaces.

“LABOUR devise methods of co-existence and distinction through rupture while gesturing towards the possibility of strong, sudden shifts in consciousness.”

‘mass and mess, dispersion of subjectivity’ shows their continuing exploration of temporal juxtapositions, merging algorithmic rhythms with cyclical pulsing drum layers to discover alternative notions of time. This new track relates aesthetically to their previous pieces next time, die consciously (بیگانگی) and hit of enlightenment, contemplating on the construction-of-self and the extent to which external forces create us, being heteronomy the condition of all things. Operating simultaneously on multiple temporalities — from microsounds and stochastic synthesis to rhythmic cycles to acknowledging that which propels beyond — these pieces take a critical stance towards notions of regulated time by embracing rhythmic instability and sound as sculptural material. 

Their recent performance Sungazing premiered in Kraftwerk during X100 Berlin Atonal (2022) is one of their most extensive works so far, involving an ensemble of 30 drummers, 7 string players, 4 dancers, 2 drum sets, and 3 visual artists, all distributed throughout the audience. Proposed within the framework of Xenakis’ legacy, the performance was described as ‘An ode to the one who pursues an experimental lifestyle, an ode to the avant-garde’.

Other commissioned compositions and performances include: Eventide in collaboration with Fa’ Pawaka (2022), Julia Stoschek; Sungazing, HAU (2022);  Constructs of Sanity, Musica Sanae, Berlin (2019); nine-sum sorcery, Berlin Atonal (2019); Activating the Gropius Bau, Sonically, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2019); next time, die consciously (بیگانگی), Berlin Atonal (2018); Hacklander’s Activating the Messeplatz, Sonically and Stochastic Activation: Basler Trommeln (with Isabel Lewis), Basilea, Art Basel (2018); conatus/consent, Neue Musik in St Ruprecht, St Ruprechtskirche, Vienna (2015) and Levels of Intrusion, transmediale, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2014).


composition and production by LABOUR: Farahnaz Hatam and Colin Hacklander
second drummer: Masaya Hijikata
bass clarinet: Yoni Silver
drums recorded by: Francesco Donadello

Photography: Evelyn Bencicova