WSK — a disemvoweled form of “wasak” which means “shattered” or “destroyed” in Filipino — is the first and only annual international festival dedicated to contemporary electronic, digital, and experimental art. The festival—its name derived from the Bertolt Brecht quote, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it”—was launched in 2008 as Fete dela WSK and rebranded in 2013 as WSK Festival Of The Recently Possible.
The festival explores the diverse range of cross-disciplinary artistic activities in the context of digital culture and performance, with focus in collaborative projects between the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and beyond. It aims to blur and deconstruct preconceived notions of how art, culture, and technology interact, and to imagine other ways in which the three intersect. WSK has evolved to become the longest-running arts and technology festival in the Philippines and has since continued nourishing communities of loose experimental art collectives. It is organized by SABAW Media Art Kitchen, a non-profit artist-run initiative whose primary interests lie in curatorial and research-based production towards the imminent intersections of art and technology. The festival primarily runs on a Do-It-Yourself and Do-It-Together ethic with partial financial support from cultural organizations but mostly self-funded.
WSK is celebrating its 10th Year Edition of the festival and the festival contemplates itself in the context of sound, media and contemporary art histories in Philippines. This edition presents the overview of the intersections of art and technology in Manila and the reasons, issues and challenges the platform has faced in its decade of existence through a variety of programs.
Through a new joint programme developed with NUSASONIC, a multi-year project that plunges into a broad spectrum of experimental sound and music cultures in Southeast Asia, enabling dialogue within the region, with Europe, and beyond. Beginning as a multi-day lab where new artist pairings, a hacklab, and an open art science projects play together and create new musical and visual works, ideas, and possibilities. The festival showcases the results of these works within a programme that also includes concerts, club nights, guerrilla outdoor events, and daytime programme of exhibitions, film screenings, talks, panels, and workshops. WSK X is supported by The Japan Foundation Asia Center Grant Program for Promotion of Cultural Collaboration and NUSASONIC platform.
WSK provides a platform where emergent art forms and other innovative applications of new technologies engage with the cutting edge of cultural and social thought.
From solely showcasing innovative practices, WSK has since transformed into an instrument geared towards the encouragement of curiosity and deepening of intellectual engagement.
Operating on the speculative model of a “living laboratory” or a “Festival-as-Lab,” WSK places great value on collaboration and the relationships it has built over many years with cultural and research institutes, artist communities, and its audiences, all sharing an affinity for experimentation and failure.