Beam yourself to Iran and Georgia as curators there assemble engrossing audiovisual art and live music sets from around the world. It’s all presented in virtual form.

First – to Tehran.


SET Festival is a half decade-old platform in the Iranian capital, which has acted as a hub both for the audiovisual and experimental scenes outside the republic, and for elevating some of Iran’s own artists to that global stage. Suffice to say Iranian underground artists have some experience working out how to stay culturally connected without always leaving home, and dealing with making connections across borders. So maybe it’s no surprise that SET have been busy on Twitch lately – but they do warn us this is even their first attempt. (My heart goes out to Iranian friends, too, as the virus has brought death and suffering to the country as it has so many of our homes and neighborhoods and where our families and friends live.)

There are some fantastic archived videos from their first streaming festival, UNISON – and thanks to being live performances, you also don’t run into copyright claims and whatnot. You can look up all these fine people on Bandcamp. You should.

Take for instance this eyeball-searing, sharp AV creation by William Fields [Philadelphia, USA] (sorry, Twitch embedding isn’t working for me):

[A/V] William Fields performs live in UNISON•

There’s excellent brooding, dark ambient from Hüma Utku [Istanbul -> Berlin DE, formerly known as RAN]:

Hüma Utku performs live in UNISON

Furious deconstructed textures meet up with a frenzy of glitched-out geometries in the AV set of Maxime Corbeil-Perron [Montreal CA] – spaced nicely into a set of acts, each gorgeous:

[A/V] Maxime Corbeil-Perron performs live in UNISON

And if you want some chilly, yawning meditations of sound made with modular wires, then there’s subtle and beautiful set by Ringhof [Switzerland]:

Ringhof live in UNISON

And here’s their warm-up mix.

SET Festival · UNISON Mix01 – Idlefon

Cover Art by Kino (


Alessandro Cortini & Lawrence English – Immediate Horizon 1 (00:00)
Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini – Inside The Ruins (04:18)
Lawrence English – Hard Rain (09:15)
King Midas Sound / Fennesz – On My Mind (13:42)
Alessandro Cortini – Perdonare (16:08)
Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini – Water (18:32)
Sarah Davachi – Untitled, live in Portland [excerpt] (25:08)
Alessandro Cortini & Lawrence English – Immediate Horizon (30:37)
r beny – Glacial Tongues (35:41)

Okay, we just virtually visited Tehran with no Iranians, but – hang tight, as they’re in Georgia. Well, virtually.

In-between Conditions

Tbilisi, Georgia has worked with the local outpost of Germany’s Goethe-Institut to provide its own virtual exhibition space. You can poke your way through moody experimental inventions from a range of artists: [also available in Georgian for those speaking the language!]

That includes catastrophic, reality-melting experimental works by the superb duo NUM, whose apocalyptic-dark live set I caught early this year in Berlin at CTM Festival. Find their full work here:

The Iranian duo teamed up with artist Nikzad Arabshahi (based in Den Haag) to produce four searingly beautiful visions. Here’s one (also at top):

The duo of Milad Bagheri and Maryam Sirvan comes from northern Iran, Rasht – lest anyone think Tehran is all of Iran. (Find them on SoundCloud; they now call Tbilisi home.)

Web-exhibition “Man With a Webcam | Digital Oases” is a project of the Goethe-Institut Georgien and the platform “In-between Conditions”.

Conceived during the pandemic, the web-exhibition unites 33 artists and their 18 works created during self isolation. The exhibition works try to provide answers to the chain of changing circumstances that overwhelmed the world unexpectedly.

“Man With a Webcam | Digital Oases” is a first comprehensive and simultaneously – experimental attempt in Georgia to integrate works and the exhibition into a digital space. Therefore, all of the participant projects were created particularly for the web environment, representing search for new forms and methods in Georgian art domain.

Project authors and curators:
Khatia Tchokhonelidze, Vato Urushadze, Giorgi Spanderashvili

Anushka Chkheidze & Mananiko Kobakhidze, Galaktion Eristavi, Giorgi Rodionov, Gvantsa Jishkariani, Irina Kurtishvili, Kristine Tusiashvili, Maka Kiladze, Mariam Natroshvili & Detu Jintcharadze, NUM (Maryam Sirvan & Milad Bagheri) In an e-collaboration with Nikzad Arabshahi, Salome Vepkhvadze, Sandro Sulaberidze, Sopo Kashakashvili, Soso Meskhishvili & Tamar Giorgadze, Tamar Mchedlishvili, Tiko Imnadze, Tamar Giorgadze; Voice Yard collective: Maryam Mumladze, Diana Pankova, Olya Pylypenko, Riad Salameh, Vakho Nakashidze; Brief manifest collective: Teo Burki, Sizuo Chen, Huiping Yang, Tijana Perovic, Mariam Nozadze and Mark Mets, Emma Moor.

Design: Elene Gabrichidze & Zura Tsofurashvili
Web development: Giorgi Kazarashvili

Some other highlights (especially as the online exhibition is not the easiest to dig through):

A surrealist set of videos transports your presence to various locations – in Sopo Kashakashvili // On a Ground | In a Space:

There’s even a game – State of Emergency, by Mariam Natroshvili and Detu Jintcharadze.

Check the full exhibition for notes:

The same gallery project also shares its Post.Digital.Dreams exhibition, which includes this haunting tape installation:

Chandelier, 2020
Loop tapes, cassette players, chords and speakers

And there you are – a full-on virtual exhibition tour and festival, even if you are isolated. Big wave to Tbilsi and Tehran.