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2024 O+ Kingston Theme: NO+ise

The O+ Festival will return to Kingston, NY for the 14th annual exchange of art, music and wellness October 11-13th, 2024.

This year’s O+ Festival explores the duality of noise.

In this year of consequential electoral politics, protest, war, disinformation, oversaturation and overstimulation we are seeking to examine, engage with and transcend the noise of our humanity. 

Noise can be heard, seen or felt. It is not merely a nuisance or disturbance to be silenced but a dynamic force that shapes our perceptions, emotions, and interactions. It is a metaphor for the constant barrage of stimuli that inundates our senses, shaping our perceptions and influencing our behaviors. It is the gray area between what appears black and white where the majority of life happens. It can distract, obscure, and harm as it can also clarify, motivate and energize. 

Within noise lies the potential for both disruption and innovation, discord and harmony. At once, noise has the capacity to uplift, inspire, and unite as well as to be used to disrupt or distract us from what is real or distance us from the sounds of our own minds. Noise can be righteous, insistent, a catalyst for profound transformation, a source of creativity, and a vehicle for social change. Through embracing the richness of noise in all its forms, we seek to foster a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between individual expression and collective experience. There are power dynamics inherent in noise – who controls the narrative, whose voices are amplified, and whose are silenced. Inequities and injustices are perpetuated by the amplification of certain voices over others. We can reclaim agency in the face of noise, forging connections, and building communities grounded in empathy and understanding. But we must reflect critically on the threats posed by the manipulation of reality in the digital age and not be overwhelmed into complicity by the din.

We are calling artists, musicians and writers of all mediums, genres and modalities to explore the paradoxical nature of noise and its role in shaping our shared human experience. They are invited to reflect on their own relationship with noise – to interrogate the sources of discord in their lives and envision pathways toward harmony and equilibrium. From vibrant murals that capture the pulse and persistence of life on a grand scale to immersive, intimate soundscapes that invite contemplation, to drum beats, exclamations, collective exhales and shared silence, we hope to build a symphony of noise– full of the beauty, dissonance, harmony and resonance, chaos, silence and amplification – in order to reframe noise not as a disturbance, but as a vibrant force of empowerment, positivity, liberation and connection from which deeper truths can emerge.