MACHINE CZARDAS – music-performance

Infamous living legend and Neoist insurgent Istvan Kantor is known for his wide range of artistic experimentations, from performance art to video, new media, robotics, music and more. On his way to the WRO Biennale to be special guest at the international media-art event, Kantor stops over Piotrkow to appear at Interakcje Festival with a music-performance. This performance will feature him as singer and electro-instrumentalist in a visually shaped action-package, including flag waving, floor convulsion, video, fire, flickering propaganda, ripped open for this special occasion. In Kantor’s operatic performance vision a disillusioned Robotariat, the working class of information transmission, hopelessly struggles for survival. Kantor describes the segmented piece of songs as „a robo-zombie rebel-folk vamp-gipsy electro-riot loopmachine remix.”

Just like in performance art, Kantor’s history in music dates back to many decades. Since the early 80s Istvan Kantor aka Monty Cantsin has released over a dozen album of songs and achieved a strong influence in the alternative music networks as a performer.

His music feeds from his Eastern European background and also from many styles and movements, from classical sounds to 80s synth-pop, punk, industrial noise, anti-music, french chanson, military march, …


Istvan Kantor was born in Budapest where he studied medical science. In 1976 he defected to Paris and from there he immigrated to Montreal. He also lived in Portland, New York, Berlin and presently is a resident of Toronto where his three children, Jericho, Babylon and Nineveh were born in the 90’s.

His main subjects are the decay of technology and the struggle of the individual in technological society. His work has been described by the media as intellectually rebellious, anti-authoritarian, as well as technically innovative and highly experimental. He likes to break things and set things on fire. He uses conflict and crisis to present his cause, often placing himself in the center of danger and uncertainty. His radically changing creative ambitions are always related to his living environment and social situation.

Throughout the past three decades he has been arrested and jailed many times for his guerilla interventions in museums. He also received many prestigious awards among them the Telefilm Canada Award for Best Canadian Film and Video in 1998, the Transmediale Award in 2001, in Berlin, the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts in 2004, in Ottawa, and the EMAF 2009 Award at the European Media Art Festival in Osnabruck.


The Robotar Identity and the Robotariat In my interpretation the Robotar is a bio-tech creature embedded into the socio-political matrix of today’s hyper-technological transmission society. The Robotariat is the new working-class of information transmission.The term is a simple composition of robot and proletar, and thus it is closely tied to history and to the related philosophical movements starting from the early stages of industrial societies. But I deal with the accumulation of these ideas in non-linear bases always making it clear that in my interpretation past, present and future are not separated and everything is happening simultaneously at the same time at 6 o’clock. The Robotar lives in the past-present-future complex. The vertical 6 o’clock sign is opposing the horizontal line of chrono-linear representation and manifests the massive accumulation of actions and ideas. The hopeless, disillusioned Robotar is craving for a new extraterrestrial world. This hunger manifests in violent sexual hallucinations that expresses the falling Robotariat’s former collective idealism in relation to psychotic icon-destruction and greedy vandalism. The Robotar puts pressure on the

world for the final and ultimate realization of a redeeming revolutionary orgy. The Robotariat works in close relationship to other members of transmission society such as zombies, vampires and illegal aliens.