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What is it?
Manchester’s pioneering FutureEverything festival takes place city-wide, bringing together an explosive music programme, premieres of contemporary visual art and trailblazing speakers from around the world, in an entertaining exploration of the artistic and political possibilities of new participatory technologies.
FutureEverything 2012 features a line-up of ground-breaking artists and thought-leaders, including acclaimed electronic music producer and Ninja Tune artist Amon Tobin, performance art group Blast Theory and talks by a host of seminal thinkers including Icelandic MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a past spokesperson for Wikileaks who instigated a massive change in the Icelandic political system through social media. The festival occupies the city across a diverse mix of venues including the Museum of Science and Industry and the historic Victoria Baths.
In its 17th year, FutureEverything 2012 takes inspiration from two significant milestones; the 75th anniversary of the Mass Observation Movement and the UN International Year of Co-operatives. The common theme for both movements is the changing nature of collective action which is examined by the art, music and conference strands of the Festival which, this year, is named ‘FutureEverybody’. The Mass Observation Movement began thanks to an organisation founded in 1937 with the aim of creating an ‘anthropology of ourselves’ by studying the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain.
Music Programme Highlights
Headlining the festival is Amon Tobin ISAM (Live), the spectacular A/V show from the Ninja Tune artist. FutureEverything brings the show to the North of England for the first time. With the only other 2012 shows taking place in Brixton and at Coachella festival, this offers a real opportunity for Northern audiences to experience the dizzying onslaught of projection mapping onto an enormous stage set – an A/V show that is truly dependant on both sound and visuals to create a masterful, 3D assault on the senses.
Brazilian-born Amon Tobin first emerged between 1994-1995 with a string of 12″ singles on a small London-based record label called 9Bar Records. The album that followed, Adventures In Foam, paved the way for a whole generation of electronic productions and prompted his signing to the prodigious Ninja Tune in 1996. He has since gone on to record seven critically-acclaimed albums under his own name on Ninja that have since helped define the label as a force in musical innovation and diversity. In addition, Amon has produced a small number of radically diverse original scores ranging from George Palfi’s cult cinema oddity Taxidermia to Tom Clancy’s video game blockbuster Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.
Matthew Herbert’s One Pig marries production techniques with the absurdly theatrical to underline a political point. Tim Hecker performs his organ compositions in-situ within the wonderful St. Philip’s Church, a space also utilised by Forest Swords. Alt-J and No Ceremony headline a specially curated North-West showcase at Quay House.
Art Programme Highlights
Located in the 1830 Warehouse, a Grade 1* listed building which forms part of the Museum of Science and Industry’s site in Castlefield, highlights include the premiere of ‘I’d Hide You’, a ‘game of stealth, cunning and adventure’ to be experienced by participants using smartphones, the internet and smart television, staged by internationally renowned artists’ group, Blast Theory. ‘Human Resources’ by Lawrence Epps is a new interpretation of a piece, which in 2011 saw 6,000 “additional commuters” taking to the streets of London and Stoke-on-Trent in the form of miniature ceramic figures for the British Ceramics Biennial.
Blast Theory, artists’ group is renowned internationally as one of the most adventurous artists’ groups using interactive media, creating groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting.
Aaron Koblin and Takashi Kawashima’s trailblazing ‘Ten Thousand Cents’ is presented in Manchester for the first time as a print and video installation; the magical ‘Ant Ballet’ by Ollie Palmer is the world’s first ballet to exclusively feature ants. ‘Theatre Jukebox presents Mass Observation’ is a new work by artists Theatre Jukebox, presented on a new digital canvas taking material and inspiration from the Mass Observation Archive. Artists Joern Roeder & Jonathan Pirnay explore issues around accessibility and internet privacy with ‘fbFaces’ a fascinating installation using the public profiles of Facebook users and their friends, newly created specific to Manchester following its German premiere in 2011.
Manchester’s historic Victoria Baths is the venue for ‘Handmade’, an interactive craft fair from artists working in craft and digital technology, designed to encourage visitors to create their own DIY artworks. Alongside ‘Handmade’ is a ‘Zine Symposium’ displaying Manchester zines, with workshops where audiences can contribute to the making of a collective Victoria Baths Fanzine.
On the 17th & 18th May at the Museum of Science and Industry, the FutureEverything Conference examines a new participatory culture that is changing our world. Bringing together the latest debate and visionary ideas from the people who are at the forefront of change, and the future-thinkers who enable us to see the possibilities of such connectivity including keynote speakers Carlo Ratti, Rohan Gunatillake and Cesar A. Hidalgo (featured in Wired Magazine’s The Smart List 2012: 50 People Who Will Change The World). Additional keynotes, speakers and panelists include Bilal Randeree (Al Jazeera) and Birgitta Jónsdóttir.
FutureEverything is an award-winning multi-arts festival, based in Manchester. It comprises a conference, art exhibition and live music programme that focus on the impact of digital culture on our everyday lives. FutureEverything has a strong global network and international profile, and is recognised around the world for leading pioneering projects and important international debates.
More info: futureeverything.org