Art & Culture

My FutureEverything 2011 picks

Meme Topology by sosolimited

I’m gutted that I’ll be missing FutureEverything in Manchester next week (11-14 May). For the lucky ones going, I thought I’d highlight the things I’d be bee-lining to if I was there.

OK well hang on, for those of you who have just tuned in, let me back up and say what FutureEverything is: an annual four day extravaganza of live music, art premieres, inspiring talks, club nights and events. In short, Fun with a capital F, but you can also sell it to your bosses as professional development and get them to send you.

On to this year’s programme! I wouldn’t miss talks by Sally Fort, Keri Facer, Chris Speed, Ela Kagel, Juha van ‘t Zelfde, and Kars Alfrink. (More info on the conference here). I’d be sure to check out the Steve Reich and Warpaint gigs, and would also be spotted at the ultra-intriguing Handmade event, a day devoted to contemporary craft, digital hacking, and DIY culture. In fact digital craft and maker communities seem to play a big role in the programming this year, which I think is great.

Anyway. Sigh — I can’t go. Hope you’ll be blogging and tweeting madly so I can have a taste of the experience.

Art & Culture

A little Jónsi magic


I recently had the pleasure of hearing Jónsi (of Sigur Rós fame) perform live at the Paradiso here in Amsterdam. I am not a music critic, and so it’s difficult for me to write about the performance without resorting to what may seem to be clichéd language: transcendent, sublime, stunning – but it was all those things.

I have long been a Sigur Rós fan, and had no doubt after a cursory listen online that the latest solo effort by their lead singer, Jónsi, would be to my taste exactly. That said, it is important to note the differences: Jónsi sings in English, not Hopelandic; the attack and decay happens faster, with only traces of the Takk-era Sigur Rós slow crescendos. It’s beautiful music that deserves multiple listens. In the concert environment, Jónsi was appropriately taciturn between songs, and the performance of the songs themselves was impeccable.

The visuals, which were equally what I was there to see if I am to be completely honest, were in such stunning synergy with the music that it was breathtaking. As you’ll see in the behind-the-scenes video I’ve embedded below, the 59 Productions team worked closely with Jónsi after all his songs were finished, to create a “visual track” to go along with his music. However, it is so much more than that. The animations are emotionally resonant, full of richness and compelling in their own right. The combination of potent visuals and stirring song leads audiences directly into lump-in-throat territory.

Art & Culture

My FutureEverything “Don’t Miss” List

I find myself in the same situation time and again when I arrive at a major international festival: too many events happening at once! Spoilt for choice! Unable to decide if I should go to one talk or another, which are of course happening at the very same time in different locations!

The programme for this year’s FutureEverything festival is so overflowing with juicy content, that perhaps you too will suffer this dilemma. In the face of such a cornucopia of content, there is something for everyone, but maybe you want to peek over my shoulder and see what I’ve circled in red on my FutureEverything diary? (Oh and hey, I wouldn’t mind you sharing your picks with me too!)

Ryoji Ikeda – test pattern [live set] / Mika Vainio [live]: “complex audio-visual terrain” … “analogue warmth and metallic harshness”
Konono No.1 [live] / Bass Clef [live] / Jon K: “a thundering sonic attack of 21st Century African music that sounds like nothing ever heard before”
Moldover [live] / Atau & Adam [live]: “a performer who combines the charisma of a rock star with the mad genius of a basement inventor”

GloNet: “an experimental format happening simultaneously in five cities around the globe: Manchester, Sendai, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, and Vancouver”
Shaping the City panel discussion: how are cities shaped by climate, culture, and citizen participation?
Keynote: Ben Cerveny: “taking us from 1960s Situationist ideas to current collaborative interaction in public spaces”
Keynote: Keri Facer: “Learning to live in uncertain times”
New Creativity panel discussion: “How do we play, collaborate, and create in a way that makes a real impact on the world?”
McLuhan in Europe 2011 – inaugural lecture with Darren Wershler: “describing the fascinating connections between McLuhan’s predictions and declarations”

The Feast of Trimalchio: Stunningly beautiful, UK premiere
Eyewriter: a pair of low-cost glasses & custom software that allow artists and graffiti writers with paralysis to draw using only their eyes
Cu Exhibition: “diverse and experimental contemporary art from both national and international artists”

Get tickets!

Art & Culture

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas, all the best to you for 2010.
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