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Events & Exhibitions
2007 Commissions & Projects - Highlights (2007)
In 2007 Futuresonic commissioned new artworks for the Futuresonic 2007 festival and for the inaugural Manchester International Festival, presented a showcase at the Sonar festival in Barcelona, plus co-produced the worldwide launch of the amazing TENORI-ON by Yamaha and Toshio Iwai.
Art For Shopping Centres (2007)
Transforming the city into a space of experimentation, freeing urban space, making it strange. Thirty years after Brian Eno's Music For Airports, Futuresonic presented Art For Shopping Centres, an exhibition in Manchester Arndale, the main city-centre shopping centre in Manchester, after which you will never look at a shopping centre the same again. Featuring 3 new commissioned artworks by MediaShed, Katherine Moriwaki and Harwood, it was developed over an 18 month period and featured linked activities across the UK. There were only two news items on regional TV on the opening days of the exhibition, the resignation of Tony Blair and the exhibition, which was watched by a TV audience of 4 million. Over 1 million passed through the Arndale Shopping Shopping Centre during the time it was showing. It was a part of Futuresonic's focus since 2004 on participatory projects in lived urban spaces and was curated by Drew Hemment.
Off The Map (2006)
Exhibition exploring how evolving mobile, locative and mapping technologies, often created by independent developers working collaboratively with open source tools, are opening up new cultural possibilities across the world. Lose yourself in the glitches as you glide over the deserts and canyons of Arizona, collaborate to remix the sounds of your city, take a feral robot out for a walk to sample pollution in the air. Off The Map is an exhibition by Futuresonic and PLAN - The Pervasive and Locative Arts Network. It follows in the wake of Futuresonic's Mobile Connections exhibition in 2004.
An exhibition of artist-made instruments, noise generators, audio-visual manipulators, and recordings. Featuring leading sound artists, experimental composers, noise-makers and other audio creators from the UK, Austria, France, Germany, Portugal, Japan, and the USA, each exploring what we understand to be an instrument. A mix of high tech and low tech - live installations, concert performances, and abstract busking. Curated by Colin Fallows and Drew Hemment, Instrument features an exhibition at Museum of Science and Industry Manchester plus live performances.
Urban Play (2005-onwards)
Urban Play is the art and technology strand of the Futuresonic festival, including exhibitions, workshops and wireless projects in the city streets. It was introduced in early 2006, reflecting Futuresonic's focus since 2004 on artworks in urban space, and has since been mirrored in other events in the UK and Europe.
Low Grade (2005)
Low Grade - an interlinked exhibition, workshop, music night and symposium - focuses on technological obsolescence. That computer lying in the back of your closet, the printer in your attic, the ZX Spectrum on the bottom shelf at Oxfam: you may think they're useless, but to Low Grade they're the raw materials of innovative and thought-provoking contemporary art and music. Curated by Michael Connor and film and Jackie Passmore (US).
Mobile Connections (2004)
Mobile Connections was the first in a series of international exhibitions exploring the arts of wireless and mobile media. It looked at how wireless technologies enable place and location to be experienced in different ways, and at the diverse ways in which artists have pushed the limits, and solicited unexpected or unforeseen results, from communication media past and present, from the radio and turntable, to mobile telephony, streaming and wireless LAN.
View first exhibition website.
Turntable Re:mix (2004)
Futuresonic 2004 celebrated 25 years of the Technics 1200MK2 record deck with a series of events showcasing some of the world's leading turntable pioneers past and present, as well as artists and technical innovators who are detonating the art of playback. The four featured strands were liveDJ, mobileDJ, scratchDJ and futureDJ. The four featured strands were liveDJ, mobileDJ, scratchDJ and futureDJ.
Migrations and Eurodac Express (2002/3)
As barbed wire goes up between communities and around continents, Migrations explored strategies for crossing artistic, cultural and political borders. A conference in association with Amnesty International was followed by Eurodac Express, a journey through the hardshell of Fortress Europe that followed the route of migrants and refugees through the forests of Russia, across Poland and through the internal borders of Europe, and culminated in a major exhibition at Gallery Oldham with photography and film giving a voice to the migrants met during the project and their experiences of displacement and travel.
Visit Eurodac express website.
A UK tour of Blacktronica, London's first forum for Black electronic expression, produced by Futuresonic. Conceived by DJ, producer and writer, and Attica Blues frontman Charlie Dark, Blacktronica aims to showcase the emerging forms of Black electronic music from London and around the globe, and features artistes, poets, writers, architects, fashion designers and musicians. A part of the 'Brought to you by Guinness(R) Foreign Extra Stout' series.
A global celebration of Manchester's music and visual culture, events in South Africa, Trinidad, Venezuela, India and Romania, culminating in a two festival featuring collaborations with artists encountered during the tour, presented by Futuresonic as a part of Cultureshock, the cultural programme of the Commonwealth Games. Produced and commissioned by Futuresonic and British Council.
Noises of dissent and visions from the shattered lens of CCTV and surveillance. Broken Channel looked at the contemporary experience of surveillance, seeking to decode the transmissions and explore the disembodied aesthetics of individuals reduced to spectres flickering across screens, or to highlight how control mechanisms can be disrupted or refunctioned.
Visit cocosolidciti label page.
Women in Electronica (2000-1)
Women in Electronica is a strand of the Futuresonic festival that from 2000 to 2001 facilitated performance, training and networking opportunities specifically for female artists. As part of the futuresonic<01> festival, Women in Electronica presented See in Sound, a series of workshops teaching techniques in electronic music and digital sound composition, focussing on the production of soundtracks for films made from surveillance camera footage.
Audiovisual arts from by Audiorom, Biosphere/Higher Intelligence Agency, Bob Osterag, Derek Richards, D-Fuse, Digit, Disinformation, Hexstatic, onedotzero, Romandson, Sacred Circles, squidsoup, and others
Sensesonic was a series of events and online discussions exploring audiovisual enviroments and sonic space, seeking to prize open the grey area between clubs and installations, and looking at the implications of the convergence of media for audience participation. Included curated online discussions featuring the likes of David Toop and Mary Anne Amacher, and club events with Cristian Vogel mixing the 'heavy gravity' of beats with the unique effects of 3D sound. Click here to view the Sensesonic archives.
Sub.merge created a unique interface between clubbers, DJs and visual crews, allowing clubbers to influence what they are hearing or seeing by exploring the club environment, through a series of gizmo's hidden around the venue. Sub.Merge will create a living party space, blurring the relationship between performers and audience. Curated by Drew Hemment and Helen Sloan (a Futuresonic co-production).
The first full Futuresonic festival in September 1996 was a defining event for the field, and its format has influenced events internationally. It featured adventures in sound and vision, experimental sounds & eclectic beats in a networked environment, mutant music machines, and digital demos and jamming sessions. Artists included Cristian Vogel, Andrew Weatherall, Autechre, The Wire Sound System, Kaffe Matthews, Matt Black, Sprawl, Alexi Blinov, Soundbeam, SSEYO koan, Header, Locust, Osymyso, Nine Bar ft Cujo, Sureshot, Resonator, Flavanaughts, Simon Mu, Talvin Singh, Matt Ducasse (Skylab), si/(cut).db, bitTonic, Pete Lawrence, Drew Hemment and Paul Thomas.