EFA newsletter FestFlash 2/2013: “Festival Bytes: Festivals, art and technologies”

22 August 2013

The newsletter FestFlash of the European Festivals Association (EFA) invites you on a journey through the world of festivals! The August edition looks at a variety of festival projects related to technology in the arts: the Edinburgh International Festival focuses its 2013 edition on the relation between art and technology; the Izmir International Festival used new technology to reach out to its audience; the London International Festival of Theatre introduced the position of a digital producer; the Ljubljana Festival and the Bergen International Festival let art and science meet; and the Music Biennale Zagreb explored the sound of images.

Technology seizes and shifts our perceptions of the world

“If it is the role of the artist to convert a strand of silver nitrate into a portrait, a sound wave into a memory, or an LED into a provocation, then we encourage you to come to Edinburgh in August for a very special occasion filled with pre-recorded mischief, virtual mystery and vivid make-believe,” said Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, introducing the 2013 programme (9 August to 1 September). The artistic programme focuses on the relation between art and technology, a topic which is explored more in-depth in a series of talks and workshops. Continue reading!

Sounds of memory: co-creation of a musical portrait of Edinburgh

Edinburgh residents, visitors, and fans and performers at the Edinburgh International Festival were called on to send in sound files which capture their memories of Edinburgh, and its transformation into the Festival City each August. What is the first sound you hear in the morning? What is your favourite Festival memory? What does your street sound like? The Festival invited people to record or describe these sounds and to send them in to provide composer Tod Machover with the basis of a creative work which continued to develop with public interaction, and which will premier on 27 August during the 2013 EIF. Continue reading!

Spaxels taking off in Ljubljana

The opening of the Ljubljana Festival in Slovenia was a special one: In its musical part it included three glorious compositions by Anton Bruckner, Richard Wagner and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. This exceptional musical experience was enriched by an amazing visual co-creation where art and science met: the Spaxels, the Quadcopter-Swarm of the Ars Electronica Futurelab, took to the air again. Continue reading!

Technology creates emotion

Lille Lungegårdsvannet is simply the most visible spot in Bergen. This octagonal water right in the city of Bergen is 700 meters in circumference, and is not an artificial lake. It was under greater focus in the evening of 22 May, as the 2013 Bergen International Festival officially opened outdoors with an especially composed electronic concert called Murmuration. It was set within an ever-changing multimedia-light-sculpture using latest high-end-technology in the form of 35 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), LED-architecture and artful light design. Continue reading!

What does an image sound like?

In April 2013, one day before the music opening of the Music Biennale Zagreb (MBZ), the opening of Ivan Marušić Klif’s exhibition at the Student Centre Gallery took place. I.M. Klif is one of the most recognisable and most interesting names of the Croatian new media art scene. His continuous artistic work on the “borders of genres”, his questioning of possibilities offered by media, as well as his open approach ensured him a prominent place in contemporary visual arts. He has been dealing for many years now with exploring the relationships between sound and image and their manipulation. Continue reading!

To Hack Or Not To Hack? (Definitely to hack)

“Hi. My name’s Jonathan and I’m Digital Producer at LIFT.” I’ve found myself saying this a lot in the past months. Pleased as punch as I am with the work I do, I’ve also found this new job title a little problematic. I suppose it’s the ‘Digital’ part that’s somewhat misleading. That overly used word ‘digital’ always seems to suggest some kind of dichotomy; a separation between ‘digital’ and ‘analogue’ or ‘digital’ and ‘physical’ that’s outmoded and, as we all know, vaporising before our very eyes. Thinking ‘digital’ vs everything else out there is reminiscent of a past (and in some cases all too present) when digital is an afterthought and treated as a one-way channel or trendy add-on. Now that digital underpins nearly everything we do, it becomes next to meaningless as a descriptor. Continue reading!

A real sense of deepness in sound

The International Izmir Festival combines its mission to preserve cultural heritage and the aim to reach out to new audiences: through the use of new technology, the concert of the New York Philharmonic was live-streamed at the square outside the Ahmed Adnan Saygun Arts Centre with a very sophisticated sound system. “It was a sold-out concert; many people couldn’t get tickets anymore. For those, an LED screen was set up. A ‘7.1 dolby prologic 2’ sound system allowed to create a virtual concert-hall with perfect 3D sound – a real sense of deepness in sound isolated from the external noise. Almost 500 people experienced this great concert in the middle of Izmir,” explains Festival Coordinator Ceyda Berk. Continue reading!

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