Festival Dates: 5-14 March 2010
AV Festival 10, the biennial international festival of electronic arts, including visual art, music and film, returns next year and will take place over 10 days from 5 to 14 March 2010 across the urban centres of NewcastleGateshead, Middlesbrough and Sunderland. The programme is curated around the theme of energy and includes over 20 new commissions, 20 exhibitions, 30 performances, 10 film screenings and 3 conferences.
The Festival occupies some of the region's most outstanding cultural venues including mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Tyneside Cinema. In addition, new works have been commissioned for landmark buildings including the Civic Centre Carillon Bell Tower, Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens and the north tower of the iconic Tyne Bridge in Newcastle.
The theme of energy is examined from different perspectives, ranging from kinetic, sound, light and electromagnetic energy to the spiritual and human.
Explains Festival Director Rebecca Shatwell, ‘Energy is a force through which all of life is connected, transformed, renewed and destroyed. Artists will respond to the theme from a cultural, scientific, technological and environmental perspective, to explore energy as a dynamic creative, physical and emotional force in everyday life.'
Highlights so far confirmed include:
- A certain distance, endless light. Curated in collaboration with mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), this is a unique project that brings together two extraordinary artists; the Cuban-born American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Irish artist William McKeown. Both artists' work answers the theme of energy through highly personal pursuits of beauty, happiness and freedom. Gonzalez-Torres (1957-96) is one of the most respected artists of his generation whose work has been widely exhibited internationally. McKeown (b 1962) is one of Ireland's most highly regarded artists best known for his luminous, near-abstract paintings that explore states of mind such as happiness and freedom, and qualities of nature like light, air and sky.
- Charlemagne Palestine. A series of three different performances, two for bells and one church organ, in historic buildings in Newcastle, including the Civic Centre Carillon Bell Tower, the Church of St Thomas the Martyr, and the Cathedral Church of St Nicholas. A true ‘living legend', maverick American composer Charlemagne Palestine emerged from the 1970's downtown New York music scene. At CalArts in the early 1970s, he worked amongst older composers in the vanguard of the emerging Minimalist movement, including La Monte Young, Terry Riley and later Steve Reich, however he has always considered himself a ‘maximalist'. He has gained worldwide notoriety for his transcendent and earth-shaking performances.
- Liliane Lijn, Artist Residency at Narec (New and Renewable Energy Centre). Lijn is one of the pioneers in transforming scientific thought into art and is well known for the conical, kinetic sculptures that she has been making since the 1960s. Her work is in the collections of major public institutions such as Tate, V&A, British Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2005 she was the first artist-in-residence at the NASA Space Sciences Laboratory at Berkeley, California. Lijn's work pursues the essential paradox between light and matter. She says: “I make use of new technologies to create works that represent the world as energy”.
- Iain Sinclair and Alan Moore commission inspired by North East England and the psychic energies of its urban landscape. To be performed with live musical soundscape by Stephen O'Malley, Susan Stenger and FM Einheit. As part of the project, author and filmmaker Iain Sinclair will be in residency at the Northern Region Film and Television Archive in Middlesbrough.
- Semiconductor - Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt: Heliocentric. The premiere of Semiconductor's new moving-image work, Heliocentric, co-commissioned with Northern Lights Film Festival. The work visually reveals the earth's rotation as it orbits the sun and has a soundtrack by BJ Nilsen. This three-screen, immersive installation is presented at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland.
- New commissions by sound artists Kaffe Matthews, Lee Patterson and Jana Winderen in collaboration with Laura Harrington and the Environment Agency. Using underwater microphones to make sonic readings of the North East England river network, the works will be performed in a live concert.
- A major focus on Recycled Film, including a one-day conference and screenings of work by influential figures in moving image who have worked with historic, archive and online film footage including Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Christian Marclay and Rick Prelinger.
- A social hub for the whole festival operating as the Feral Trade Cafe by artist and trader Kate Rich, serving a range of goods imported through an alternative freight network based on the movements of social networks of people. Transnational menu includes coffee from El Salvador, tortillas from Mexico and fresh sweets carried in from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- Created by visual artists Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Silent Sound is a unique experiment in transmitting subliminal messages during a live music performance. To make this project the artists joined forces with acclaimed musician Jason Pierce (Spiritualized), who scored a new orchestral composition, and leading parapsychologistDr Ciaran O'Keeffe (from TV's Most Haunted). Silent Sound has already captivated audiences at the Liverpool Biennial and is specially adapted for Middlesbrough Town Hall.
More highlights and full programme to be announced in January 2010.
Image: Liliane Lijn, Artist Residency at Narec (New and Renewable Energy Centre) with Inspire Northumberland. Lijn is one of the pioneers in transforming scientific thought into art and is well known for the conical, kinetic sculptures that she has been making since the 1960s.