Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, The Remains of Disembodied Cuisine, 2006. Photo: Mark Pinder. Courtesy of AV Festival 06

James Hutchinson, Planesong, 2006. Courtesy of the artist.

Times Up, Sensory Circus, 2006. Photo: Mark Pinder. Courtesy of AV Festival 06.

Helena Swatton, State, 2006. Courtesy of the artist.

Dave Allison, Michelle Tripp & Others, The Primrose Path, 2006. Photo: Sy Wainwright. Courtesy of AV Festival

AV Festival 06 presented four new art exhibitions in Middlesbrough: The Primrose Path, Planesong, State and The Remains of Disembodied Cuisine. This special evening launched all the exhibitions, and guided visitors on a tour round all the exhibition sites. Refreshments were provided at each event and the evening culminated in a late night party inside Time’s Up’s amazing Sensory Circus.

7–8.30pm: Public sites including Thistle Hotel, BBC Bus, O2 shop window
7.30pm: Gallery TS1
8.30pm: Café Sassari
9pm – late: Town Hall Crypt 

Dave Allinson & Michelle Trip: The Primrose Path
Public sites including Thistle Hotel, BBC Bus, O2 shop window
Stockton artists, Dave Allinson & Michelle Tripp created an art trail for the Festival - installing new artworks in retail spaces, public places, and other unusual locations around Middlesbrough. In Trans-Plant, the artists transformed the BBC bus, turning it into a ‘conceptual garden’ with film and animated material based on the theme of growth. Simple Mechanisms was an installation in the Thistle Hotel, which featured machine ‘robots’ navigating pre-mapped landscapes. Flag-block in the 02 shop window used material designed to fool security firewalls, to avoid being flagged as junk mail. 

Helena Swatton: State
Gallery TS1
The magnificent and awe-inspiring natural environment is the starting point for this reflective journey of images by Newcastle based artist, Helena Swatton. State is a large single screen video installation, filmed on location in Iceland, especially prepared for, and premiered at, AV Festival 06. Representing the transient state of life itself, it reveals an intriguing window of opportunity to dwell on the ‘moment’, to allow the viewer to consider the inherent and incessant passing of time.

James Hutchinson: Planesong
Gallery TS1
Planesong is an installation by Newcastle based artist James Hutchinson. It presents the audience with an immersive space consisting of multiple projection screens that show abstract graphic ‘planes’ created using Processing software. The title refers to the structured nature of the medieval music, ‘plainsong’. Viewers will see animated constructions of architectural planes, which are controlled by algorithms. Separate animations ‘exist’ until the architecture reconfigures itself. The architectural planes are self-generating while a viewer controls their navigation through the space using the hardware of the console game — a game-pad controller. Planesong suggests the construction and deconstruction of the basic building blocks of life, both digital and biological — it questions life, power, control and technology. The hardware and programming in Planesong is by Spencer Roberts. 

Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr: The Remains of Disembodied Cuisine
Café Sassari
Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr work together as The Tissue Culture & Art Project. Credited as the leading lights in the rapidly developing ‘bioart’ movement, Catts & Zurr raise direct and controversial issues about life. These artists actually grow their own art in biology labs. Using the techniques of bioscience, the artists grow sculptures using living tissue. For Catts & Zurr, the stuff of life is both the physical substance and the subject of their work.

Time’s Up: Sensory Circus
Town Hall Crypt
The Sensory Circus is a series of rooms and interactive environments in which you animate the space yourself in conjunction with games technology. Mood Swings trigger projections and sound, playing with forms of machine perception and reaction. Sonic Pong embeds you in a lifesized world of the computer game Pong - your body mass controls the paddles as you manipulate samples of old 8bit games. Beatcycles puts you in whirling control of an organically growing beatbox.  

Produced by AV Festival 06 

Exhibition Launch: Middlesbrough


Fri 10 March 2006, 7.30pm–late 

Various Venues

Starting at Thistle Hotel
Fry Street
Middlesbrough TS1 1JH