Thu 2 March 2006 – Sun 12 March 2006

The curatorial theme of AV Festival 06 was life sciences. Our perceptions of what life is, when it starts and ends and how it works have been transformed by science and technology. AV Festival 06 featured works that vividly show how technology can mimic, impersonate and simulate life. It also explored the way that biotechnology, genetic engineering and cloning have radically altered the way we imagine life.

AV Festival 06 took place across Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, and included 13 exhibitions, 29 screenings, 8 performances, 17 talks, symposia and workshops, 9 new commissions, and 4 launch events. Over ten days it achieved 34,142 visits, of which 88% were new audiences to the Festival.

Festival Director: Honor Harger

Anthony McCall: Swell

Tue 7 March – Tue 7 April 2006

Reg Vardy Gallery

AV Festival 06 are proud to have co-commissioned a new work by one of Britain’s most acclaimed visual artists, Anthony McCall. Swell is a fifty-foot...more

Ryoji Ikeda: data.matrix & C4i

Fri 3 March 2006, 7.30–9pm

The Sage Gateshead

AV Festival 06 presented the world premiere of Ikeda’s new work data.matrix (working title) subsequently renamed datamatics. Using pure data as a source...more

Gina Czarnecki: Spine

Thu 2 March – Sun 12 March 2006

Newcastle Civic Centre

Gina Czarnecki’s first ever publicly sited work Spine was premiered at AV Festival 06, as a twelve-metre high projection onto the...more

Michael Nyman: Orchestrating the Genome

Sun 5 March 2006, 6.30pm

The Sage Gateshead

AV Festival 06 and The Sage Gateshead presented a new specially commissioned concert by one of the world’s finest composers...more

Suguru Goto: RoboticMusic

Sat 4 March – Sun 5 March 2006

The Sage Gateshead

Suguru Goto is a Japanese composer and multi-media artist. This was the UK premiere of his work. Goto is gradually constructing a performing...more

alva noto (Carsten Nicolai): Transall

Fri 3 March 2006, 9.30pm

The Sage Gateshead

alva noto (Carsten Nicolai) is one of the most important and critically acclaimed electronic musicians working today. For AV...more

Kenneth Rinaldo: Autotelematic Spider Bots

Wed 8 March – Sun 19 March 2006

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

AV Festival 06 commissioned the eminent media artist...more

Critical Art Ensemble: Marching Plague

Sat 4 March 2006, 6.45pm

Tyneside Cinema

The film Marching Plague is Critical Art Ensemble’s newest work and a powerful critique of UK-US bio-weapons research...more

Andy Gracie & Brian Lee Yung Rowe: autoinducer PH-1

Wed 8 March – Sun 16 April 2006

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

autoinducer PH-1 is an eco-system made up of three pool...more

Neil Bromwich & Zoë Walker: Celestial Radio

Thu 2 March – Sun 12 March 2006

River Tyne

Broadcasting from the glittering mirror tiled boat, the 'Celeste', Celestial Radio...more

Richard Fenwick: What I Know About Stem Cells

Sat 4 March 2006, 5pm

Tyneside Cinema

AV Festival 06 presented the world premiere of a newly commissioned film by Richard Fenwick. What I Know About Stem Cells...more

Claire Davies: Wonderland

Thu 2 March – Sun 30 April 2006

National Glass Centre

Nanotechnology is the creation of an unimaginably small technology that will enter the most complex systems. Durham-based artist Claire Davies...more

Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr: The Remains of Disembodied Cuisine

Fri 10 March – Sun 12 March 2006 

Cafe Sassari

Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr work together as the Tissue...more

Marius Watz: System C

Thu 2 March – Sun 12 March 2006

Middlesbrough Town Centre

System C by Marius Watz was part of the offsite project Animated Drawings, organised by mima, Middlesbrough Institute...more

Various Artists: Trip the Light Fantastic

Wed 8 March – Sun 30 April 2006

National Glass Centre

Trip the Light Fantastic explores the theme of light. The ubiquitous yet elusive qualities of light have...more

Time's Up: Sensory Circus

Fri 10 March – Sun 12 March 2006

Middlesbrough Town Hall Crypt

Time’s Up are one of Europe’s most innovative arts groups and their Sensory Circus has become a star-attraction at...more

Helena Swatton: State

Fri 10 March – Sun 12 March 2006 

Gallery TS1

The magnificent and awe-inspiring natural environment is the starting point for this reflective journey of images by Newcastle...more

James Hutchinson: Planesong

Fri 10 March – Sun 12 March 2006 

Gallery TS1

Planesong is an installation by Newcastle-based artist James Hutchinson. It presents the audience with an immersive...more

Dave Allinson, Michelle Tripp and others: The Primrose Path

Fri 10 March – Sun 12 March 2006 

Middlesbrough Town Centre

Stockton artists, Dave Allinson & Michelle Tripp created an art trail for the Festival - installing new...more

D-Fuse: Undercurrent

Tue 7 March 2006, 9pm–12am

National Glass Centre

D-Fuse presented their new work Undercurrent as the closing event of the Festival’s Sunderland launch night. Undercurrent is a multi-screen live...more

NAME: 2020

Sat 4 March 2006, 8.30pm

Dance City

2020 provided a showcase for Newcastle-based artists alongside some of the world’s finest VJs, aiming to bring the art of VJing to a wider public...more

Richard Fenwick: Artificial Worlds V.3.0

Sat 11 March 2006, 7.30pm

Middlesbrough Empire

AV Festival 06 presented the world premiere of a stunning new film by Richard Fenwick, one of a generation of new filmmakers...more

Various Artists: LifeLike Short Films

Sat 4 March 2006, 3pm

Tyneside Cinema

This fascinating selection of recent digital film and animation work responds to the AV Festival 06 theme. Including motion...more

Star & Shadow Short Films

Tue 7 March 2006, 6pm

Tyneside Cinema

The seven works in this short programme range from films that engage with biotechnology, videos that use new media to represent biological and...more

Ishiro Honda: Gojira / Godzilla

Thu 9 March 2006, 8.30pm

Tyneside Cinema

In 2005 the BFI gave the original uncut Japanese Godzilla (Gojira) its first-ever UK release, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the first atomic...more

James Whale: Frankenstein

Wed 8 March 2006, 6pm

Tyneside Cinema

Dr. Frankenstein creates a monster from various posthumous ‘donors’ and combines them into a creature, to which he wishes to bestow life. The film...more

Woody Allen: Sleeper

Sat 11 March 2006, 6pm

Tyneside Cinema

Woody Allen stars as Miles Monroe, a health-food store owner and clarinet player who walks into a hospital for minor treatment, falls into a coma...more

David Cronenberg: eXistenZ

Tue 7 March 2006, 7.30pm

Kino Middlesbrough

Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is the world’s leading games designer. Her new virtual reality game ‘eXistenZ’ links players to the game by a...more

David Cronenberg: Shivers

Wed 8 March 2006, 7.30pm

Kino Middlesbrough

Though he made a huge splash in 2005 with his acclaimed A History of Violence, Cronenberg’s reputation was built on a string of truly strange and...more

Ridley Scott: Blade Runner

Fri 10 March 2006, 8pm

Tyneside Cinema

Ridley Scott’s seminal take on Phillip K Dick’s story has influenced filmmakers, advertisers, fashion designers and architects. Harrison Ford is the...more

Andrew Niccol: Gattaca

Sun 5 March 2006, 1pm

Tyneside Cinema

Vincent (Ethan Hawke) is one of the last natural babies born into a genetically-enhanced world. It’s a society where health and achievement in life is...more

Michael Winterbottom: Code 46

Mon 6 March 2006, 6.30pm

Tyneside Cinema

In a near future, in a world ruled by a totalitarian government, checking of the genetic code is mandatory for any type of possible relationship between man...more

Zak Penn: Incident at Loch Ness

Thu 9 March 2006, 8pm

Thornhill Park Cinema

Nothing is quite as it seems in this witty pseudo-documentary. Conceived and directed by Hollywood screenwriter Zak Penn (author of The Last...more

Graham Robertson: Able Edwards

Wed 8 March 2006, 8pm

Tyneside Cinema

Able Edwards explores one of the Festival’s key themes – cloning. Set in a future where a virus has wiped out life on Earth, the last...more

Roland Emmerich: Godzilla

Sat 11 March 2006, 3pm

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

Godzilla (or Gojira in Japanese) is perhaps one of the most enduring ‘creature features’ of all-time. The 1998 Hollywood version is...more

Alejandro Amenabar: Abre Los Ojos / Open Your Eyes

Sun 5 March 2006, 8pm

Tyneside Cinema

Alejandro Amenábar’s labyrinthine film, famously remade into the Hollywood blockbuster Vanilla Sky, starring Tom Cruise, is a...more

Andrew Niccol: S1m0ne

Sun 5 March 2006, 8pm

Tyneside Cinema

Andrew Niccol places Hollywood’s collective paranoia and shallowness under scrutiny with this satire about a computer generated actress. When the heroine...more

Charly Cantor: Blood

Mon 6 March 2006, 7.30pm

Kino Middlesbrough

In a contemporary subversion of the Bride of Frankenstein tale, this film depicts a scientist named Carl, who genetically engineers Lix, a girl with...more

John Frankenheimer: Seconds

Tue 7 March 2006, 8.30pm

Tyneside Cinema

John Frankenheimer made Seconds as the concluding film in his 'paranoia trilogy', following The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and Seven Days in May (1964)...more

Byung-chun Min: Natural City

Fri 10 March 2006, 10.30pm

Tyneside Cinema

Billing itself as an unofficial sequel to Blade RunnerNatural City picks up on the story set out in the original and takes it in a familiar direction...more

Kazuaki Kiriya: Casshern

Sat 11 March 2006, 4pm

Tyneside Cinema

Casshern is set late in the 21st century. After 50 years of devastating war between Europa and the Eastern Federation, the latter has emerged victorious...more

Bryan Forbes: The Stepford Wives

Sat 4 March 2006, 5pm

Tyneside Cinema

This cult movie is a classic of seventies sci-fi. Joanna Eberhart arrives in the quaint little town of Stepford, Connecticut...more

Frank Marshall: Arachnophobia

Sun 12 March 2006, 2pm

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

The film begins when a deadly poisonous spider hitches a ride (inside the coffin of a deceased photographer) from its home...more

Steve Sekely: The Day of the Triffids

Sun 12 March 2006, 3.30pm

Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens

This sci-fi classic starts as a shower of meteorites produces a glow that blinds anyone that looks at it...more

Jim O'Connolly: Valley of the Gwangi

Sat 4 March 2006, 12pm

Tyneside Cinema

Halfway between Rio Bravo and Jurassic Park, this feature classic is brought to life by the stop-action special effects talents of...more

Brad Bird: Iron Giant

Sat 4 March 2006, 10am

Tyneside Cinema

This wonderful family film is based upon the 1968 story, Iron Man by the British poet laureate, Ted Hughes. The film is about a giant metal machine...more

Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha: Robots

Sat 11 March 2006, 12pm

Tyneside Cinema

In a world populated solely by mechanical beings, Rodney Copperbottom, the son of a dish washing robot, sets off for...more

Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly: Osmosis Jones

Sat 11 March 2006, 10am

Tyneside Cinema

Frank Pepperidge (Bill Murray) has an incredibly unhealthy diet. Inside Frank, his body is waging war to keep him healthy. Osmosis...more

Symposium: Sustaining Life, Designing Life

Fri 10 March – Sat 11 March 2006, 10am–6.30pm

University of Teesside

Sustaining Life, Designing Life was a major two-day international symposium, organised by...more

Artist Talk: Ryoji Ikeda & Carsten Nicolai

Sat 4 March 2006, 11.30am

Tyneside Cinema

A rare chance to hear two highly influential electronic composers and artists discuss their work. Internationally renowned for...more

Artist Talk: Anthony McCall

Wed 8 March 2006, 4pm

Reg Vardy Gallery

In this talk Anthony McCall introduced the themes and concepts that drive his work, concentrating on his new work co-commissioned by AV Festival 06...more

Artist Talk: Sunderland Exhibitions

Wed 8 March 2006, 6–8pm

Starting at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

This tour across all of the AV Festival 06 commissions in Sunderland provided an introduction to...more

Artist Talk: Sound Art

Mon 6 March 2006, 10am–3pm

Tyneside Cinema

ISIS Arts and AV Festival 06 presented informal talks by three sound artists, who discussed their work, techniques and inspiration: Zoë Irvine...more

Cafe Scientifique: Steve Grand

Mon 6 March 2006, 7pm

World Headquarters

Café Scientifique is a regular event hosted by the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute in Newcastle. To celebrate AV Festival 06, Café...more

Seminar: Creativity Summit

Wed 8 March 2006, 2-5pm

Centre for Life

Codeworks Connect held its annual Creativity Summit, as part of AV Festival 06. The summit explored the issues of creativity in digital media...more

Seminar: GameHorizon

Thu 9 March 2006, 3–6pm


GameHorizon, the collaborative network for North East games companies, hosted a forum to explore the link between real life and games. With the advent...more

Seminar: Frankenstein Created Bimbo

Sat 4 March 2006, 1pm

Tyneside Cinema

This seminar was led by Dr Gail Nina Anderson and looked at the way film has depicted the female body, via scientific and medical...more

Workshop: Sound Art Lab

Mon 6 March – Thu 9 March 2006


ISIS Arts and AV Festival 06 presented a four-day intensive audio workshop for artists based in North East England, to develop...more

Workshop: Tissue Engineering

Tue 7 - Wed 8 March 2006

University of Teesside

This two-day intensive workshop, led by Oron Catts & Dr. Stuart Hodgetts (Symbiotica Lab, Australia) introduced participants to basic principals of...more

Workshop: Build Your Own Computer Game

Mon 6 March 2006, 10am

Middlesbrough City Learning Centre

This intensive five-day workshop for adults offered comprehensive coverage of both the creative...more

Workshop: Shadow Play

Sat 4 March 2006

The Sage Gateshead

Shadow Play is a fantastic creative adventure in a magical audio-visual environment for under-7s. Participants made their own shadow creature...more

Schools: Making the Most of Open Source Software

Wed 8 March 2006, 6–8pm

Middlesbrough City Learning Centre

‘Open Source’ software provides free equivalents of expensive licensed software, such as Photoshop...more

Schools: Let me tell you a story

Mon 6 March 2006, 1pm–3pm

The Sage Gateshead

How can technology and digital tools be best used to support creative play and learning in Early Years settings? Are desktop computers an appropriate...more

Opening Gala

Fri 3 March 2006, 7.30pm–2am

The Sage Gateshead

AV Festival 06 took over The Sage Gateshead presenting six and a half hours of live performance including world premieres of work by Ryoji Ikeda and...more

Closing Gala

Sat 11 March 2006, 7.30–11pm 

Middlesbrough Empire

The last night of AV Festival 06 took place at Middlesbrough’s Empire Nightclub. The first part of the evening was a reception to celebrate the world...more

Exhibition Launch: Sunderland

Tue 7 March 2006, 5pm–12am 

Various Venues

This special evening launched all of the AV Festival 06 exhibitions in Sunderland. A tour of all four exhibitions and commissions was followed by a party...more

Exhibition Launch: Middlesbrough

Fri 10 March 2006, 7.30pm–late 

Various Venues

AV Festival 06 presented four new art exhibitions in Middlesbrough: The Primrose PathPlanesongState...more