1 March 2012 – 31 March 2012

“One of the most imaginative festivals to be staged in the UK for many years.”
(The Guardian)

Titled after ASLSP (As SLow aS Possible), by pioneering artist John Cage, the AV Festival 12 theme explored how artists have stretched, measured and marked the passage of time. Some works lasted the full 31 days of the Festival, others were infinite in duration or moved imperceptibly slowly.

For the first time, the Festival ran for a whole month. It took place at different speeds, paces and times of day, across Newcastle, Gateshead, Middlesbrough and Sunderland. Including 22 exhibitions, 38 film screenings, 15 concerts, six walks, a 744-hour continuous online radio, plus 16 new commissions and 18 UK premieres.

AV Festival 12 achieved 94,096 visits, a 33% increase on 2010. It attracted 24% of visitors from outside the region, contributed £516k GVA to the local economy, and achieved a return on investment of £2.88 for every £1 of public funding received. The archive of Festival highlights can be viewed below, or you can search by the categories opposite.

Festival Director: Rebecca Shatwell

Various Artists: Lament for John Cage

Sat 3 March 2012, 8-10.30pm

The Sage Gateshead

Marking the 100th anniversary of John Cage’s birth and 20th anniversary of his death, this evening focuses on... more

James Benning: Nightfall

Sat 3 March 2012, 3.50–6pm

Tyneside Cinema

Widely acclaimed for his great 16mm durational films about the American landscape, James Benning has been making new work in digital HD since 2009. We were... more

Lav Diaz: Melancholia

Sat 10 March 2012, 1pm-11pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Three strangers arrive in rural Sagada. Past revolutionaries, they adopt different identities to manage their trauma. Exploring the legacy of failed revolution...more

Yoshi Wada: Sound Ship upon Tyne

Fri 2 March – Sat 31 March 2012

Discovery Museum

Part of the American minimalist music and Fluxus scenes in 1960-70s New York, Yoshi Wada was influenced by George... more

Hamish Fulton: Slowalk

Sat 31 March 2012, 1–3pm 

Spillers Wharf

For the finale of AV Festival 12, this leading British artist devised one of his legendary slow walks for Newcastle. Since the 1960s, Hamish Fulton has produced... more

On Kawara: One Million Years

Thu 1 March  – Sun 29 April 2012

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

One Million Years is an epic work of conceptual art. It speaks simply and directly about a subject... more

Hanne Darboven: Requiem

Sun 4 March 2012, 8-10pm

St Thomas the Martyr Church

The UK premiere of Hanne Darboven’s Requiem is performed by Thomas Dahl, Director of Music at St. Peter’s Church in Hamburg and selected by the...more

Iain Sinclair: Middlesbrough Talk

Thu 15 March 2012, 6–7.30pm

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Iain Sinclair is a leading writer, filmmaker, poet and psychogeographer...more

James Benning: Milwaukee/Duisburg

Thu 1 March – Sat 31 March 2012

Platform A Gallery

James Benning is one of the most important figures in American avant-garde film. In 1971 he... more

James Benning: One Way Boogie Woogie 2012

Thu 1 March – 9 June 2012

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

In summer 2011, James Benning returned to his hometown of Milwaukee to make a third... more

Susan Stenger: The Structures of Everyday Life: Full Circle

Thu 1 March – Sat 31 March 2012

Newcastle Civic Centre

This sound installation unites Western harmony and Eastern philosophy to mark both... more

Jonathan Schipper: Slow Motion Car Crash

Thu 1 March – Sat 31 March 2012

16 Saville Row / Locus +

Jonathan Schipper’s work provides an alternative way of experiencing the world by slowing... more

Phill Niblock: The Movement of People Working

Fri 2 March 2012, 7.45-10.15pm

The Sage Gateshead

This leading US minimalist composer and filmmaker, presented his music and films simultaneously in a special concert. The films... more

Kenneth Goldsmith: The 1703 Weather Diary of Thomas Appletree

Sun 4 March 2012, 11am-2pm

Morden Tower

In this new commission, Kenneth Goldsmith read for three hours continuously, from the... more

Yoshi Wada: Sound Ship upon Tyne Live

Sun 4 March 2012, 2-30-3.15pm

Discovery Museum

This new composition for bass drum and highland bagpipes, is performed live within Yoshi Wada’s sound installation at the Discovery... more

Wishful Thinking: In Remembrance of Peter Christopherson

Sat 17 March 2012, 8pm–12am

Tyneside Cinema

Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson was best known as a founder member of Throbbing Gristle and Coil... more

Torsten Lauschmann

Thu 1 March – Sun 6 May 2012

Laing Art Gallery

Torsten Lauschmann’s critically acclaimed work has been described as too slow to be film, and too fast to be photography. Working across old and new... more

Ben Rivers: Two Years At Sea

Sun 11 March 2012, 11am-12.30pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Ben Rivers’ first feature-length film documents the solitary existence of Jake, who lives in isolation in a remote Scottish forest... more

Slow Cinema Discussion

Fri 9 March 2012, 11am-12.30pm

Tyneside Cinema

A panel of filmmakers and critics discussed their work and current trends within contemporary cinema, including: Lav Diaz... more

Cyprien Gaillard

Thu 1 March – Sun 1 July 2012

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

In his largest UK exhibition to date, award-winning artist Cyprien Gaillard presents two major film installations. The works show... more

John Gerrard

Thu 1 March – Sun 1 July 2012

mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

The UK premiere of two recent works by John Gerrard. Cuban School (Community 5th of October) 2010 and Cuban School... more

Julien Maire

Thu 1 March – Sat 19 May 2012

Hatton Gallery

The first UK solo exhibition by this leading new media artist revisits ideas of slow motion and duration. Making his own cinematic machines using... more

Elizabeth McAlpine

Thu 1 March – Sat 31 March 2012

Reg Vardy Gallery

Elizabeth McAlpine’s work explores the two essential elements of all film: light and time. This exhibition brings together... more

Jem Finer: Slowplayer

Thu 1 March – Sat 31 March 2012

The NewBridge Project

At extreme slow speeds, the spin of a record player is reduced to a glacial crawl, the music to seismic rumbling. A beat may last a minute... more

Benedict Drew: The Persuaders

Thu 1 March – Sat 31 March 2012


A single screen video gives breathing instructions that induce a sense of calm and well being. Sculptures act as empathetic mascots... more

Leif Inge: 9 Beet Stretch

Thu 1 March, 12am – Fri 2 March 2012, 12am

Star and Shadow Cinema

Leif Inge’s 9 Beet Stretch is Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony stretched to 24-hours, with no pitch distortion. This marathon... more

Steven Stapleton: Sleep Concert

Fri 23 March 2012, 9pm-9am

Centre for Life

The UK premiere and fourth ever Sleep Concert. Steven Stapleton performed live throughout the night manipulating... more

Attila Csihar: A Scrying: First and Second Action (NCL)

Sat 24 March 2012, 7-9pm and Sun 25 March 2012, 8-10pm

Tyne Bridge North Tower

Attila Csihar, the baritone voice of Sunn 0))) and Norwegian black metal pioneers Mayhem, created... more

Chris Watson: Teesside Sound Walk

Sat 24 March 2012, 11am–3.30pm

Seal Sands Nature Reserve

Chris Watson is one of the world’s greatest sound recordists, famed for capturing the natural... more

Ben Russell: Let Each One Go Where He May

Thu 29 March 2012, 7.30pm-9.45pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Ben Russell’s stunning feature debut is an epic road movie drawing from documentary and...more


Wed 28 March 2012, 7.30pm-10pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

Fleeing the American invasion of the Philippines in the early 20th Century, a mother and her son retreat into the jungle. Ingeniously... more

Rirkrit Tiravanija: Lung Neaw Visits His Neighbours

Wed 21 March 2012, 7.30pm-10pm

Star and Shadow Cinema

This debut feature by visual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is a portrait of the slow passage of... more