18 - 20 September 2015
Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival is a dynamic festival of ground-breaking art, digital culture and new cinema, taking place in Grizedale Forest between Fri 18- Sun 20 September 2015. This Autumn, in collaboration with the Forestry Commission England’s Forest Art Works programme, Abandon Normal Devices will transform Grizedale Forest in the heart of the Lake District into an exhilarating and illuminating retreat that will reveal the secret architecture of the forest through a programme of artworks, experiences, trails and film happenings.
Artists, designers, scientists and filmmakers have been brought together by AND to explore the woodlands and nature’s processes, examining the forest from a different viewpoint informed by the newest technology. The programme will give visitors new sensory perspectives on the forest, through the eyes and ears of plants, animals and machines. Including one of the first groups shows dedicated to understanding plant intelligence, an alternative communication system powered by the forests natural energy, the opportunity to experience the fantastical forest through the eyes of an animal and the creation of a love hotel for insects.
Featuring new commissions and artworks by artists Liam Young & Tim Maughan, Marshmallow Laser Feast, Joshua Soaffer, Brid A, Brandon Ballongee, Jen Southern, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez and Isabella Rossellini.
Abandon the obvious. Prepare to be offline. Leave for the woods!
In the Eyes of the Animal Marshmallow Laser Feast
A new commission enabling audiences to encounter England’s forests anew through an immersive virtual reality experience, told by the inhabitants of the forest. Creative collective Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) delight in exploring the line between virtual & real-world experiences and with this project will be taking audiences to a unique virtual reality setting created specifically for the Forest. This piece was filmed using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or ‘drones’ and bespoke 360º cameras, and is set to a binaural soundtrack using audio recordings sourced from the surrounding woodland.
Seeing the Forest Through The Trees / Various Artists
This topical and enlightening exhibition dedicated to the lifestyles of plants, features artworks which celebrate plants as active and autonomous beings perceiving the world in ways both alien and familiar to us. From looking at plant intelligence to the queer sex of plants these works will demonstrate the need to understand plants on their own terms. Featuring world class artists Karl Heinz Jeron, Chiara Esposito, Spela Petric, Dimitris Stamatis and Jasmina Weiss, Pei- Ying Lin. Curated by Monika Bakke.
Love Motel for Insects Brandon Ballongee
The UK Premiere of a new iteration of Love Motel for Insects, site specific to Grizedale Forest, will be a large-scale living sculpture for the forest inviting insects from across the forest to stay at the Love Motel for the festival. This sculpture will be on site for a month using ultra-violet lights on enormous sculpted canvases to attract an array of bugs and insects, the motel will create an opportunity for people to interact with the rarely seen nocturnal arthropods.
Spreadkom Brid A
Spreadkom is an alternative communication system created especially for the forest by Italian collaborators Brid A, The new commission will encourage you to think about our forgotten and hidden abilities to communicate, distributed throughout the forest will be a series of devices, all powered by air, water or sunlight. These devices will be able to communicate with each other and with listeners (visitors) by sending different sound codes, mimicking the natural sounds of the forest. Spreadkom avoids the use of a central operation unit based network like GPS or internet and emphasises alternative ways of communication and orientation without relying on standard technology that permit all sorts of abuse by the possibility of tracking or spying.
Where the City Can’t See Liam Young
From a viewing pontoon deep within the forest, we can see the landscape through the eyes of the machines that construct it. Revealed via emerging technologies of laser scan surveyors, this short film seen through observation equipment, exposes a vibrant and hidden underground community. Where the City Can’t See is a prelude to the world’s first fiction film made entirely from data by author Tim Maughan and designed and directed by speculative architect Liam Young.
The majority of the programme taking place in Grizedale Forest is FREE with a small number of events being ticketed. The full programme including the film programme, further screenings, installations, online projects, public realm interventions, debates, workshops and live events, will be revealed at the end of July 2015. Tickets will also be released at the end of July along with camping options for festival visitors.
Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival 2015 is hosted by partners Forestry Commission England’s Forest Art Works programme and supported using public funding by Arts Council England with additional support from South Lakeland District Council and the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Participating partners include Lakes Culture, Kendal Calling, Lancaster University Eden Arts, Florence Mine and Heart of Glass, HOME, Drugo More, Cumbria Bio-diversity Centre, FACT, The Brewery Kendal.
Abandon Normal Devices is a commissioning agency and a catalyst for new approaches to art-making and digital invention. We create ground breaking projects which challenge the definitions of art and moving image with a distinct emphasis on creative enquiry and provocations. AND brings together an eclectic mix of academics, filmmakers, scientists and anarchists to actively push the boundaries of audience experience and arts production. Inviting artists to hijack the imagination, by developing projects which abandon traditional settings and partnerships.
The AND portfolio consists of film happenings, exhibitions, performances, online projects, residencies, public realm interventions and a roaming biennial festival. AND Festival is the UK’s first roaming festival of cinema, art and digital culture, which maps fresh geographical and digital domains every two years. It takes place nationally and internationally and is a catalyst for partners and artists to explore different contexts and curatorial models. AND was established in 2009, as a unique partnership between Cornerhouse, FACT and folly. AND is funded by Arts Council England.