Futuresonic Music and Media Arts Festival

Its in Manchester next weekend 22-24th July.
Here’s brief highlights, see the futuresonic website for full details.

Futuresonic celebrates its 9th year as the UK’s leading international festival of electronic music and media arts, with a programme of new and adventurous performance across Manchester.

A series of events focusing on technological obsolescence – how artists are reclaiming and re-using redundant computer hardware in their work. In an era when 2 million PCs are thrown away every year in the UK alone, Low Grade demonstrates that obsolete hardware is far from useless – it is in fact the raw material of some of the most innovative and interesting contemporary art and music. Low Grade is curated by Michael Connor (formerly at FACT, Liverpool, now Head of Exhibitions, BFI South Bank) and artist Jackie Passmore and includes three sections:

Low Grade exhibition: Fuzzy Logic
Saturday 23 July 12pm-5pm, The Bridgewater Hall
Low Grade argues that the roots of computing technology are linked to Britain’s 19th Century cotton trade, with weaving looms providing inspiration for the design of the first computer. In a city famous for both its textile history – Manchester was once known as ‘Cottonopolis’ – and as the birthplace of the modern computer, Fuzzy Logic demonstrates how new media artists are turning back to the loom, combining technology with the knitting needle to create a new wave of fabric-based media arts, mathematical knitting and tactile activism.

Low Grade talks: Obsolescence and progress
Saturday 23 July 12pm-5pm, The Bridgewater Hall
A programme of talks bringing together artists and thinkers to discuss the triumph of all that is obsolete over the incredible promises – and threats – of technological development. Speakers include artists Olia Lialina and Moscow-based Alexei Shulgin; Michael Connor and Jackie Passmore, co-curators of Low Grade; a Tactile Media Lab knitting workshop and others to be confirmed.

Low Grade: Live
Friday 22 July 9pm-2am, The Roadhouse
A showcase of musicians who use obsolete computer equipment as instruments, featuring: Tree Wave, a pop band from Dallas, Texas who use a dot matrix printer as a synthesizer; Bodenstandig 2000, masters of 8-bit rave cabaret; Liverpool’s VJ artists Constructo v Destructo; Alexei Shulgin, artist, musician, curator, activist and professor father of cyberpunk, making the trip from Moscow to demonstrate new VJ-ing software that creates psychedelic full-screen animations from a normal Windows computer screen display; and New York-based LoVid, who scramble ordinary TV output into psychedelic audiovisual output, using homemade and repurposed electronic devices and low-res video loops.

Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 July, 7.30pm
Two nights at The Bridgewater Hall, including (on the Saturday night) an exclusive one-off performance by Berlin’s Robert Lippok, one third of German minimalists To Rococo Rot plus A Guy Called Gerald and (on the Sunday night) soul sensation and techno-funk pioneer Jamie Liddell, performing work from his new album, plus Susanna and the Magic Orchestra. There will also be limited-capacity talks prior to the performances by the artists.

Friday 22, Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 July, venues and prices vary
A showcase of independent and innovative music and media art performed in venues across Manchester’s creative hub, the Northern Quarter. The Showcase features home-grown Mancunian favourites such as Blowout alongside international artists visiting the city for the first time; label showcases from the likes of Big Chill Recordings; and the winners of EVNT Competition, three up-and-coming promoters who each won £1000 to stage their event as part of the festival.