AND Festival announces full 2021 programme, launching 27th May

AND Festival resurfaces for 2021, taking you on an extraordinary journey responding to the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey. The programme follows the flows of shipping, energy and political power structures, from container ports on our doorsteps to the depths of the ocean floor; through ecosystems bound up with industrial chemicals, minerals and microplastics, to their effects on our planet, human and non-human bodies. 

AND Festival 2021 will take place online, on docklands and on the water, featuring field trips in the physical world via augmented reality seascapes, immersive voyages and floating laboratories, expanded through an online programme of radical and disruptive artworks, film screenings, performances, talks and workshops. Inviting radical artists, critical thinkers and curious audiences to renavigate the industrial landscape from physical and virtual perspectives, the programme brings into focus the oceanic scale of networked industries and infrastructures that form part of our daily contemporary consumption. 

Audiences local and remote are invited to trace the entangled flows of shipping routes, oil refineries, chemical industries, recycling plants and energy systems from these ports, and unearth the impact on our ways of living.

Full programme:

SITE SPECIFIC \\

WetLab – public works + Assembly

11 – 13 June, National Waterways Museum, Free

This floating laboratory created by public works and Assembly uses the canal network as a site as well as a subject. WetLab is a space where creative minds including artists, architects, scientists, engineers and technologists invite the public to come and explore the ecology of the waterways and together envisage potential future uses for the canal in their local area.

WetLab is intended to create an opportunity for discussion and exploration, serving as a spark to imagine future uses of living on and around water. Working with the canals and waterways, 

WetLab will host playful experiments, workshops and cross-disciplinary discussions.

The canal-based pavilion, designed by critical design practice public works, will tour sites across Greater Manchester and Lancashire after launching in Cheshire for AND Festival 2021, becoming a hub for innovative learning, discussion, and engagement on the waterways.

Details of  the WetLab events programme will be announced in Mid-May.

WetLab by public works + Assembly is commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices and Super Slow Way. Produced by Abandon Normal Devices for AND Festival 2021. Delivered in partnership with Canal & River Trust and Wigan Council. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

The Blue Violet River – Anita Fontaine
24 – 27 June, Mersey Ferries, Tickets to be released mid-May

“I want to update the conventional guided tour into something magical that weaves together science fiction, environmental themes and local architecture into a future fairytale – as seen from the River Mersey Ferry” – Anita Fontaine

Step aboard the iconic Mersey Ferry to inhabit a fantasy-fiction world exploring an evolved reality brought about by climate change, rising sea levels and tropical climates. 

Anita Fontaine’s augmented ecology of the River Mersey invites the viewer to suspend belief and encounter a kaleidoscopic world through custom-built viewfinders on the decks of a Mersey Ferry. Psychedelic audio-visual sculptures explode from land and water, and the Liverpool skyline playfully shapeshifts revealing a surreal alternate reality of the urban landscape in The Blue Violet River.

This augmented reality (AR) work playfully envisions a peaceful future vision of evolved humanity, freed from an unsustainable past and tuned into a new core consciousness of planetary sound frequencies. From the river’s intercontinental trade to the regular blooms of moon jellyfish drawn in by tidal currents, our post-industrial perspective of the River Mersey playfully warps in this future-forward techno fantasy.

The Blue Violet River will be presented on board Mersey Ferries. More details on how to experience the work will be released soon. 

The Blue Violet River by Anita Fontaine. Commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Wirral Council, with further support from Merseytravel.

Does Spring Hide Its Joy – Kali Malone 

1 – 4 July, 12pm – 6pm, Central Hydraulic Tower, Birkenhead, Tickets to be released mid-May

Does Spring Hide Its Joy is an immersive audio experience by American composer Kali Malone featuring musicians Stephen O’Malley and Lucy Railton. Manifesting as a 4-day multichannel sound installation, Malone offers a deep listening environment in a hydraulic tower and engine house in Birkenhead Docks. Does Spring Hide Its Joy was created and recorded in the empty Berlin Funkhaus & Monom during the lockdown of spring 2020. The music is a study in long-form, non-linear durational composition, with a heightened focus on septimal just intonation (musical instrument tunings with a limit of 7) and beat interference patterns.

Originally designed by engineer Jesse Hartley in 1868, the Central Hydraulic Tower, Birkenhead is based on the Palazzo Vecchio, a renaissance cavern in Florence, Italy. Bombed during World War II, the iconic nineteenth-century Grade II listed building has been left unused for decades. In this empty chamber of industrial energy, Malone’s durational composition breathes and bellows through porous brick walls, reverberating toward the surface of dockland waters.

Visitors will be invited into the main hall of the building to listen, walk, sit, and be immersed in the vibrations of the durational audio installation. Tickets will be available in mid-May, whilst a live broadcast of the music will be streamed on the closing night of the installation at andfestival.org.uk/live.

Does Spring Hide Its Joy by Kali Malone, commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Wirral Council. With further support from Peel L&P. Featuring musicians Stephen O’Malley and Lucy Railton, recorded at The Berlin Funkhaus by Jonny Zoum and at Monom by Rodrigo Stambuk.

Observatory Cinema

2 – 4 July, Bidston Observatory, Birkenhead, Tickets to be released mid-May

The Observatory Cinema is a temporary open air cinema atop Bidston Hill. A big screen weekend projects the art of sculpting time in the grounds of Bidston Observatory: a location historically renowned for measuring natural undulations of tide and time. From this site of scientific observation and lighthouse signals overlooking the Merseyside estuary, AND will curate new waves of cinematic experience. 

The weekend of outdoor evening screenings will include winner of Sundance award for non-fiction experimentation ‘All Light Everywhere’ by Theo Anthony, and a guest curated event by Scalarama.

A live cinema event that reckons with our industrial past and offers prophetic glimpses of what is to come. 

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, Wirral Council and Film Hub North, proud to be part of the BFI Film Audience Network. With further support from Bidston Observatory Artistic Research Centre.

By The Sound of Things – Kate Davies

9 – 11 July, the Daniel Adamson, Tickets to be released mid-May

By the Sound of Things is an immersive audiovisual experience onboard the unique steam-powered, Mersey-built boat, the Daniel Adamson (The Danny).

From the deck of one of the last surviving Manchester Ship Canal tugs, the audience is invited to feel the vast echoes and epic scale of the modern shipping industry and consider the extent and impact of our insatiable consumerism on local and global environments.

Submerged beneath the waterline, mariners rest below deck between watches – their cradle song is the aching sounds of a ship against water. A nautical soundtrack transports wayfarers to a vast and veiled world – a subaquatic acoustical mirage. Featuring deep sea hydrophone recordings depicting the marine ecosystem disrupted by man-made ship noise, this hypnotic binaural sound work tells the story of the journey of a container as it travels from the surface to the bottom of the ocean.

An accompanying film focusing on the world above water presents a collision of the extraordinary and the banal that defines the image of global sea trade – an absurd narrative of ordinary things. Containers loaded and unloaded, the rhythmic motions of cranes performing an industrial-scale ballet, the transporting vessels of the global shipping industry forge sonic trails across oceans to bring us our things; the necessary and frivolous, the coveted and the disposable.

By the Sound of Things will be presented on board The Daniel Adamson. More details on how to experience the work and boat trip dates will be released soon.

By the Sound of Things by Kate Davies is commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Culture Warrington, with further support from The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society.

ONLINE HUB + LIVE CHANNEL \\ EXHIBITION

One-Fifth Of The Earth’s Surface – Hakeem Adam and Maxwell Mutanda

27 May – 11 July, Online, Free

One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface is a conversation between artists Hakeem Adam, Maxwell Mutanda and the Atlantic Ocean. Presented as an interactive audio-visual landscape and explorative online experience that unearths the power of water as a dynamic and fluid archive.

The project offers multiple readings of the unpredictable transatlantic waters as an evolving structure that initiates change on its surrounding lands, rerouting power and reshaping the lives of all who depend on it. 

The research involves investigations and experiments into the design of various systems and infrastructure, such as canals and dams, transcontinental submarine data cable maps, and much more. One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface will explore how these tools and materials have been used for dredging up and rearranging our histories, lives and power.

Featuring landscapes created from data and the artists’ knowledge from their own unique relations to water, this web-based artwork will be an open dialogue, wherein the viewer is privy to the conversation between the pair. The website serves as an experimental route for users to read various digital drawings each offering and responding to a specific theme connected to the Atlantic Ocean, a body of water covering one-fifth of the Earth’s surface.

One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface by Maxwell Mutanda and Hakeem Adam is commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices and York Mediale. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and British Council.  

One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface contains digitised maps and sound recordings from the collections of the British Library. One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface was selected in a closed call from ColabNowNow 2017-2019 alumni.

Toxicity’s Reach – Mary Maggic, Luiza Prado de. O Martins and Sissel Marie Tonn

27 May – 11 July, Online, Free

From microplastics to fertilizers, pharmaceuticals to personal care products, contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are lively and leaky pollutants that contaminate waterways, eroding environmental and public health. Although invisible to the naked eye, micro-polluting chemicals are everywhere. They are found in the bodies of humans and animals and take long periods of time to move through seas and soils before breaking down into less harmful forms. However, it is not only the physical impacts of water pollutants that harm our bodies and environments, chemical molecules also shape our bodies and worlds in social and ideological ways. Many of us are born onto toxic lands built on unjust legacies or pursue belief systems—from ideas about purity to immunology—that continue social inequalities and put in place new polluting futures. In multiple ways, we are entangled with the very environments we seek to live with, from and in. 

The River Mersey in Liverpool, England, is a prime example with a complex history of industrial pollution. In the 1970s, if someone had fallen into the river, locals would say that they would die of poisoning before they would drown. Today, despite highly effective clean up attempts tackling obvious ‘point sources’ of pollution, such as effluent and sewage, this renowned waterway has more microplastic in it than in the pacific garbage patch.

Through three newly commissioned online artworks by artists, Mary Maggic, Luiza Prado de. O Martins and Sissel Marie Tonn, and an accompanying body of research, Toxicity’s Reach traces how contaminants of emerging concern exert agency over our lives in unexpected and lesser-known ways. The online exhibition asks how exposure to chemical water pollutants affects us biologically, socially and ideologically? How might reimagining molecular water-pollution through a focus on the agency of chemicals make us think differently about our daily actions and give us hope to flourish in toxic worlds.

Mary Maggic – Estroworld Now: The Quarantine Edition
Luiza Prado de. O Martins – The Sea Collapsed into the Pleasures of Sand
Sissel Marie Tonn – Plastic Hypersea

Toxicity’s Reach is commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices, curated by Dani Admiss. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Creative Industries Fund Netherlands.

ONLINE HUB + LIVE CHANNEL \\ FILM

New Cinema Shorts

4 June – 2 July (ending 11 July), 7pm, Online, Free

For New Cinema Shorts, AND21’s weekly programme of  short form cinema, we have invited curators Angela Chan, Tendai John Mutambu, Natasha Thembiso Ruwona, and Matt Turner to each select week-long waves of moving images that ripple and reflect across the festival’s virtual, real and post-digital landscapes. Each wave of the shorts programme will be broadcast via AND’s website, and accompanied by a curatorial introduction, each collection released every Friday and available for the following week.

Launching every Friday 4 June – 2 July (with the fifth programme ending 11 July), head to andfestival.org.uk/live for a collection of new short films.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Film Hub North, proud to be part of the BFI Film Audience Network.

New commission by Tulapop Saenjaroen

Premieres: 18 June, 7pm, Online, Free

For AND Festival 2021, we have commissioned artist and filmmaker Tulapop Saenjaroen to create a new short film exploring themes of globalised networks, territoriality, and parallel spaces of trade and labour in a port city Laem Chabang, Chonburi Province, Thailand. 

This new work will be premiered at andfestival.org.uk/live on Thursday 18 June, alongside Saenjaroen’s previous shorts ‘People on Sunday’ (2019) and ‘A Room With a Coconut View’ (2018). All three films will be available to view until Sunday 11 July 2021. 

Commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and Film Hub North, proud to be part of the BFI Film Audience Network.

Headwaters, Curated by Scalarama Merseyside

Online, Dates and Tickets to be released mid-May

A journey across the Wirral peninsula, Headwaters, curated by Michael Pierce and Monika Rodriguez of Scalarama Merseyside, invites you to explore our connections with water through hidden rivers, oral histories and film archives. Taking place both online and in physical open-air spaces, Headwaters will use local heritage and archive footage as a starting point for discussion; examining the environmental impact of film, activism around water and imagined hydropunk futures. Headwaters will demonstrate how community cinemas and water are used for healing and recovery and why both need to be respected and protected. 

These screening and discussion events (dates to be announced) will be accompanied by a series of journal posts in which Michael and Monika share their process and discoveries over the 7 weeks of the festival. There will also be a Scalarama event at Bidston Observatory as part of AND’s Observatory Cinema.

Headwaters is curated by Scalarama Merseyside and produced by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, Wirral Council and Film Hub North, proud to be part of the BFI Film Audience Network.

ONLINE HUB + LIVE CHANNEL \\ LIVE AV (ONLINE)

Beginningless Mind: (rivers, rhythms, rituals) – Marija Bozinovska Jones

12 June, 8pm, Online, Free

The new edition of Beginningless Mind activates embodied knowledge through movement, in collaboration with choreographer Franka Marlene Foth.

In search of a sense of belonging through a shared reality, Beginningless Mind probes collective worldmaking. The work voices Wikipedia as a knowledge commons and maps it onto web searches using Natural Language Processing, a subfield of artificial intelligence. The optimized search engine results produced by algorithms which index knowledge, are translated into a kinesthetic vernacular, in a gesture where the verbal collapses meaning onto movement.

To transcend the limitations of language, Beginningless Mind observes the mind as embodied intelligence with porous boundaries. A view of the body as a collective assemblage of material and social multitudes, queers the nature-culture divide. Starting where we are, we can begin to refine our consciousness towards universal kinship.

The audiovisual event will premiere at andfestival.org.uk/live on Saturday 12 June, followed by a live conversation, and will be available to watch until Sunday 11 July 2021.

Soundtrack: 33EMYBW and GG Biberkopf
NLP programming: Jayson Haebich
Voice: Natasha Kerry
Choreography: Franka Marlene Foth

Beginningless Mind by Marija Bozinovska Jones was originally commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices, University of Salford Art Collection and Somerset House Studios. Produced by Abandon Normal Devices for AND Festival 2021 and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Radio Ensemble Curated by Ignatia Nilu

19 June, 8pm, Online, Free
Radio Ensemble invites UK and Indonesian sound artists and composers to perform together as an ensemble across parallel time and space, broadcast in both Indonesia and the UK.

Radio Ensemble has been curated by Indonesia-based curator Ignatia Nilu as part of an exchange hosted by Abandon Normal Devices and in response to restrictions for musical collaboration over the last 12 months. These limitations have necessitated alternative modes and expanded possibilities for spaces of collaboration through art and technologies. Radio Ensemble combines analog and digital technologies to connect multiple players; musicians, sound artists, composers and programmers from the UK and Indonesia in a speculative performance. Each of the ensemble players are guided in the performance by an auditive score composed by Indonesian composer Gatot Danar 

Tune in to andfestival.org.uk/live on Saturday 19 June from 8pm for a live broadcast out of the Domes FM studio, Bidston Observatory. The broadcast will then be available to listen to online until Sunday 11 July 2021. An accompanying installation will also be available to explore at Bidston Observatory on the weekend of 2-4 July, when AND’s Observatory Cinema [link] takes place.

Radio Ensemble is curated by Ignatia Nilu, commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding from Arts Council England and British Council Indonesia. With further support from Bidston Observatory Artistic Research Centre.

New Commission by YaYa Bones x aio0o0o0

26 June, 8pm, Online, Free
YaYa Bones (Ayesha Tan Jones) streams Ether through the ethernet in this live audiovisual broadcast; a symbiosis of operatic siren calls and technological earth beats, mantras of poetics and epitaphs to the chthulucene (or ‘self-making’ – Donna J Harroway, 2016). 

Reflecting on a childhood of Mersey shores, Liverpool-born YaYa’s audio show will undulate with meditational dunes, accompanied by liquid digital imagery, courtesy of 3D visual artist aio0o0o0.

The performance will be broadcast on Saturday 26 June at andfestival.org.uk/live, and be available to watch online until Sunday 11 July.

Weedweavers Curated by New Emergences

9 July, 8pm, Online, Free

In Weedweavers, the radical Dutch curatorial collective New Emergences present a collaborative workshop and live event led by artists Angeliki Diakrousi and mariëlle verdijk

Both Diakrousi and verdijk live and work in Rotterdam, a major port city like Liverpool; their project is fed by the ways in which the two ports interrelate. Taking inspiration from cutting edge research into algae forms conducted by a band of formidable women in Liverpool in the early 20th Century, Weedweavers explores feminist and non-traditional science practices, myths, recipes and stories of ports and organisms like algae through a narratial workshop programme (dates and tickets to be announced), culminating in a live broadcast.

Tune into andfestival.org.uk/live to experience the final performance on Saturday 19 June. The recording of the performance will be available to watch online until Sunday 11 July.

Weedweavers by Angeliki Diakrousi and mariëlle verdijk is commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices, curated by New Emergences. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Creative Industries Fund Netherlands.

The Grief Interval by Aura Satz and Sarah Davachi

10 July, 8pm, Online, Free
In a live audiovisual broadcast, artist Aura Satz collaborates with electroacoustic composer Sarah Davachi to sonically haunt a decommissioned coal fired power station. Weaving eerie aural warning and mourning, the project summons the possibility of the pause in a landscape of looming ecological emergency.

The performance will be broadcast on Saturday 10 July at andfestival.org.uk/live, and available to watch online until Sunday 11 July.

The Grief Interval is commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and Culture Warrington.

ONLINE HUB + LIVE CHANNEL \\ TALKS

Deeper

Thursdays 27 May – 8 July, 7pm, Online, Free

Deeper is a series of in-depth conversations with artists presenting work elsewhere within the festival, offering a weekly moment to delve beyond the surface of the AND Festival 2021 programme. 

Confirmed speakers include Hakeem Adam and Maxwell Mutanda; Anita Fontaine; Kate Davies

This is one of two talks programmes taking place during the festival. Focusing on both immediate and global environments, the programme will offer a multi-perspectival approach to production and exhibition. How can we radically shift conflicts of digital and natural experiences? Does NFT mining have to rely on fossil fuel mining? What role do festivals and institutions have in creating greener production practices? 

Tune in every Thursday, 7pm at andfestival.org.uk/live Each talk will be available to listen to throughout the festival, until Sunday 11 July. And tune in every Sunday for our other talk series, Resurface

Resurface

Sundays 30 May – 11 July, 7pm, Online, Free

Resurface is a space for questioning our collective futures, through a series of case studies and dialogues on future ecologies of art and new cinema. 

Confirmed panellists include: Suzanne Dhaliwal and Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley.

This is one of two talks programmes taking place during the festival. Focusing on both immediate and global environments, the programme will offer a multi-perspectival approach to production and exhibition. How can we radically shift conflicts of digital and natural experiences? Does NFT mining have to rely on fossil fuel mining? What role do festivals and institutions have in creating greener production practices? 

Tune in every Sunday, 7pm at andfestival.org.uk/live Each talk will be available to listen to throughout the festival, until Sunday 11 July. And tune in every Thursday for our other talk series, Deeper.