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27/05-11/07 – Various Locations + Online
Exploring the flows of shipping, energy and political power structures on our waterways through installations, augmented reality, film screenings, workshops, performances and more, Abandon Normal Devices Festival has returned to disrupt, provoke and reflect. The 2021 edition of the festival will utilise the fertile settings of the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal to invite audiences to consider how our way of living is affecting the world around us.
The experimental arts festival has a sprawling programme of live and online activity, with commissions from artists from all over the world. Augmented reality seascapes, immersive voyages and floating laboratories as well as online artworks, film screenings, performances, talks and workshops will take place from 27th May until 11th July.
American composer KALI MALONE brings an immersive audio experience to Birkenhead’s Central Hydraulic Tower. Does Spring Hide Its Joy was created and recorded at MONOM in the empty Berlin Funkhaus during the first lockdown and will be presented as a four-day multichannel sound installation in the 19th century tower in the heart of the Birkenhead docklands.
(New Emergences, Weed Weavers)
Liverpool born artist YAYA BONES and 3D visual artist aio0o0o0 present a live audiovisual broadcast which reflects a childhood on the Mersey shores. The work combines operatic siren calls and technological earth beats with undulating meditative dunes for a thought-provoking performance on 26th June.
Bidston Observatory host an open cinema on the weekend of 2nd July. Theo Anthony’s experimental film All Light Everywhere features in the programme for a live cinema event that reckons with our industrial past and offers prophetic glimpses of what is to come.
Connecting the port cities of Rotterdam and Liverpool, Dutch collective New Emergences present Weedweavers on the 9th July. Taking inspiration from cutting-edge research into algae forms conducted by a group of formidable women on Merseyside in the early 20th century, the workshop and live event explores feminist and non-traditional science practices, as well as myths, recipes and stories. The event is led by artists Angeliki Diakrousi and mariëlle verdijk.
Taking place onboard the Mersey-built vessel the Daniel Adamson, By The Sounds Of Things is an immersive audiovisual experience which invites audiences to feel the epic scale of the modern shipping industry. The installation will reflect the disruption of man-made ship noise on the marine eco-system with hypnotic binaural soundwork and a film which juxtaposes the extraordinary and the banal realities of the global sea trade.
Elsewhere on the festival programme there are New Cinema Shorts reflecting the year’s theme, artist Anita Fontaine updates the conventional river tour with a future fairytale presentation aboard the Mersey Ferry and, over in Ellesmere Port’s National Waterways Museum, WetLab allows creative minds to explore the rivers and canals with workshops, experiments and discussion. Go to the AND website to see more of the nautical programme.