Abandon normal devices festival Liverpool 2011

Festival Dates: 29 September – 2 October 2010

“A boldly freewheeling art and film festival – something of a call to arms.” The


“Amongst all the new and continuing festivals popping up in the UK, AND has

immediately set itself apart” Little White Lies

“Just when you thought the boundary-breaking arts fests were winding down for

the year, along comes Abandon Normal Devices” Guardian Travel

After the smash hit event that was held last Autumn in Manchester, this years AND (Abandon Normal Devices) festival showcasing new cinema and digital culture is returning to Liverpool. The 3rd annual edition is running from the 29th September until the 2nd November, and promises to break the rules, cross all boundaries and turn its audience’s minds inside out.

It will also bring to the forefront an eclectic mix of artists who are on the very edges of the arts, films and science and technology to answer the burning question; what are the normal devices and how and why would we abandon them?

Pushing the boundaries like never before, this year’s event is investigating the very outer limits of our beliefs. Visitors should expect UFO’s, celebrity cults, fake gurus, flying saucers, gagging orders and many other different types of paranormal activity. There are several UK premieres as well as new commissions from the likes of Shezad Dawood, Brody Condon, Rachel Mayeri and Kurt Hentschlager.

This years AND festival actually kicks off earlier in September with a Trans-media tour through the North West. It will take in fairs, markets and zoos in Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire. This tour culminates in Liverpool with the festival itself, which is using the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) as its hub.

The AND festival is inspired the events transpiring in 2012, and is funded by Legacy Trust UK, part of WE PLAY, which is the cultural legacy programme of the North West for the Olympic and Paralympic games. Legacy Trust UK is actually an independent charity that was set up with the sole intention of creating a lasting, cultural legacy from the London 2012 games throughout the UK.


Shezad Dawood – ‘Piercing Brightness’


An eerily beautiful film directed by visual artist Shezad Dawood, scripted by Ian

Rakoff (The Prisoner) with original sound track by Makoto Kawabata of Acid

Mothers Temple (Japan). The plot interweaves elements of documentary and

character-driven narrative against a backdrop of science fiction. The film was shot

entirely in Preston and includes archive footage of UFO sightings in the region.

Rachel Mayeri – ‘Primate Cinema: Apes as Family’


LA-based video artist Rachel Mayeri has made a film for chimpanzees to watch,

using their responses as a way of imagining what their inner worlds might be like.

Shown as a multi-channel video installation, Primate Cinema: Apes as Family is

Mayeri’s work about the chimpanzees, their responses to visual media and

reactions to a film created expressly for them. For this work, commissioned by

The Arts Catalyst, Mayeri collaborated with comparative psychologist, Dr. Sarah

Jane Vick who studies chimp behaviour, looking at aspects of personality and

emotional expression.

Rachel Mayeri’s videos, installations, and writing projects explore the intersection

of art and science through topics ranging from the history of special effects to the

human animal. Mayeriʼs ʻanimated documentariesʼ combine motion graphics and

live-action, documentary and storytelling. She has created a series of

experimental videos inspired by primates including Primate Cinema: Baboons as

Friends (2007), a Hollywood style re-enactment of a baboon social drama with

human actors. Primate Cinema: Apes as Family is funded by a Wellcome Trust

Arts Award

Revital Cohen – ‘The Immortal’


Cohen explores definitions of life, mechanics and artificiality by connecting life

support machines to each other, mimicking a biological structure. With vast

mechanical circuits visible, audiences will witness the whole kinetic contraption at

work. This bizarre mechanical creature will be accompanied by a publication that

documents the process and includes pieces by a range of practitioners from the

fields of biomedical science, philosophy, ethics and aesthetics.

Kurt Hentschläger – ‘Zee’


In Zee, the audience enters a space filled with extremely dense fog, so that the

walls and ceiling of the space remain obscured. Stroboscopic light filters through

the fog, creating structures that are in constant flux, a kind of psychedelic

architecture of pure light. The result is an immersive environment in which the

“real” physical world mutates into a primordial soup of pulsing sound, mist and

colours. An ambient and minimal soundscape connects to interference patterns

and changes in colour, frequency, intensity and mood. Out of this world…

Brody Condon – ‘Level Five’


Level Five is a participatory performance with live role-playing exploring selfactualization

seminars along the lines of the Large Group Awareness Training

sessions of the early 1970’s. Players will arrive in character, and are expected to

emote as their characters for the 2-day duration of the game. Only participants

are allowed in the performance space itself, with footage mixed live and analogue

streamed for the public.



Mollieindustria have created a game for Smartphone devices. Too often the hitech

sector is seen as non-material with most of its value concentrated in

intellectual property, research and design, software development, marketing and

other impalpable aspects of the production process. This project reveals that

behind the cognitive work there is a very material, sometimes troubling supply

chain that stretches across the globe.

LJMU – ‘Q.E.D. quod erat demonstrandum’

This group exhibition brings together established and emerging international

artists who question the role of documentation in informing our belief systems. It

will include works which re-imagine artistic and scientific processes in a playful

way: art by robots for robots, a perpetually flowing flask, visions of outer space,

diagrams for mechanical copulation and the performance of landing on the moon.

Curated by Sarah Cook with Jean Gagnon and Including work by: Michel de

Broin, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and Sascha Pohflepp, Ulrike Kubatta, Scott

Rogers and Trent Noble, Axel Straschnoy et al., Norman White and Laura

Kikuaka, Joe Winter and others.

AND is presented by Cornerhouse (Manchester), FACT (Foundation for Art

and Creative Technology) (Liverpool) and folly (Lancaster), and is an innovative

new festival of arts and cultural debate for the Northwest.

Offering a high calibre and energetic programme, Abandon Normal Devices

2011 will sprawl across and out from Liverpool’s cultural spaces. The festival is

funded by the Legacy Trust and is part of WE PLAY, the Northwest cultural legacy

programme for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Further programme confirmations, venues and special events will be

announced in the coming weeks at www.andfestival.org.uk