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Celebrated choreographer Alexander Whitley to unveil a new collaboration with London producer, musician and NTS DJ, Beatrice Dillon; and the first ever UK chapter of Deep Lab, a congress of cyberfeminist researchers, founded by artist Addie Wagenknecht to examine how the themes of privacy, security, surveillance, anonymity, and large-scale data aggregation are called into question in society, are the latest projects to headline new media arts festival, York Mediale. A 10-day citywide celebration of exhibitions, installations, live performances, dance, music and workshops taking place from 27 September to 6 October 2018, York Mediale is set to shine new light on York, as the UK’s only UNESCO designated city of media arts, and on the UK’s leading digital art sector.
York Mediale will present the world premiere of Strange Stranger, a brand new interactive performance-installation from Alexander Whitley Dance Company, developed in collaboration with acclaimed London based composer Beatrice Dillon, Italian Creative Technologist Luca Biada and Dutch duo, Children of the Light (renowned for their stunning lighting designs and scenography for Nicolas Jaar).
Strange Stranger seeks to question the idea of presence in the information age, considering the growing divide between the spaces in which our bodies are situated and the places in which we are active. It draws upon the notion of the 'data shadow’; a digital profile formed from the traces of information we unintentionally leave behind through our routine use of technology.
The installation will comprise of a labyrinth of light towers that will define temporary spaces with distinct atmospheres, and use motion-tracking and biometric sensing technology to capture data from the activity that occurs within it, to influence its shape and mood. This live space will initially provide the setting for a performance by four dancers, whose movement will remain as a trace or ‘shadow’. Afterwards audiences can experiment with, explore and observe how the space can be affected, which will further evolve the play of light and sound, layering the impact of human activity on the atmosphere. Venue and ticket sales will be announced in due course.
York Mediale will also be working in partnership with this year’s TakeOver Festival, York Theatre Royal’s annual festival run entirely by young people, who are supported and mentored by industry professionals, widely acknowledged as providing one of the best industry work experience opportunities available. TakeOver programme, produce and deliver an innovative theatre and arts festival at York Theatre Royal and across the city and this year’s programme will run during York Mediale. Members of the York Mediale team are also involved in the support and mentoring of the TakeOver Senior Management Team, who have a diverse range of backgrounds, skills and experience, and who have recently been appointed. The focus for the programme of this year’s festival will be on heritage and heritage sites in York.
Jessy Roberts, Artistic Director of TakeOver said, “We believe that through active participation, young people involved in the TakeOver project will pass on their legacy by creating new, dynamic pieces of art and theatre that will have an impact on the local community in York. We hope that it will improve the community's relationship with historical sights and encourage people to view them as places that they can make the most of, as well as discover more about Media Arts and how art and technology can be used to combine the past and present to create exciting pieces.”
Commenting on York Mediale’s second programme announcement, Tom Higham, York Mediale’s Creative Director said, “We are delighted to announce six more diverse and high quality projects to add to the programme for York Mediale 2018. The momentum is growing through our collaborations with partners across the city and indeed across the world. We are thrilled to be working with Alexander Whitley, Deep Lab, York Theatre Royal, York Museums Trust, BBC Connected Studio and DC Labs, based at the University of York, to bring such innovative and interesting work to the city for the very first time.”
“We are also excited about seeing the results of our work with local community groups and creative partners who are working with us from the ground up, to engage people from diverse sections of the community in York and offer them opportunities to have their voices heard and their ideas realised. We expect that the outputs from the work that we are co-commissioning with SLAP, Inspired Youth and TakeOver will be really challenging and inspiring and create a lasting legacy for York Mediale far beyond 2018.”
For the full press release, click here.