York Mediale 2018

Alexander Whitley in new collaboration with Beatrice Dillon and the first ever Deep Lab UK to join line up for UK media arts festival.

8 MINUTES by Whitley, , Choreography - Alexander Whitley, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, 2017, Platform Theatre, London, Credit: Johan Persson

8 MINUTES by Whitley, , Choreography – Alexander Whitley, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, 2017, Platform Theatre, London, Credit: Johan Persson

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.

8 MINUTES by Whitley, , Choreography - Alexander Whitley, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, 2017, Platform Theatre, London, Credit: Johan Persson

8 MINUTES by Whitley, , Choreography – Alexander Whitley, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, 2017, Platform Theatre, London, Credit: Johan Persson

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).

8 MINUTES by Whitley, , Choreography - Alexander Whitley, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, 2017, Platform Theatre, London, Credit: Johan Persson

8 MINUTES by Whitley, , Choreography – Alexander Whitley, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, 2017, Platform Theatre, London, Credit: Johan Persson

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.

Cutting Room

Cutting Room

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.

Cutting Room

Cutting Room

Alexander Whitley has received significant attention for his past works, which have investigated the impact of technology, such as artificial intelligence, on contemporary human experience and for his groundbreaking use of interactive technology to redefine the parameters of choreography.

Alexander Whitley’s acclaimed 8 Minutes, a partnership with scientists from STFC RAL Space, will also form part of the York Mediale programme with a performance planned at York Theatre Royal on Saturday 29th September 2018. It takes just eight minutes for sunlight to travel 93 million miles to Earth and Whitley draws inspiration from images and data of solar science research to explore the spectacular forces at work in the universe and illuminate our relationship with the star that gives us life. With a specially created score by the electroacoustic music innovator Daniel Wohl and an installation of high-definition imagery from visual artist Tal Rosner, 8 Minutes captures our curiosity and wonder of this unimaginably vast subject. The release date for ticket sales for this performance, which is also set to include an installation of his new virtual reality film experience Celestial Motion, recently profiled by The Guardian, will be announced shortly and will also form part of York Theatre Royal’s Autumn programme 2018.

Deep Lab

Deep Lab

York Mediale will also showcase the first ever UK Chapter of Deep Lab – an interdisciplinary project committed to changing attitudes around some of the most urgent questions in contemporary digital culture, including the environmental impact of new technology, the role of underrepresented groups in technology and the construction of identity online. Bringing together a diverse group of cyberfeminist researchers, academics, artists, engineers and cultural producers in two residential workshops, Deep Lab UK will be led by Addie Wagenknecht and Maral Pourkazemi, with outputs and installations to be showcased in the Project Gallery at York Art Gallery from 27 September to 6 October 2018. A call for UK based participants launches today.

BBC R&D and Digital Creativity Labs (DC Labs) at The University of York will unveil the next steps in the future of broadcasting as part of the York Mediale programme. ‘Cutting Room’ will present and explore possibilities opened up by newly created technology that allows adaptable, interactive and personalised viewing experiences.

BBC R&D and DC Labs have been collaborating on Object-Based Media technology which supports the development of content that is tailored to an individual’s circumstances, preferences and devices, and media experiences that allow the expression of multiple voices, arguments and perspectives. The production toolkit for the creation of these experiences and a rendering engine for their online delivery has been created by Dr. Davy Smith at DC Labs based at the University of York, a key partner in the delivery of York Mediale. 

During York Mediale, the cutting edge technology will be used by creative practitioners to explore the possibilities enabled by this innovative new medium of video-centric storytelling and develop an ambitious new personalised story. York Mediale will unveil the technologies, the learnings, and the production at the festival and showcase the world premiere of the personalised story developed. Findings from these explorations will be used to inform future developments to the technology and form. A call out for a UK based artist or creative team in the UK wishing to collaborate in this commission has now launched.

SLAP

SLAP

York based performance collective SLAP will also present new live performances with emerging artists at York Mediale, resulting from a week-long residency taking place in the city across the summer, the call out for which is now open . The project, SLAPover, is searching for four artists whose creative disciplines are in dance, performance, live art, and media, especially artists who have experience in or curiosity about the combined practices of media and performance. Finished works will be presented at York Medical Society on 5th October 2018, as part of the York Mediale programme. Those interested in participating should go to www.slapyork.co.uk/takepart.

York Mediale is also pleased to announce a collaboration with local social campaigning organisation Inspired Youth, who put young people’s real experiences at the heart of the creative process, inspiring and supporting them to make profound performances, films, photography exhibitions and social campaigns. ‘The One Percent’ is the working title of the project which will see Inspired Youth’s Director and award winning filmmaker Kev Curran and York based Hip Hop artist Kritikal Powers bring together a group of ten young people from the city, who have recently left care, or who are currently moving towards independent living, to create spoken word performances on film, bringing their personal experiences to life. The results of the project will be showcased for the first time during York Mediale, alongside a debate about what more can be done both nationally and locally to support young people more effectively during times of big life change. The call out to young people living in York between the ages of 16 and 25 who might be interested in getting involved in this creative project is now open. More details here 

And finally, 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.”

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