There is no FutureEverything festival this year, but fear not: there’s still enough going on to satisfy your digital appetite.
FutureEverything may not be staging a full-on festival this year, but if you’re a fan of Manchester’s annual celebration of avant-garde digital art, music and culture, don’t despair: it’ll be back with another festival in 2014. In the meantime, it’s running a smaller programme of arts projects and music events alongside this year’s main event, the FutureEverything Summit of Ideas and Digital Invention. CEO Drew Hemment described the summit as a way for the organisation to showcase its year-round projects and make Manchester “a hothouse” of innovators, entrepreneurs and digitally-minded creatives.
Speakers at the summit include Natalie Jeremijenko, an artist exploring socio-technical change, Lighthouse director Honor Harger, Steve Crossan of the Google Cultural Institute and Jill Cousins of the Europeana Foundation. “It’s our twentieth anniversary in 2015 so we wanted to do something that really cuts to the core of what we do,” says Hemment. “If you distill FutureEverything down to its essence, it’s a space where people can encounter the cutting edge of digital invention, so this summit is about bringing together inspiring people from around the world.”
A space where you can encounter the cutting edge of digital innovation
Outside the confines of the summit, the highlights of 2013’s scaled-back music programme include enigmatic Manchester-based artist Holy Other, who brings his dark electronic sounds to Islington Mill on 21 March in association with Manc promoters, Now Wave. Berlin outfit Brandt Brauer Frick have a refreshingly back-to-front approach: they replicate the sounds of electronic beats and loops live, using classical instruments. Catch them at Islington Mill with Om’Mas Keith of LA hip hop collective, Sa Ra and Lapalux (20 Mar). And there are more experimental, electronic sounds on offer at the parallel Salford Sonic Fusion Festival (21-24 Mar); although separate from FutureEverything the two events purposely collide. Sonic installations, audio-visual work and live performance are all on offer at Salford University’s Media City campus (including, intriguingly, an outing from the University’s brass band). On the art side, FutureEverything is teaming up with Quays Culture to present The Speed of Light (21-23 March), a free spectacle in which runners clad in light-up garb will create movement-based art around The Quays. Any art that makes a virtue of the early spring nights is all right by us.
The very best exhibitions in Manchester and the North include a collaboration with a renowned dance company, the return of Manchester Science Festival (bigger and better than ever), a showcase of exquisite craft at the Old Granada Studios, and much more. All in all, it’s an exciting, boundary transcending time for art in the North.
With Rising Stars and World Literature, nothing says October in the Rainy City like Manchester Literature Festival. As we enter the final furlongs, there are still tickets available for some events, from creative non-fiction to a canalside special commission. And once MLF is over, Manchester Science Festival will be chemically enhancing words with poems about the periodic table.