FutureEverything Festival 2016 — Our Highlights


Smoke signals, Afro-Portuguese dance and channelling J. G. Ballard: ahead of its launch, let Vanessa Wheeler guide you through the best and most unexpected parts of Manchester’s annual innovation festival…

What do you get when a community of artists, developers, designers and programmers come together? People whose research-rich collaborative projects seek to create avant-garde approaches to critical thinking and a better society? Namely, FutureEverything Festival. Founded in Manchester in 1995, the city-wide event has become the go-to festival for the UK’s best and brightest acts; fusing cutting-edge technology with new arts and culture.

For the past 21 years, FutureEverything’s themes have aimed to focus on areas within modern life that are in need of an update, and this year’s ‘Less and More’ theme is no exception; promising a focus on solutions to problems surrounding finite resources, such as climate change, from a contemporary digital arts perspective.

In addition to the main conference — with Turner Prize winners Assemble, counter-terrorism expert Charlie Winter, award-winning bot-artist Darius Kazemi and many more — there’s a whole heap of cheap and free live events to enjoy. Here are our highlights…

Gazelle Twin

Gazelle Twin: Kingdom Come — An Audio-Visual Performance For Two Vocalists (World Premiere) 7pm — Thursday 31 March @ Manchester Art Gallery — SOLD OUT

Twin is the persona of British performance artist and musician Elizabeth Bernholz, whose distorted 2014 album UNFLESH and accompanying, unsettling and masked live performances (which left us reeling when we saw it at FACT, Liverpool) was met with wide critical acclaim. Named after the J. G. Ballard novel, Kingdom Come, tonight’s concept-piece will feature a debut soundtrack heavily incorporating vocal manipulation and samples, alongside a collaborative audiovisual performance with Chris Turner and Tash Tung. Distinctively teamed with treadmills and unhinged landscapes, the trio of performers are set to be pushed to their physical limits.

The Corridor - Andrew Hodson

The Corridor: Andrew Hodson 9am-5pm — Thursday 31 March @ Manchester Central Library — FREE

Explore Manchester as never-before with Andrew Hodson’s latest interactive project: a series of audio works relating to the historic Oxford Road. Hodson calls these works sound poems: acting as anthropomorphic art and revealing the palimpsests of the past. Be sure to also check out blueSCI and Seed Studios’ open workshop in the library — a fab chance to play with audio technologies and sound stations (booking required).

Smoke Signals

Smoke Signals 10am-6pm — Thursday 31 March-Saturday 2 April @ The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Salford — FREE

The sculptural work of Ed Carter and David Cranmer, Smoke Signals brings life as we know it to a halt. Instead of being swamped by the chaos of communication online, Carter and Cranmer used the information from email archives to recreate the interactions of data streams; with calming rhythms and stunning smoke signals fired from a canon. When ArtsAPI commissioned musicians to create an accompanying performance, responses from John Hering, Sara Lowes, Jo Dudderidge and Harry Fausing Smith were so remarkable that they earned a spot at this year’s festival.

Nidia Minaj

FutureEverything Party Hosted By Fiktion, Annex, Project 13 & High Bank 9pm-6am — Friday 1 April @ Islington Mill, Salford — £10

What better way to celebrate the penultimate day of FutureEverything athan to party with all the festival team and featured artists? Expect performances from new solo artists Nidia Minaj (Afro-Portuguese dance) and Nkisi (African beats), supported by Mancunian DJs Croww, Crono Hotmas and Acre, and conducted by sound designer Errorsmith (Jamaican and house music).


Babble Workshop 3-6pm — Saturday 2 April @ Islington Mill, Salford — FREE (Booking Required)

Enthusiastic maker, wanting to get more involved? The Occasion Collective and Breeze Creatives have co-orchestrated Babble: a workshop encouraging beginners to try their hand at interdisciplinary art, exploring technology-based mediums such as sound, text, visuals and performance. Taught by artists from a range of specialities, the original, collaborative works created at the workshop will debut at the 7pm performance, followed by an afterparty into the wee hours.

Vanessa Wheeler

FutureEverything: Less and More takes place from 30 March to 2 April 2016, at venues across Manchester

Full passes and day passes for the festival and conference can be purchased here – £150-50

Posted on 10/03/2016 by thedoublenegative