SightSonic 2008, York International Festival of Digital Arts.
Collaboration between artists has emerged as a theme of this year’s festival – essentially by accident. I’d love to say that this was planned, but I am very pleased that the theme emerged from the natural interactions between SightSonic, its artists and partners during festival preparations. Collaboration has always been at the heart of SightSonic.
This year we are delighted to present the first UK performance by Japanese sound artist Kozo Inada. We present Kozo’s work in the pristine acoustics of the Music Research Centre, along with that of Christophe Charles, composer, performer and Associate Professor at Mushino Art University, Tokyo. Both artists are well known for refined, minimal electronic music that is simultaneously beautiful and overwhelmingly powerful. In a special performance, both artists give solo performances, then combine in a unique live set, especially for SightSonic 08.
We are also pleased to provide an opportunity for People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz to perform both as solo artists and together in the National Centre for Early Music. PLU’s music explores nostalgia and re-composition, often with a few laughs too. They are well known for the “plunderphonic” exploration of film and music; Phizmiz for his musical “playfulness and mischievousness” - a combination which has all the makings of a memorable event.
Joe Gilmore and Christopher Murphy have curated a thought provoking exhibition of two-dimensional visual art by leading digital artists called Template. City Screen hosts an exclusive edition of computer generated works reproduced in high quality Giclée prints and digital frames.
Well established audio/visual collaborators, Ruth Jarman and Joseph Gerhardt, aka Semiconductor, will present their latest computer generated film, made at the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab., California. The film integrates abstract computer graphics with natural video footage and will be accompanied by a “live–to-picture” performance. Semiconductor’s film illustrates scientists’ complex and abstract explanations of the Sun’s magnetic phenomena.
2008 sees a new local collaboration between Sightsonic and the Yorkshire Electric collective. The resulting Kennedy’s Basement Club event provides an opportunity to welcome Mr76ix alongside performers from York and the North East in an informal bar/club setting.
Once again we welcome a new group of artists to the SightSonic Artists’ Platform for our most extensive showcase of emerging artists to date. Graduates of the Artists’ Platform also return to the festival; installation artist Maggie Hall and composer/performer Jonathan Green.
With the help of Science City York we have been able to provide a new opportunity for people to encounter the skills used in the production of digital audio and visual art. If you’d like to learn, develop or enhance your digital skills, you can visit our programme of seminars and demonstrations throughout Saturday, featuring talks by visiting festival artists and practitioners.
I hope you’ll find the festival as diverse and exciting as ever. Navigating the long road that culminates in the festival wouldn’t be possible without the support and encouragement of many people. I’d like to thank all the SightSonic partners who have given their time over the years to support, facilitate, promote and develop SightSonic. Too numerous to name (though www.sightsonic.org has a good stab at it); without them the achievements of the last eight years wouldn’t have been possible. My sincere thanks.
I hope you enjoy the programme and that the festival gives you an opportunity to experience new, high quality contemporary art that is stimulating, provocative, inventive and inspirational.
Chair, SightSonic Art Group