A new mini-festival of cutting-edge audiovisual (AV) performances from Montreal will showcase the UK premières of eight pieces of work at BFI Southbank next month.
AV artists blend sonic trickery, eye-popping graphics and a darkened room to create multi-sensory experiences that, at their best, can draw the audience into another world. You can get a feel for the effect here:
The two-day festival, called Digital Quebec, will have fans of the art form warming up their eyes and ears in anticipation, and provide newcomers with a high-end introduction to the genre (if you're sensitive to esoteric descriptions of art concepts, don't read on).
Among the highlights of the first day is a performance by Dominique T Skoltz, who presents her new work y20, focusing on the subject of troubled love. Then there's Yan Breuleux whose Tempêtes is inspired by the late work of renowned painter JMW Turner and promises to take the audience through a series of chaotic, continuously-transforming panoramas, while accompanied by cellist Soizic Lebrat.
Matthew Biederman and sound artist 4X will dive into the physicality of sound and image perception to explore the knotty question of where perception actually occurs within the senses. And celebrated veteran Herman Kolgen will perform his latest work, Seismic, which creates ‘audiocinetic’ sculptures (see above).
The second day includes Maotik & Metametric's new creation Omnis, a sonic and visual assault that destabilises the senses as the piece explores the limits of space and technology. Also worth a look is Ring Buffer by Montreal-based composer and new media artist Greg Debicki which explores something called data-bending via the use of visual sculpturing software and 3D shapes transforming into sound (perhaps better experienced than described).
Digital Quebec is at BFI Southbank from 12-13 March, tickets are £16-£40, available from the website.