Updated: Friday, 5th June 2020 @ 10:36am

Calling 'anarchists of the imagination': AND Festival back in Manchester with bold critique of our quest for success

Calling 'anarchists of the imagination': AND Festival back in Manchester with bold critique of our quest for success

By Gabriella Swerling

Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival, designed for ‘anarchists of the imagination’, returns to Manchester later this month.

It brings with it an energetic celebration of new cinema, digital culture and art to showcase only the most experimental of these disciplines.

AND’s mission is to push the boundaries of audience experience through a programme ‘that spills out of galleries and screens into the streets of the Northwest’.

This year’s theme is ‘success’ and the pursuit of it in its multi-faceted, glorious, addictive and fleeting forms. AND 2012 is about undermining and exposing the hilarity, tenacity and horror of such logic.

Festival manager Gaby Jenks said: “During a kaleidoscopic five days, unlikely monuments will be inflated, failed technological dreams will be resurrected and extinct industries will be salvaged and rebuilt. A mirror will be held up to celebrity culture and the shirked responsibility of the financial crash.”

Manchester’s pavements and well-loved institutions will be transformed into the canvases and screens which will display an exciting and peculiar array of arts and acts. Events range from exhibitions, performances, screenings, talks, worships and artists live at work.

Visitors will be in for such treats as Mammalian Diving Reflex who, with the help of a team of teenagers, will provide life advice on everything from relationships to money troubles, Faux queen Trixxie Carr, a born-female drag queen orphan from San Francisco and her socio-philosophical musings and artistic duo HeHe, who will bravely offer their imaginative ideas of a new transport system in Manchester.

Ms Jenks continued: “Alongside this are a number of events that focus on self-improvement, be it workshops to enhance your charisma, makeovers to prepare you for the world post-2012, or participatory work – live and online – ready to solve all your problems.”

With the likes of an apocalyptic drive-in movie theatre designed by Brooklyn artists Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark, a surreal, Lynchian trip into the mind of Alan Turing, the animal-mask wearing Girl Gang and their perception-altering shenanigans there is plenty of choice from all the playful activities on offer.

The best way to decide what events to see is to visit the website and have a browse of all the events on offer.

The festival formed in 2009 as a unique partnership between FACT and Cornerhouse and folly. AND is a 2012 inspired festival, funded by Legacy Trust UK and part of WE PLAY, the Northwest cultural legacy programme for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The festival alternates each year between the host cities of Manchester and Liverpool, with an extended regional programme. AND’S curatorial attitude of participation has encouraged collaborations all across the UK. 

AND festival will take place from 29 August – 2 September.

For more information about AND Festival 2012 and booking tickets visit: http://www.andfestival.org.uk/

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