Festival welcomes ‘anarchists of the imagination’

By Anna Mauremootoo

Abandon Normal Devices (AND) festival are encouraging the city of Manchester to think outside the box this week.

AND is a new festival, which are asking its visitors what are our normal devices and how might we abandon them?

The festival opened on Friday with Shrink, a performance by Lawrence Malstaf, at The Freemasons Hall and will be in Manchester until October 7.

Festival Manager Gaby Jenks said: “Abandon Normal Devices makes a natural home in a city famous for its revolutions.”

It hopes to act as a catalyst for experimentation and will take place across the North West until 2012 with a possibility of extending.

Anarchists of the imagination are invited to challenge the systems that define who we are along with cultural provocateurs, designers, film makers and artist.

Ms Jenks said: “With a thrilling combination of artists, technologists, filmmakers and designers challenging the systems that define who we are-we are really looking forward to AND Manchester.”

Among the pieces on display is Plan C, a collaboration of international artists aiming to act as reminder of the fragility of advanced technological societies.

Plan C is yet to be properly explained but artist Eva Mattes said: “We wanted to share something special from Chernobyl with the rest of the world.

“Kids will love it.”

The programme is spread across Manchester’s cultural spaces, including the Cornerhouse cinema on Oxford Road.

Architecture student, Sophie Alice Michell, said: “Manchester is a great place for aspiring artists and I really appreciate studying in a city where events like this are encouraged.”

The independent charity Legacy Trust UK, set up to create a lasting cultural and sporting legacy following the 2012 Olympics, funded the project.

For a full programme visit

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