Entitled Down A Material Mouth, this year’s festival is programmed by artist Mark Briggs and writer Naomi Pearce, and includes screenings, performances and workshops with an emphasis on listening and liveness.
It features contributions by Karolina Bachanek, Sadie Benning, Edward O. Bland, Gregg Bordowitz, Elina Bry, Clare Charnley and Lucy Clout, DAS, Philip Ewe, Richy Carey with Mark Bleakley and Lauren Gault, Stanya Kahn, Rita Keegan, Devin Kenny, Christopher Kirubi, Natasha Lall, Luzie Meyer, The Moodies, ******** [Ailie Ormston, Tim Fraser] and Torsten Lauschmann, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Mathew Parkin, Abby Beatrice Quick, Erica Scourti, Christopher Ulutupu, Amelia Bywater & Rebecca Wilcox.
Down A Material Mouth is a collaboration prepared by strangers. In the beginning we spoke about festival fatigue; how best to avoid dry eyeballs, jelly brain, passive consumption. Suggested trying to give the senses a break by moving between listening and looking. Next we got into the voice, or to be more specific; artists and their polyvocal ability. Talked about how they digest pop culture, take music and sound, gorge on information, regurgitate. Are these casual encounters or intimate alliances? What things can’t be translated? Moving image work as indigestion. Decided to invite artists who used their own bodies as source material. Both thought humour was good (vital even) improvisation too. Soon the festival started to solidify. There would be a troubling of narrative storytelling, both in terms of its veracity but also its affect; how it manipulates and seduces, what it incites. There would be artists using their mouths to speak and sing. We asked each other questions: who gets to give voice to other people’s lives? What information about a person is important? Who is listening? Biography as fictional reconstruction and political gesture, a recuperative genre through which loss might be soothed or desire sated. And then suddenly we were finished, full up with feelings about avatars or alter-egos as coping mechanisms; because who really likes the sound of their own voice anyway?
? Mark Briggs and Naomi Pearce