A stroll around the festival…

21 October, 2013

Friday 18th October

I started my day with a hazelnut latte in hand – a necessity for anyone in media covering an event I think – wondering around the centre of Lincoln, taking in the atmosphere of the town and discovering what Frequency Festival had to offer….

Of course the first thing I spotted on my stroll through the high street was Timothy Chesney’s Go-Dome in Cornhill square. Like many other curious members of the public I wanted to get a closer look; perhaps its people’s inner child that encourages them to explore this dome, or the fact that a blow up structure the size of Santander has now taken residence in their city. Once inside, you become mesmerised by the shapes and moving imagery which surrounds you, accompanied by soothing music which entwines together in an audio-visual dance for the senses. Bret Battey created this digital piece, Clonal Colonies through the inspiration of plants and was commissioned by New York’s Avian Orchestra.  I advise you to take a moment in there, sit down, and let your mind wonder.

From there, I made my way over to St Swithins Church to see Chris Levine’s light installation – Angel Presence. Of course Levine is well known for his ability to use light on a large scale, such as his work exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery depicting the Queen and his work with Massive Attack among many others. Admittedly, when I walked into the church I thought I was in the wrong place, my preconceptions were wrong. Luckily a volunteer of the Frequency Festival pointed me towards the instillation in the alcove to the back of the church where there was a strip of LED lights. I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at, or whether I just wasn’t ‘artsy’ enough to understand it. Word of advice – stare at the lights then quickly move your head from side to side and you can actually see the shape of a dark figure with wings. How Chris Levine has done this is beyond me and has made me realise that you cannot be naïve and take things on face value, try and see beyond it. I will keep this attitude when looking at the rest of the exhibitions at the festival, I hope you will too.

Whilst in the area I popped around the corner to Greyfriars to see Andrew Bracey and John Rimmer’s  Misdirect Movies. Here there are various pieces including paintings, projections, digital prints and a microfiche viewer by a variation of artists from across the globe. I first looked at this exhibition on my own but was lucky enough to go along later on in the day to catch a talk and tour from Andrew and John – two lovely gents I must say! Their passion is more than apparent, not only when it comes to their own work but also when discussing, analysing and explaining other peoples work. They described the exhibition like a collage fitting loosely together and consequently breaking the form of film into a purer and a ‘significantly other’ thing than its original. Having the curators themselves explain their own work and their thought processes behind them is like being let in on a secret. My favourite piece was one of Andrew’s towards the back of the space, which he described as being ‘a simple idea which took a lot more time than anticipated’ where faces of iconic people in film have been put into a loop of film frame by frame. At first it’s a bit overwhelming to look at, but the longer you look the more faces you see and are able to identify and I then noticed the faces were collectively shaking their head. Andrew and John admitted Greyfriars was the hardest space to present their exhibit in, due to the lack of white walls to put the work into, and were at first slightly apprehensive but now feel is the best exhibition they’ve created in their tour of Misdirect movies. So now is definitely a good time to go!

Now on to my personal favourite, Conversio. This exhibition could be easy to miss if it weren’t for the Frequency Festival flag and volunteer outside so please keep your eyes peeled for it at Posterngate! Carol and Bruno, who together form Trope, met at Goldsmiths University and developed a technique called Diasynchronoscope (bit of a mouthful!). Using this technique they created Conversio especially made for the Roman ruin, incorporating the remains of the Roman South wall. This exhibition is in complete darkness, apart from the light from the piece itself so you wouldn’t know what was actually there but Bruno was kind enough to let me see the ruin which makes the exhibition more impressive regarding how they’ve used a potentially limiting space. I would so recommend going down into this exhibition to see just how stunning it is! And don’t worry if you’re scared of the dark, Bruno or Carol has a torch to guide the way! I was lucky enough to interview Bruno and Carol too which you can listen to in the link below.

So, my last event of the day was a one off performance as part of Chapel of the Infocalypse in Sincil Street. I had no preconceptions about what I was about to see, so what I did experience was a bit of a surprise! Set in a time after an informational and technological breakdown, the audience recited words as though preaching and were initiated by having carved wooden shapes hung around our neck – we basically became a cult. Once the performance finished I felt a bit odd, almost brain washed. But the very fact that I felt like that was interesting as others seemed to come out of the room seemingly unfazed and some were even secretly giggling! So overall, still not entirely sure what I thought about the performance but it definitely provoked the strongest reaction. Also, I kept the initiation pendant, is this okay? Is that allowed? I’m now forever part of the cult of Chapel of the Infocalypse.

By Georgina Palzeaird

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