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LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

May 4, 2009
Later this month the storied UK city of Manchester will play host to Futuresonic 2009 and the Social Technologies Summit, a three day event mixing multiple formats of entertainment and education. 2009 marks the 14th year of the festival, which will take place from the 13th to the 16th of May.

"Featuring world premieres of astonishing artworks, an explosive city-wide music programme, and visionary thinkers from around the world," the festival dabbles in experience of sight, sound, thought and body. Divided into four distinct categories of Art, Music, Ideas and EVNTS, the gathering "occupies the orbits of art, performance, music, design and digital culture." If that sounds a bit grandiose, it isn't; since being founded by Drew Hemment in 1995, Futuresonic organizers have put together projects on five continents, both through live music performances and the commissioning of "unique one-off projects and artist collaborations, with a special emphasis on projects using emerging technologies."

"More ambitious and relevant than ever," the themes for the 2009 art program "include society, technology and the city plus this year Environment 2.0." What that means is dozens of experimental artists from around the world composing work in a variety of formats. The majority of the art installations scheduled for Futuresonic fall into the category of either World Premiere or UK Premiere, and many were commissioned specifically for the festival. For example, the multi-day event "Biotagging Manchester" is explained as "a participatory project to discover and map Manchester's urban wildlife in new ways. People will move along a straight line through Manchester, traversing a range of microclimates, including cooler and warmer areas of the city." As part of a different event, there will also be something called Bubble Racing.

"The Social Technologies Summit is the leading international conference that brings together 500 opinion formers, futurologists, artists, researchers and technologists to explore the latest upgrade affecting today's digital culture." When visitors have had their brains thoroughly fried by pondering the future of human existence, they can head off to any number of venues to catch any number of music events. Musicians scheduled to appear in Manchester this month include Philip Glass, Ariel Pink, Murcof, Antipop Consortium, Marnie Stern, Daedelus, Icy Deamons, Crystal Antlers, and enough DJs to keep the methamphetamine market booming.

The 2009 running of Futuresonic is so stacked with activity - there will be some 300 artists and 100 events spread across 30 venues - that it is expected to draw upwards of 50,000 visitors and has been nominated for a Lever Arts Prize. All of Futuresonic's art exhibitions and events are free, and tickets for individual music events are now available via the festival website. Also available are Delegate Passes, which range in price from 150 to 30; that's a bit steep, but also includes access to all main festival event and the Social Technologies Summit. It should also be noted that 2009 is the final year for the name Futuresonic, which will be retired and replaced with Futureeverything, a name more in keeping with the broad scale of the festival.

SEE ALSO: www.futureeverything.org

--
Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other articles by Eric J Herboth.

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