This year's Abandon Normal Devices Festival, AND, gave the city a taste of new cinema and media, featuring the work of recognised artists as well as that of three Liverpool Screen School graduates.
The annual festival has taken place in Liverpool for the first time, celebrating new cinema and digital culture at different venues across the city including FACT, the Bluecoat, Tate Liverpool, the JMU Art and Design Academy, Liverpool Cathedral and Cornerhouse.
The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, FACT, served as the festival hub as it celebrated its 20th birthday. Chris Day and Mark Fothergill, 2007 iMedia graduates, and Georgina Malavazou, a 2009 iMedia graduate, had the unique opportunity to showcase their computer games in the FACT bar area.
Georgina Malavazou, 29, said: “Mine is a game of conspiracy. It’s a futuristic story that takes real stuff like the war in Palestine and the economic crisis and combines them in a fictional way. Hopefully people will find it interesting and easy to interact with.”
Sarah Haynes, head of the iMedia department at LSS, said: “I’m very proud of the work we have to show and I hope that it will showcase the course and show people the ways that you can use media to tell stories in different ways and create interactive experiences. It’s quite good for our graduates to have this experience because their work needs to be very robust to be in a space like this, it needs to be easy to use and interact with because anyone can come and use it.”
Chris Day, 25, said: “Having my work here is a great opportunity, it gives me added credibility. I run my own
business now but the Screen School set me up in good stead; it got me to examine lots of media and how
it can be used in different ways. It being here is actually something very special and has given me motivation to move this forward.”
The ex-students showcasing their work aren’t the only ones who have been motivated by the experience.
Third year iMedia student Jon Wharmby, 21, said: “It’s really great to see an independent art gallery showing independent art. A lot of the stuff going on this week is free and it’s really a booming industry, I think. It gives me a real sense of hope as a student that there is that appetite for it.”
The five-day event involved films, exhibitions, outdoor projections, discussions, performances and social events. Thursday night saw the return of The Long Night which saw more than 40 Liverpool galleries and venues open their doors until late, allowing visitors to enjoy events right through the night until breakfast time.
AND Volunteer Tom Hutchinson, 22, said: “It’s been great because it really got people to look at things differently, not just art and film, but the city as well. It took people to places they probably wouldn’t go otherwise – whether that be a museum late on a Thursday night or playing hide and seek at FACT, it’s been a really great week.”
AND is set to take place in Manchester 2010, returning to Liverpool once more in 2011.
Meanwhile, two other Liverpool Screen School graduates are preparing to show their film at the 17th Raindance Film Festival in London. Director Adam Wright and Producer Hannah Quinn will be showing their film 'Sertoli Sertoli Sertoli' on October 6th. The Sheffield Documentary Festival will also see the participation of LSS technician and former student, Rachel Brewster, in early November.
By Sam Rogers
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Geogina Malavazou, Mark Fothergill and Chris Day had work on display; Sam Fleet reports at the festival