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Alpha-ville LIVE Brings Together A Showcase Of Audiovisual Talent

Alpha-ville LIVE Brings Together A Showcase Of Audiovisual Talent

Many of you may know the name Alpha-ville from the German synth band who brought the world the song “Forever Young.” Or you may know the term from Jean-Luc Godard’s sci-fi noir film of the same name, but as well as both these things it’s also, fittingly, a festival that celebrates digital culture. Or, at least, it’s usually a festival but this year’s lack of funding has meant otherwise and instead they’ll be holding a one-day live event Alpha-ville LIVE on Saturday, October 6th where they’ll take over the Hackney Empire and Hackney Picturehouse in London.

There will be a selection of video art, animation, interactive, documentary, and music videos followed by the London premiere of an AV collaboration between Murcof and AntiVJ’s Simon Geilfus, a performance from electronic musician The Field, and an AV spectacular by Raster-Noton’s label co-owner (alongside Carsten Nicolai) Byetone.

Sounds like a perfect day, so we sent the founders and directors Carmen Salas and Estela Oliva a few questions to find out a bit more.

Murcof + Simon Geilfus (AntiVJ) – Photo credit: Mathias Verjeslev

The Creators Project: Can you tell me briefly about the three acts that you’re presenting at the Empire and your reasons for choosing them?
Carmen Salas and Estela Oliva:
We wanted to bring a special programme to The Hackney Empire, a beautiful 1901 theatre that was a technological wonder of its time. By inviting some of the most interesting digital innovators and music pioneers that push the boundaries of music, art, and tech we hope to recreate a unique atmosphere in the theatre and challenge the senses of the spectators.

The first act of the night presents the London premiere of the collaboration between electronic musician Murcof and visual artist and software developer Simon Geilfus from AntiVJ. It’s a unique audiovisual project that started three years ago and that keeps evolving for each show. We recently chatted with Simon about a residency he took up with Murcof in Brussels a few months ago. During this time, they developed a new layer of sound that triggers the animation and that is only perceivable by the software. It’s very exciting to see how both artists experiment with new techniques and software, blending music and visuals further.

Axel Willner (The Field) comes from Berlin to play an exclusive solo show that has only been performed once before in a church in Norway. It will be very special. Olaf Bender, aka Byetone, is not only a multifaceted artist and designer but also the co-founder of one of our favourite music labels Raster Noton. He will present his spectacular audio visual show with tracks from his recent release Symeta and from previous albums. All very exciting!

Byetone – Photo credit: Peter Bul

How important is it, to you, to showcase digital culture at events like this?
Digital culture is at the heart of Alpha-ville. Our activities open a space for alternative thinking, experimentation and dialogue between creative technologists, designers, film makers, artists and anyone interested in this field. We focus on the possibilities and effects of technology from an artistic, cultural, and social perspective and we want our audience to really think out of the box.

What are some of the highlights we can expect to see from the moving image work?
This year we present an Alpha-ville Double Bill at the Hackney Picturehouse. For the Future of Moving Image Programme and Award we have an exceptional panel including Blake Whitman (Vimeo), Ingrid Kopp (Tribeca Film Institute) and Philip Ilson (Short Film Festival). The programme will feature the best shortlisted films including “Sight”, a short film by Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo that raises questions about how AR vision could change human relationships.

Some of the highlights of the Unfinity programme people can look forward to include Unnamed Soundsculpture by Onformative and Chopchop who won the honorary mention from the Prix Ars Electronica in the category of computer animation, Slow Derek by Daniel Ojari from RCA, Timeliness a documentary by KS12 that focuses on questions about identity, experience, time and place in a post-digital era, and the deliciously delirious Superdreamer by David Broner. The programme also features Forms by Quayola and Akten—funny enough we read a very interesting essay on your blog about this piece.

Murcof + Simon Geilfus (AntiVJ) – Photo credit: Mathias Verjeslev

@stewart23rd