Abandon Normal Devices digital festival moves to Manchester

New cinema and digital culture festival Abandon Normal Devices will move from Liverpool to Manchester when it opens in October.

The festival, now in its second year, will explore ‘identity, behaviour and systems that define who and what we are’, say the organisers. Several digital commissions have been announced and more will follow in July.

Online ‘hactivists’ Eva and Franco Mattes will start on an unnamed commissioned work in July which will be unveiled at the festival. The pair controversially released a computer virus at the Venice Biennale in 2009.

Mechanical Games by Xtine Burroughs is an Olympics spoof exploring how amateurs can be as engaging as professional athletes. Volunteers are being encouraged to upload videos of themselves replicating sporting events in literal interpretations or absurd pastiches.

Winners will be voted for at www.mechanicalolympics.org.

User Generated Illness (logo pictured) by collective Uber Morgan will explore ‘the culture of self-diagnosis and false diagnosis’, says festival organiser Gabby Jenks. A questionnaire-based website, www.ugi-heal.me, looks at ‘the generation who self-diagnose on the Internet’, she adds.

The Manchester Art Gallery will host a work by digital artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer exploring ‘self-representation and narcissism through surveillance technology and body scanners’, Jenks says. 

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