. community —

Metapod Digital Arts Festival

Metapod Digital Arts Festival
27 February – 3 March 2003

Press Release

The third Metapod Festival, the only event of its type in the West Midlands showcasing innovative art and creative projects using new media, will take place to coincide with FACT’s BitParts commissions. Following on from the sell-out success of Metapod Festival 2001, the festival in 2003 focuses on the fusion of Old and New Media. Metapod Festival will take place in Birmingham and provide a base for visitors to experience the BitParts commissions in the wider region.

Metapod Festival includes new commissions from a number of artists including:

Herwig Weiser’s Intimator at the Shopfront, The Greenhouse, Custard Factory, 28 February - 15 March. The Intimator draws our attention to the hidden body of computer technology: the precious metals that are contained in the monitors and circuit boards and the heavy, oily, ferrous fluid that flows through every computer. Weiser uses these ingredients and alchemically transforms them into a dynamic, kinetic sound sculpture.

Lewis Paul will be combining his interest in film and digital techniques through his piece on BMX bikers from Birmingham. Shown as projected film works, Flatlanders engages the talent and personalities of BMX and bike culture in Birmingham’s centre and surrounding landscapes, Custard Factory Gallery, 28 February - 3 March.

London based James Coupe and Hedley Roberts will develop their work I, Robot (Phase 2) inviting visitors to convince four ‘intelligent’ robots in need of parents that they are a suitable father or mother. I, Robot (Phase 2) runs from 28 February - 3 March at the Custard Factory Gallery.

Regional artists Funding Pending will be recycling 30 years of videos from Vivid’s archive with their new piece Dead Media. Passers-by will be enticed inside an occupied shop front where they will encounter an environment reminiscent of an episode of the X-Files set in an obsolete branch of Dixon’s. Showing at Cathedral Square, Birmingham, 1 - 8 March

Group 7 present Internet Exploder a browsing environment that offers a more tangible experience of cyberspace than the ‘flat glass’ browsing sessions we are used to – a projected interactive installation looking at the role of the browser in contemporary communication. Internet Exploder is showing at the Custard Factory Reception, 28 February- 3 March.

Darryl Georgiou’s T(oy)ime Machine is a very ‘Old’ piece of ‘New’ media. A curious mix of memories and memorabilia in which TV characters are brought to life through a combination of multi-sensory sounds, objects, voices and theme tunes of yesteryear. It takes those who play with it to a world where magic still happens. T(oy)ime Machine can be seen at the Custard Factory Gallery, 28 February- 3 March.

Music performances and DJ sets will be provided by artists and promoters including Brian Duffy and Kaffe Mathews, Capsule, Cold Rice and Home Cookin’.

Alongside these highly inventive and visually exciting installations and performances will be a series of workshops and seminar programmes. In particular, the festival will work with the Young People’s Parliament and University of the First Age at Millennium Point to provide a real platform for young people to contribute and comment on their experiences and future hopes in new media production. FACT and Metapod present England Streaming 2 showcasing the potential for community and interactive broadcast in the region. There will also be Opportunities Day: a seminar providing an opportunity to find out about funding programmes, industrial contacts and networking groups in the region.

This festival marks an exciting new phase for Metapod as it prepares to relocate to new offices at c-PLEX in West Bromwich. Founded in 1999 with Light House Wolverhampton, Metapod seeks to further develop its commitment to emergent artists and practice through the provision of the annual festival and a series of initiatives and networks for advocacy and facilitation for artists. This work will be developed and expanded through a range of partners and collaborators such such as c-Plex, Vivid, Capsule and FACT.

Metapod also coincides with Bitparts, a series of seven newly commissioned digital arts projects by leading British and international artists, showing throughout the West Midlands, February - April 2003.

For further details contact rebsmason@aol.com