EASTN-DC Festival of Digital Creativity brings electroacoustic art to Manchester

An exciting five days of electroacoustic sounds and music took place between 25 and 30 June 2018 at The University of Manchester.

EASTN-DC festival poster.

The European Art - Science - Technology Network (EASTN-DC) collaborated with the Martin Harris Centre and the University's NOVARS research centre to bring performances, talks, workshops and panels about the intersections between art, science and technology to the city.

Coordinated by NOVARS director Professor Ricardo Climent, the festival aimed to reach out to the community by focusing on making educational resources and learning opportunities accessible and inclusive.

Highlights of the festival included the robotcowboy: Onwards to Mars performance, which saw Dan Wilcox use a wearable machine to demonstrate tension between human interaction and his electronic attachments.

I have augmentations to my voice, to my arm… There should always be something that I can screw up. If things happen or they don't work, or I need help, that's part of the performance.

Dan Wilcox / robotcowboy

Another highlight was a talk from Rosalia Soria, a Mexican composer, bass player and electronics engineer.  She discussed her own research and experiences when examining the internalised and externalised racism within Mexican communities, helping to bring awareness of a topic that is not obvious to those outside Mexico.

Rosalia also combined the speech recordings from her research with music to create a piece of electroacoustic art, which was also performed at the festival. 

Entrepreneurial day

An entrepreneurial day was also held as part of the festival on 29 June. This encompassed a talk and a set of workshops at HOME, Manchester.

There was a mix of sound art demonstrations and activities, as well as talks, notably from Dr Shanta Aphale, Business Engagement Manager at the University, who talked about how small businesses could partner with the University.