16-18 November Coventry, UK

Ludic Rooms’ biennial festival of arts, play and technology returns to venues across Coventry. Performances, exhibitions and workshops in unexpected places with music, dance, visual arts and making for all the family to enjoy and explore together.

Evening Programme

 

Klaus Obermaier

FACELESS_VOICELESS

includes artist talk

WARWICK ARTS CENTRE
FRI 16 NOV 19.30
£15-21

BOOK TICKETS

FACELESS_VOICELESS continues Klaus Obermaier’s long term artistic research into nonverbal communication with facial and corporeal expressions and paralanguage and moreover in the human body as the interface between the real and the virtual, as an object of constant redefinition and reinvention.

Barbara Vuzem’s body and Klaus Obermaier’s face, together with the real-time manipulation of both voice and the live interaction between sound, movement, gestures, and visuals form an immersive environment, where the body talks, the light dances, the face screams, the visuals sound and the voice cracks.

For more than two decades media-artist, director, choreographer and composer Klaus Obermaier has created innovative works with new media in performing arts, music and installations. His inter-media performances and artworks are shown at festivals and theatres throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America and Australia. He has worked with Ars Electronica Futurelab, Kronos Quartet, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Balanescu Quartet.

Hellion Trace

KICKING THE MIC

ST JOHN’S CHURCH
SAT 17 NOV 17.00-18.30
£7 adv (£10 door)

BOOK TICKETS

Wonderful, delightful and magical.” LA

Fusing live tap dance, looping and a sound reactive LED dress, Kicking the Mic is a multi-sensory show.

“Sublime… from the tightly choreographed tap routines to the arresting moments of beauty where technology and performer respond to each other” Japan

The rhythmical sounds of Tap are turned simultaneously into samples of different instruments, from flutes to cellos to tablas. Laura Kriefman loops and layers these sounds live, creating danced compositions, which are then layered with her exquisite vocals- al; whilst wearing an LED dress that lights up and changes colour to the live sounds creating a visual score to the music and dance.

“Mesmerising, unique” France

“A transportive, multi-sensory show” UK

Hellion Trace have won multiple awards for digital innovation and specialise in Augmented Dance: the fusion between movement and technology. Resident at the Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol, they create interactive installations and spectacles that have been commissioned worldwide including USA, Brazil, Ireland, Croatia, Europe, India, and Indonesia.

Graham Dunning

MECHANICAL TECHNO

with special guests
SWOOMP THEENG

THE TIN
SAT 17 NOV 20.00-23.00
£7 adv (£10 door)

BOOK TICKETS

In Mechanical Techno, several looping records spin on the same axle, layering up locked groove records, audio triggers to analogue synths, mechanically played percussion and mechanically triggered drum machines.

“If the trend in recent dance music has been to artfully engineer a certain wonkiness into an otherwise strict digital framework, Dunning has found the appeal of the precise reverse: struggling to maintain grid-like rigidity in a system inherently antagonistic to it.” – Wire Magazine, August 2015

Graham Dunning is self-taught as an artist and musician having studied neither discipline academically. His live work explores sound as texture, timbre and something tactile, drawing on bedroom production, tinkering and recycling found objects.

Day Programme

 

fanSHEN

THE JUSTICE SYNDICATE

The Herbert
SAT 17 NOV 11.00 & 13.45
SUN 18 NOV 12.00 & 14.00
£5

BOOK TICKETS

A piece of playable theatre drawing on a jury format.

90 Mins Approx

How will you vote?

A top surgeon accused of a serious crime. Conviction would mean planned operations will not go ahead – and the evidence is far from conclusive.

The Justice Syndicate is a piece of playable theatre drawing on a jury format. It explores how we fill in the gaps to make decisions.

Power and privilege; trust and technology; thought and action.

How will you vote?

The Justice Syndicate is a collaboration between recovering theatre company fanSHEN, computational artist Joe McAlister and neuroscientist Dr Kris De Meyer.

Like real jury service, this performance is only for 18+.

MI:labs

Nature / Future

Belgrade Plaza
SAT 17 NOV 12.00 – 17.00
SUN 18 NOV 12.00 – 16.00
Free. Drop-in.

Moving Image Labs (MI:Labs) is an experimental media and digital arts programme for young people in Coventry. It has been developed by Ludic Rooms with Warwick Arts Centre’s Creative Learning Team.

This installation showcases the work of students from Barr’s Hill School, President Kennedy School, and Westwood Academy. The material was generated in after-school clubs exploring all kinds of image-making techniques such as holograms, projection mapping, light-painting pixel art and animated GIFs.  LR also host a weekly MI:labs group for 13-18s based at Warwick Arts Centre. Each term we work on live production projects, such as designing and projection mapping this piece for Random String.

Centre for Dance Research

DANCING PERCEPTION NEURONS

Shop Front Theatre
SAT 17 NOV 12.00 – 17.00
Free. Drop-in

This interactive and flexible workshop welcomes all ages* and bodies to come be in the space and play with Perception Neuron motion capture kit. The participant wearing the kit will have a chance to see themselves on the screen and an avatar of their body will be projected whilst other people in the space are invited to dance with the individual and the avatar. This is an informal dance workshop where we will all co-create and play together allowing the tech to be a starting point for our quirky dance phrase.

*please note that children and young adults are invited to be in the space and can dance but we are unable to place markers on anyone under the age of 18.

C-DaRE, The Coventry University Centre for Dance Research, specialises in an inclusive interdisciplinary approach to diverse forms of artistic and scholarly research in dance supported by new approaches to documentation, analysis and dissemination of choreographic creativity. C-DaRE embraces leading edge research developments including reflexive enquiry into embodied practices, collective and political action, digitisation, cultural value and the expanded choreographic field.

Fernando Ramallo & David Kanaga

PANORAMICAL

Shop Front Theatre
SAT 17 NOV 12.00 – 17.00
SUN 18 NOV 12.00 – 16.00
Free. Drop-in

In PANORAMICAL, players manipulate the look, sound, and feel of more than a dozen mesmerising landscapes in an immersive musical adventure through space and time. Turn peaceful mountains into thumping valleys into jazz solo forests into ominous caves, turn day into night, turn oceans into deserts into atmosphere and the soundscape transforms with you. Each of the 15 unique worlds consists of 18 different audio-visual dimensions under your control.

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Fernando Ramallo is an Argentine game designer and maker. He’s been an independent developer since 2010 and is always tinkering with abstract graphics, generative visuals and strange interactive installations. He is also a digital nomad and has worked on PANORAMICAL while in Argentina, Mexico, all over Europe, and in several areas of the US. He’s currently based in Portland.

David Kanaga is best known for his dynamic and procedural musical scores for island exploring Proteus and synaesthetic racing game Dyad.

SWOOMP THEENG

THA DAANCE MAAST

Skydome
SAT 17 NOV 12.00-16.00
Free. Drop-in.

Join Swoomtheeng in their RaaVe GRoTTo and make beats, tunes and visuals. Play the DaaNCe MaaST, join in with eight other players and work together to craft the perfect beat using Swoomptheengs’ mobile tune engine. Rave to the tunes with a backdrop of animated swoompy visuals!

“Swoomptheeng are emerging from the depths of The Urban. They’re bringing Tha Daance Maast. Tradition has it that those that can write wicked beats together on their maypole have great love. It’s a sacred, multi-player contraption with booms and lights. It’s a banger challenge featuring craftsmanship from the swamp, bright masks and coloured magic. Tell your grandma. Nods.” – translated from the original Swoompese

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Swoomptheeng are a Birmingham-based art collective providing “Rave Craft, Zombie Bass and Ritualised Punk Technology”. Recent work includes The Swoompipe – a wooden pipe used to play music and games shown at the V&A in 2017.

Matthew Evans

THE LUNAR SOUNDSCAPE

Artspace Arcadia Gallery
SAT 17 NOV 12.00-17.00
SUN 18 NOV 12.00-16.00
Free. Drop-in.

Make sound from the space around you and the space above you.

The Lunar Soundscapes is an interactive sonification installation that uses greyscale image data from a live video feed for the creation of synthesis. A projection of a full moon is cast onto the viewer both as a light source and to create a feedback loop between physicality, space and sound. As the viewer navigates the space the synthesis changes in response.

The piece allows a tangible connection between the viewer and the stimuli (the moon) that is ordinarily unavailable, with the user creating sound from the space around them and space above them.

—-

Matthew DF Evans is a Birmingham based sound artist and musician focused on making sound and music through data.

Graduating from UAL (LCC) with a BA in Sound Art & Design and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with an Mmus in Music Technology, Evans is currently a Visiting Tutor and Doctoral Researcher at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire exploring pixel data sonification. He is also a member of Black Hole Club, an artist group based at Vivid Projects.

Synth
Curious

The Herbert
SAT 17 NOV 12.00 – 15.00
Free. Drop-in.

Coventry based electronic music artists and curators, Synthcurious, will be performing a live sound installation in the Covered Court.

A fully live and improvised event, using a section of electronic instruments from the last 50 years, they will be exploring and exploiting the sonic properties of this unique space within the gallery.

Fab Lab Coventry

POPUP PAPERCRAFT
(with shiny lights)

Fab Lab Coventry
SAT 17 NOV 12.00 – 16.00
SUN 18 NOV 12.00 – 15.00
Free. Drop-in.

Make pretty things in FabLab’s digital card engineering / poundshop-hack mashup. A seasonal activity for at least one adult and up to 2 children over 5 years.

Fab Lab Coventry is a city centre resource that offers access to state-of-the-art computer-controlled tools like 3D printers and laser cutters as well as more traditional metal and wood working tools.

The Fab Lab – short for fabrication laboratory – is open to anyone from budding entrepreneurs to school pupils, sculptors and scientists. But it’s also available to people who are simply looking to gain new skills – or share theirs.

Popup Hybrid Board Game Cafe

Drapers Bar & Kitchen
SUN 18 NOV 13.00 – 16.00
Free

 Come play with us in the meeting place between interactive technologies and social tabletop gaming. We’ll have dozens of titles to choose from (with all the tech to support them) covering vintage classics like Atmosfear and Pacman The Board Game through to the latest contemporary offerings such as VR murder mystery Chronicles of Crime, iPad dexterity game Beasts of Balance and When in Rome, a trivia game supported by Amazon Alexa. Grab yourselves a drink from the bar (and maybe a bit of cake) then find a table, staff will be on hand to run you through how to play and give you tips on what games might suit your group. 

Edie Jo Murray

What I Saw

Drapers Bar & Kitchen
SAT 17 NOV 12.00 – 23.00
SUN 18 NOV 13.00 – 16.00
Free. Drop-in.

What I Saw uses Augmented Reality to explore psychosis; an impaired relationship with reality characterised by seeing and believing things that are not real. By using AR technology, What I Saw invites the viewer to consider the subjective nature of reality, and explore a world where certain things can only be seen through a specified lens.

Edie Jo Murray is a neurodivergent practitioner with an obsession with unreal sensory experiences and the notion of real vs not-real. Her practice includes augmented and virtual reality installations, 3D computer generated imagery and web-based artworks. She uses these tools to explore the subjectivity of reality, and the potential to create alternate worlds via digital means.

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Workshop Programme

 

Coral Manton, Birgitte Aga & Elvia Vasconcelos

WOMEN
RECLAIMING AI

The Herbert
SAT 17 NOV 10.30-13.00
Free (booking required)

BOOK TICKETS

Women Reclaiming AI is a collaborative AI Voice Assistant by women for women.

This project is in response to lack of gender diversity in the development of AI systems. The aim is to develop an AI voice assistant programmed through collaborative workshops with women and people who do not primarily identify as male. Together we will create an AI assistant that reflects female identity, using a corpus of inspirational speech from women the collective admire. Through workshops we will explore possibilities for female led tech workspaces reflecting collaborative and sharing working practices reminiscent of creative female spaces such as quilting circles. The project will look for creative responses by women exploring gender identity in the future of AI.

Requirements: No previous experience of coding is required but participants are asked to bring a laptop if they have access to one. Bring quotes from women who inspire you whether authors, celebrities, relatives or friends etc.

Background: AI voice assistants like Ok Google, Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Bixby use female names, identities, voices (as a response to pressure an increasing number now have an option to change the gender of the voice to male). Studies revealed that both men and women respond more favourably to female speech and want their AI assistant to be ‘obedient and assisting.’ Culturally we are used to hearing female voices in subordinate/service roles and therefore on the whole we are more comfortable with a female voiced AI assistant.

This workshop sets out to empower women with the tools and the community to reclaim these technologies, collectively prototyping a more desirable representation of women in AI.

https://www.womenreclaimingai.com/

Ludic Rooms

MI:labs

Belgrade Plaza
SAT 17 NOV 12.00-17.00
SUN 18 NOV 12.00-16.00
Free. Drop-in.

Hands-on digital media experiments for all ages led by members of the MI:labs team.

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Moving Image Labs (MI:Labs) is an experimental media and digital arts programme for young people in Coventry. It has been developed by Ludic Rooms with Warwick Arts Centre’s Creative Learning Team.

Graham Dunning

MECHANICAL TECHNO WORKSHOP

The Herbert
SAT 17 NOV 13.30-15.30
£10

BOOK TICKETS

Following a demonstration of the workings of the mechanical techno setup, participants will make three different types of modified record, each making rhythmical sounds in a different way. Live samples from second-hand vinyl; patterned disks that optically trigger a bass-synth; and pegged-out records for sequenced drum beats.

Finally, each set of three disks will be combined in the tower to create a playable machine-composition.

Participants take away a digital recording of their track and keep any records they’ve made (or ruined).

“If the trend in recent dance music has been to artfully engineer a certain wonkiness into an otherwise strict digital framework, Dunning has found the appeal of the precise reverse: struggling to maintain grid-like rigidity in a system inherently antagonistic to it.” – Wire Magazine, August 2015

Graham Dunning is self-taught as an artist and musician having studied neither discipline academically. His live work explores sound as texture, timbre and something tactile, drawing on bedroom production, tinkering and recycling found objects.

Past contributors...

 

Phoenix Perry
Dan Hett
Bare Conductive
Tom Armitage
Entropika Lab
Antonio Roberts
Juneau Projects
Nikki Pugh
Katie Day
Anthea Moys

Sam Howey Nunn
Leila Johnston
Debbie Adele Cooper
Melissa Mean (KWMC)
Pete Ashton
Sandra Crisp
Victoria Tillotson
George Buckenham
NEON
Edie Jo Murray

Random String is produced by Ludic Rooms, a non-profit postdigital arts organisation. We believe in empowering communities to become co-creators of work, in collaborating with partners across disciplines and demystifying the use of technologies as creative material.

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About Coventry

Coventry, the 2021 UK City of Culture, is the most centrally-located city in England and is well connected on mainline services via rail, an hour from London and two hours from Manchester. The nearest airport is Birmingham International, just 15 mins away by car or train.

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