Abandon Normal Devices’ (AND) is a new biennial of ‘new cinema and digital culture’ that was launched in Liverpool last week. It’s a quirky affair – a sort of film festival with bonus exhibitions (or vice-versa, depending on your bias). Highlights that floated my boat included a new commissioned work by Thai maestro Apichatpong Weerasethakul at the Foundation for Art and Technology (FACT), an exhibition by British filmmaker Duane Hopkins at the Open Eye Gallery, and a one-off performance lecture by Carolee Schneemann at Tate Liverpool.
So why ‘Abandon Normal Devices’? Kate Taylor, the festival’s director tells me the exhibition’s title is a reference to Brian Eno’s ‘Oblique Strategies’: a set of cards invented by Eno as a resource for breaking deadlocks during the working process. ‘AND’, it seems, is seeking a way forward as celluloid cinema gives way to digital cinema (peer-to-peer file sharing, movie players on mobile phones), and the whole ‘post-cinema’ condition. Exciting stuff. Taylor notes – with confident optimism – in the festival guidebook: ‘this is just the start’.