With a new festival set to bring together arts and digital specialists, Sarah Freeman takes a look at the highlights of the first York Mediale.
The location isn’t glamorous. However, tucked away in the corner of a giant hanger at the end of a North Yorkshire industrial estate, Matthew Plummer Fernandez is creating something quite beautiful.
As part of the inaugural York Mediale, a festival designed to promote the city’s digital creative industries, the British/Colombian artist has landed an eight month residency with Fluxaxis, part of the Stage One Group.
Plummer arrived with a reputation for pushing the boundaries of computer modelling and with Fluxaxis a specialist in 3D printing they have been quietly working on a brand new public work of art.
“I’ve loved it,” says Plummer, who has been tasked with designing a series of abstract sculptures which will be installed around the city during the festival in the autumn. “The team here have been really supportive and it has been a true collaboration.
“The kind of 3D printing we are trying to do is really complex, but the end result should look stunning. At the moment we have produced small models of the final work and it all seems to be going in the right direction.”
The final programme for the York Mediale has yet to be revealed, but will include exhibitions, live performances and workshops and one area of focus will be the city’s already thriving technology and gaming sectors.
Tom Higham, York Mediale’s creative director, said: “This is a brand new festival for York and indeed the UK and will provide a showcase for leading international digital artists and the best emerging talent from the UK and across the globe.
“We are working with the community and creative partners from the ground up to create work which is challenging, inspiring and a lot of fun – we want people to experience something completely new, unexpected and different and our aim is that the work will premier here and several projects will then go on to tour the world. “
The other major commission revealed so far will see work by a number of leading digital artists, including Isaac Julien and Agnes Meyer Brandis, brought together for the first time at York Art Gallery. The Strata Rock, Dust and Stars exhibition, which will open in September and run through to January, will explore how our understanding of geology has shaped our relationship with the world.
Tom added: “York already has a strong core of business, academics and creative individuals who are working right at the forefront of emerging media and technology, including game design, immersive virtual reality projects, broadcasting and innovative approaches to engage with the city’s heritage through technology.
“We hope to bring these communities together to share what they are developing with a wider audience, so that the city can really benefit from the momentum which is already building here.”
York Mediale will run across a number of locations from September 27 to October 6. For further details visit www.yorkmediale.com