Mutek Festival_Convergence Festival
Karen Gwyer at MUTEK in Montreal, 2015 ©

Caroline Hayeur

As part of the QC-UK Connections programme, Convergence Festival in London partnered with MUTEK in Montreal on Liaison Project, a collaborative curatorial exchange, selecting four British and Quebecois artists to promote innovative artworks in the field of digital art and electronic music in their festivals. Here, Convergence shares some of their insights on the Liaison Project.

What is Convergence all about? 

Convergence is a long-term initiative that promotes creative engagement with digital arts through performance, collaborations, talks, installations and professional interactions of exceptional artistic excellence. Our next Convergence series will run from 10 - 20 March 2016 with performances in venues across London, reaching a potential live audience of over 19 000. Convergence Sessions, our creative learning initiative, which brings artists and audiences together in an active dialogue around art and technology, will be held from 17 - 19 March, 2016. With a focus on the shape-shifting world of digital culture, the Convergence Sessions will explore a wide array of topics including story-telling, news-gathering, information collection, copyright, data-bending, hacking, digital music composition, new weapons for the electronic composer and new media identities.

Describe your collaborative project with MUTEK: 

Liaison Project involves Convergence presenting British artists as part of MUTEK, during the 16th edition of the festival (27-31 May 2015) in Montreal and MUTEK presenting Quebecois artists in London as part of Convergence (10-20 March 2016). The aim of this collaborative curatorial project is to promote innovative artworks through the presentation of British and Quebecois artists at each festival, offering dynamic and distinctive live performances highlighting the best in contemporary electronic and digital artistry across both cultures.

How does a cultural exchange with Quebec impact your organisation? 

Liaison Project has impacted our organisation as it has allowed us to collaborate with an international partner, such as MUTEK, who are leaders in festival programming and production. As a fairly new and small organisation, we have benefited from the experience and organisational management that MUTEK offers, as well as bringing an international element to our programme for 2016. By programming UK artists for MUTEK and Quebecois artists for Convergence, we have opened up a cultural dialogue which has lead to a better artistic understanding between our organisations and cultures.

What is the latest concert that made an impact on you? 

We launched our 2016 series with Apparat (aka Sascha Ring) at the Barbican on 7 November 2015. It was an amazing concert that crossed orchestration with electronic music. Apparat presented a selection of his soaring scores for film and theatre. It was really contemporary and futurist, an absolutely beautiful show. 

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