Abandon Normal Devices (AND) is a nomadic born-digital producer that commissions ground-breaking art projects, based in the UK with an international profile. Unafraid to enter new territories and broker new partnerships, AND proposes shifts in the way art is experienced, staging projects that spill out of the gallery and into the landscape.
AND’s portfolio includes a roaming biennial festival, which takes place in a new location every two years and an annual commissioning programme, which can take the form of public art, site specific film happenings and cross platform productions.
AND Festival 2021 will take place around the historic waterways of the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey. This landscape gives us a rich unique context to explore urgent conversations relating to new materials, climate change, borders and global trade.
By the Sound of Things – presented in association with AND is an immersive audiovisual experience onboard the unique steam-powered, Mersey-built boat, the Daniel Adamson (The Danny):
From the deck of one of the last surviving Manchester Ship Canal tugs, the audience is invited to feel the vast echoes and epic scale of the modern shipping industry and consider the extent and impact of our insatiable consumerism on local and global environments.
Submerged beneath the waterline, mariners rest below deck between watches – their cradle song is the aching sounds of a ship against water. A nautical soundtrack transports wayfarers to a vast and veiled world – a subaquatic acoustical mirage. Featuring deep sea hydrophone recordings depicting the marine ecosystem disrupted by man-made ship noise, this hypnotic binaural sound work tells the story of the journey of a container as it travels from the surface to the bottom of the ocean.
An accompanying film focusing on the world above water presents a collision of the extraordinary and the banal that defines the image of global sea trade – an absurd narrative of ordinary things. Containers loaded and unloaded, the rhythmic motions of cranes performing an industrial-scale ballet, the transporting vessels of the global shipping industry forge sonic trails across oceans to bring us our things; the necessary and frivolous, the coveted and the disposable.
By the Sound of Things by Kate Davies is commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England with further support from The Daniel Adamson Preservation Society. Sound design by Chris Timpson of Aurelia Soundworks. Kate Davies is a UK based artist and architect. Her work explores the complexities of contemporary landscape; from landscapes of extraction, manufacturing and logistics to remote territories, wilderness and ancestral homelands. She is particularly interested in the places where conflicting value systems coexist.
You can watch the trailer here.
Attendees of The Good Business Festival can be amongst the first to experience this immersive installation as part of our session in Halton at 10am on Friday 9th – Any Freeport in a Climate Storm
The installation will then be available to view for the rest of the weekend as part of AND Festival, where the work will be presented on the boat on a series of cruises in between the National Waterways Museum and Latchford Lock (Warrington) as well as available to experience for periods while the boat is static by the Museum.
The film and soundtrack from the installation will be available to view on our website in the future – watch this space!