This week FutureEverything caught up with Test Card founder and Future Sessions Launch Party curator, Sean Clarke, for a chat about all things AudioVisual…
So, Sean, you’ve been curating AV events in Manchester for some time now, what first prompted you to start hosting this kind of event and why is Manchester the ideal location?
It was a mixture of a few things really. Throughout my years in college and university, I focused a lot of my energy on exploring this area of work. In college I became hooked on cinema, researching how various artists had pushed the medium further, through there experimentation with new techniques and technology. Then while studying art in Salford, I expanded on this by developing more work myself, which from the very start had close connection with dance culture, i.e VJ’ing. After leaving university, I was able to become part of the fantastic venue Texture. Which as many people might know has a fantastic inbuilt A/V system. I was lucky given the chance to develop my own programming for the venue. I decided to feed off my experience and knowledge of AV performance, to develop an event series which then became Test Card. The main purpose of the project was to give a platform for local and international artists to showcase work.
There seems to have been a big movement around AV performances in recent years, what do you think has prompted this?
The development of new software and hardware has played a massive role in allowing artists, from all backgrounds, to explore new ways of combining audio and visual content. For example, software such as Ableton continues to lead the way in its ability to connect over multiple platforms. Making it much easier to build A/V based performances, though its ability to send information between programs. I would also say artists are interested in development AV based performances because it allows them to stand out from the crowd and showcase a more memorable experience, take Eric Prydz for example.
Can you tell us about one of the most impressive AV performances you’ve seen of late?
Well if we are talking really recently, I would have to say Kevin Craig’s performance at the last Test Card. Kevin lecturer’s animation and illustration at MMU and has been coming to Test Card for over a year now. I was finally able to get him to perform. Using a combination of the Korg Volca and guitar pedals, Kevin created a meditative, drone soundscape, which he then used as a base to showcase his visual art. Which was a mixture of radio signals, texture based macro shots and animations inspired by deep space. One of the elements I really loved about it was his use of colour, which only had a range from white to black, it was stylistically beautiful. I really loved that performance as well, because it emphasized the purpose of the project, to give artists the support and platform to showcase work, that may not have been developed otherwise.
What makes the Future Sessions show at the Whitworth worth checking out?
There will not be many opportunities to experience a line up like this, especially in one of Manchester’s most historic buildings. We have some of the most exciting local talent showcasing their work, with one of the most talented A/V artists in the world headlining. If that’s not a good enough reason I don’t know what is.
On March 21st at the Whitworth gallery, Future Sessions will give host to an incredible line up of both local and international A/V artists including Lucas Gutierrez, Joe Beedles, and Seth Scott + Guillaume Dujat.
Don’t miss out on the chance to bag tickets to this event! Tickets are available HERE!