What did you do before FutureEverything and what brought you here?
Before FutureEverything I was studying electronic music production at Spirit Studios and doing pretty much the same as I do now, making noises with electricity and experimenting with circuits, materials and systems to perform with, whilst working at the Whitworth Art Gallery leading their youth collective.
I’ve always been a fan of FutureEverything and loved attending the festival events in Manchester seeing groundbreaking international audiovisual artist commissions, so now that I get to work for the company I feel thrilled that my work reflects my art practice and I get to work with other humans interested in conversations around art, technology and society.
Do you have a favourite FutureEverything project?
Hard to pick just one! As an audience member i’d have to say Martin Messier’s Projections from the 2014 festival, I remember going to this at RNCM and being blown away. A project that I’ve personally worked on as lead artist was Yemen: Say hello to connect, our travelling digital artwork that used voice interaction, generative tools and storytelling to engage audiences in the interconnected issues of the humanitarian crisis. This was a really rewarding experience and technically challenging on such an important and current issue.
What are you most interested in or excited about in the current digital art and culture space?
Last year whilst I was living in Berlin researching at the art-science and audio-visual scenes, I took part in an art historical AI programme which brought me into contact with some fascinating artists and ideas around human-machine collaboration. I’ve continued my research in this area, looking into machine learning and music in Russia (British Council UK-Russia year of music) and collaborating with Symphocat. It’s a fascinating area for me as the technologies are so new, dynamic and constantly evolving, it poses questions for the artwork as original, the hand of the artist and future sonic aesthetics – there’s a mystery and magic for me in these explorations of latent space, and it sounds otherworldly.
What do you most look forward to in the cultural calendar?
CTM Festival Berlin, for me it’s hands down the ultimate festival. I’m really passionate about the local scene here in Manchester, we’ve so many talented artists in the city and cultural highlights that we need to shout about from Sounds from the other City, Testcard events and Band on the Wall lineups we’re blessed. Post lockdown … we’re scheming to collaborate with some Berlin musicians and friends here in Manchester, so watch this space.
And what about when you’re not at work – what do you get up to outside of FutureEverything?
Working on my own artistic projects and research either at the Noise Orchestra electronics studio at Rogue Studios in Manchester or working on music projects in my home studio, tinkering with synths, drum machines, radios and bits of metal.
What are you reading and listening to right now?
We’ve had more time at home recently so I’m currently smashing through ‘Soundscape our sonic environment and the tuning of the world’ a classic sound art text from Schafer which talks about the history of the soundscape and audible world, reading it at this quiet time in lockdown it’s easy to relate to the hifi descriptions of the world before industry and mechanisation. Also reading Earth Sound Earth Signal by Douglas Kahn and the Geology of Media by Jussi Parikka. Today I’ve been listening to Eartheater, The Haxan Cloak and Bill Withers.
Find out more about Vicky and her work over on her website: vickyclarke.org