Digital Performance Weekender 2015

About this event

Sat 14 & Sun 15 November 2015
The Digital Performance Weekender is an annual festival at Watermans where you’re invited to see and take part in exciting new media arts events around a single theme. This year’s festival explores Big Data through an artistic lense. What does Big Data mean for our society? Is our data safe? How will it impact future generations? And lots more.

This year’s Weekender will include performances, installations and participatory events, for everyone from new media natives to young children or digital refusniks.  Event highlights include a solo adaptation of Alexander Whitley’s visually striking and kinetically charged choreography The Measures Taken, which saw sell out runs at Sadlers Wells and the Royal Opera House, a chance to go on a virtual reality adventure with CREW’s C.a.p.e. and Anna Dumitriu’s new work Sequencethat fuses leading edge digital technology with bacterial bioart.

If you’re an expert in new media arts or working on being one, the Symposium is unmissable, bringing together an expert panel to discuss issues around data privacy. The Production Methods Executive Dinner gives more opportunity to explore the exhibition more deeply.
Curated by Irini Papadimitriou and Maria Chatzichristodoulou aka Maria X
C.A.P.E. by Crew – Box Office Foyer, various times, FREE
An opportunity to experience an incredible virtual reality journey.

Walking with CREW

What if you could physically walk through the past or maybe the future?

What if you could walk in a reality that is NOT HERE?

What if an artist would transform your reality and put you right in the middle of his art work?

Let you discover Brussels while your body moves in London, in another space and time?

Or explore the virtual inside of an ‘Alice in Wonderland’-story?


Then take a walk with CREW!

C.a.p.e. (Computer Automatic Personal Environment) is a futuristic system,

a high-technology configuration and artistic concept that induces exactly this experience, this illusion in your body.

C.a.p.e. transfers you to the inside of the filmed image.

With the help of video-goggles, trackers and a headset it is possible to explore a new reality, another space, another time.

Drop in and try it out, it promises to be something completely different!

About C.a.p.e.

C.a.p.e. (Computer Automatic Personal Environment) offers an incomparable 20′ minutes immersive adventure.

The immersant is equipped with an ‘omnidirectional equipment’, consisting of a tracker, a headset, a backpack with a laptop and video glasses. In essence, the feeling of immersion comes from the 360° vision that the head-mounted display allows and the motion-tracked binaural recording.

The visitor is placed in the middle of the filmed image in which he/she is free to look around and walk around. The projected image follows all the head’s movements. This combination of looking, hearing and moving, delivers an estranged illusion. The subject is obliged to deeply examine his or her visual and haptic senses which are slightly contradictory.

Here the sensory deprivation invites a unique balance between the generally dominant visual perception and the other senses. And so the newest technology used for C.a.p.e. can add yet another layer to the artistic experience.

Premièred at the Shanghai World Exhibition in 2010, this participatory format offers a radically new way to engage with a narrative, to live a documentary, to discover a far-away city. C.a.p.e. comes in many versions: C.a.p.e. Brussels, C.a.p.e. Tohoku, C.a.p.e. KIT, C.a.p.e. Horror, C.a.p.e. Vooruit and now also C.a.p.e. Anima.

About the artists

The Brussels-based performance group CREW, set up by artist Eric Joris, develops art that allows us to explore self-representation in systems that cross over between installaton art, theatre and performance.

In all CREW’s artworks, the participant is encouraged to give less importance to his or her cognitive senses in order to allow his or her sensations to create a representation of themselves, a virtual reality.
Production Methods, by Executive Chair – Gallery, FREE exhibition and participatory events. Find out more here.

Sequence, by Anna Dumitriu in collaboration with Alex May and the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project – Riverside Gallery, FREE exhibition and participatory events. Find out more here. Fak’ugesi Lab residency – Studio 2 and Gallery, FREE

The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival in partnership with Watermans have developed an exciting residency that run for 3 weeks in Johannesburg in August/September and continues in London as part of the Digital Performance Weekender. Find out more here.

Demonstration: Sequence, by Anna Dumitriu & Alex May– Riverside Gallery, 4pm, FREE.
As part of their project to understand the technologies behind whole genome sequencing of bacteria, Anna Dumitriu and Alex May have also been working on what it feels like to ‘experience’ the data using virtual reality. It’s a virtual reality experience – try it for yourself.
Data Bodies Symposium – You are my data – Studio 1, 11am-4pm, FREE
Though social networks are at the heart of how we live, circulating knowledge and fostering innovation, they are also closely monitored, leading to hyper-centralized forms of surveillance. This symposium studies how people contribute to ‘a permanent capture of life into data’ through daily routines of surfing, shopping, and lifelogging. It will bring together artists, academics, technologists and users, to instigate public debate around issues of privacy in relation to big data capture, raise awareness regarding the scale and applications of those phenomena; propose ways of responding to loss of privacy; and consider avenues for resistance to the risks of self-quantification.

Part of the Being Human festival of the humanities, in collaboration with London South Bank University.

Chaired by

Dr Maria Chatzichristodoulou aka Maria X, London South Bank University and Prof. Phil Hammond, London South Bank University


Anna Dumitriu

Sarah T Gold

Dr Maria Sourbati, University of Brighton

Daphne Dragona, curator

Dr Perry Keller, Reader in Media and Information Law, Associate Dean (Education), Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London

Emilie Giles and Alan Waldock

Nick Tandavanitj, Blast Theory

Prof. James Connelly, University of Hull

Marc Garrett, Furtherfield

Production Methods exhibition launch event and discussions, by Executive Chair – Gallery, 6.30pm, FREE

Join Executive Chair’s exhibition launch event to hear about their work over drinks. Executive Chair will be discussing their practices and the issues raised by the Production Methods exhibition and participation programme.

THE MEASURES TAKEN (SOLO ADAPTATION)*, by the Alexander Whitley Dance Company
“Scene-by-scene it’s extraordinary” The Guardian

Theatre, 7.30pm (20 mins)

A chance to see exceptional choreographer Alexander Whitley’s work in an intimate theatre, this performance promises to be electric.

Visually striking and kinetically charged, The Measures Taken created in collaboration with digital media artists Marshmallow Laser Feast, uses cutting edge motion-tracking technology to project visuals that interact with the performers’ movements in real-time. Asking how it is that the gaze of technology has the potential to change the way we see ourselves?

Alexander Whitley is a choreographer living and working in London. He has created work for several of the UK’s leading companies including the Royal Ballet, Rambert, Balletboyz and Birmingham Royal Ballet. He is a New Wave Associate artist at Sadler’s Wells theatre, an associate artist at DanceEast and his company, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, is an associate of Rambert.

Alexander started choreographing early on in his dance career, and in 2014 launched Alexander Whitley Dance Company, which with its first two productions, The Measures Taken and The Grit in the Oyster, enjoyed sell out performances at the Royal Opera House and Sadler’s Wells as well as being nominated for a Critics’ Circle Award.

*Original full-length version commissioned by the Studio Programme of The Royal Ballet and co-commissioned by South East Dance


Bar, 8.15pm (90 mins – informal)

Sound artist Tasos Stamou will present two exploratory music Orchestras incorporating hacked, DIY and handmade instruments. ‘Circuit Bending Orchestra’ and ‘Hackoustic Orchestra’ will perform a series of open compositions and conducted improvisations, placed outside the usual stage arrangement in our bar. In an informal, fun and thought provoking sesssion, performers will surround the audience, creating a diffused-sound electroacoustic environment.

Circuit Bending Orchestra is a recently formed ensemble of former participants at Stamou’s workshop series for music hacking and circuit bending. Their instrumentation includes self-made experimental music devices made by the performers during the workshop sessions. Tasos Stamou will apply his experience in conduction of free improvised music, leading the orchestra towards organized structures, both electronic and acoustic. The project has been previously realized during the ‘Hack the Barbican’ DIY arts project in 2013 at the Barbican, also presented as at the OTO project space.

‘Hackoustic’ is a community group based at the London Hackspace – located at the heart of London’s East end. The objective is to explore the physicality of sound, using a wider scope of media and practices. We thrive to redefine the meaning of the traditional instrument, by integrating 21st century technologies, modern philosophy of design, an understanding of vibration and a realization of the timbre and tonal limitations of current traditional electronic and acoustic instruments.

‘Hackoustic’ project’s latest presentations include a performance at Turbine Festival at Tate Modern and Cafe OTO. The project opens opportunities for collaborative research, projects whilst learning through discovery. In such heavily mathematical and theory-based field, it is necessary to develop fundamental understanding through practical and hands-on experience with the help of others. It paves the way for a cross-disciplinary journey that is not solely constricted to the field of acoustics, but rather across a multitude of practices such as Art, Engineering, Philosophy and Design.

Bio note:

Tasos Stamou is a sound artist, a dedicated instrument modifier/designer and a music-tech tutor. He is an active member of music tech communities (Music Hackspace & Hackspace London, Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association).

He has been using his hacked creations at various performances (such as at the BENT Festival, New York) and recordings of obscure electronica ( Absurd, Triple Bathe, Orila, Lal Lal Lal, Kukuru Recordings). He has been leading hardware hacking workshops in festivals (Green Man Festival, SOTU Festival Lithuania, Athens Video Art Festival) and music tech labs (WORM in Rotterdam, Macumbista Studio in Berlin, Music Hackspace and Noise=Noise in London, STPLN in Sweden, etc.)


Young People:
Data bodies: You are my data youth workshop – Studio 2, 2-4pm, FREE.

Young people are especially vulnerable to data ‘leakage’ and invested in the matter of digital privacy. This workshop will invite participants to reflect around issues of privacy in a big data world by making data gathering, mining, and exploitation practices transparent. Topics will range from data capture practices of apps like Foursquare and Fitbit to privacy-enhancing strategies and technologies.

Led by Emilie Giles and Alan Waldock

Part of the Being Human festival of the humanities, in collaboration with London South Bank University.
ArtFutura 2015 Collective Intelligence – Cinema, 12.30pm, FREE

Watermans is very pleased to partner with international festival  ArtFutura and present a selection of stunning digital animations and short screen based works by leading international artists. FIND OUT MORE OR BOOK here
Data bodies: You are my data privacy workshop –Studio 2, 11am-1pm, FREE
The workshop will invite participants to reflect around issues of privacy in a big data world by making data gathering, mining, and exploitation practices transparent, and raising awareness concerning the scale and applications of those phenomena. Specifically, it will study data capture practices in relevant software applications such as Foursquare, Fitbit, and Moodpanda. The workshop will also propose ways of responding to loss of privacy.

Led by Sarah T Gold,

Part of the Being Human festival of the humanities, in collaboration with London South Bank University.
Children’s Theatre: Little Howard and the Magic Pencil of Life and Death, by Makin Projects – Theatre, 3pm, £7

CBBC’s popular duo live on stage. Interactive stand-up, 3D animation and songs for all the family. FIND OUT MORE OR BOOK HERE.
Workshop: Circuit Bending workshop and presentation for kids, by Tasos Stamou – Bar 2pm & 4pm, FREE
A circuit bending workshop and presentation for kids in modifying and alternative electronic instrument design using recycled electronic musical toys led by sound artist and music technologist Tasos Stamou. The little ones will be shown fun techniques to turn ‘hackable’ electronic sound toys into unique sonic devices and experimental electronic music instruments. If you’d like to ‘bend’ your own electronic toys, please bring them along!

Artists, makers and experts:
Stitch, Bitch and Make/Perform, by Camille Baker and Melissa Coleman – Studio 1, 2-4pm, FREE

Started at Watermans 2014 Digital Performance Weekender, The Stitch Bitch, Make/ Perform meetup group now has over 50 members and combines discussion on topical issues around technologies, with hands-on workshops and show and tell of participant’s current work in a casual meetup format.

The group brings together fashion and other designers, artists, performers, makers, technologists, bio-technologists, wearable DIY enthusiasts to show, share, plan, educate, and learn from each other on the current issues and future directions in this developing area.

This is a gathering for artistic/research/ practice sharing, show & tell, workshops & talks on themes of:

* soft circuits and e-textiles,

* digital fashion,

* wearables and DIY electronics,

and related topics in art, design, research and performance

See Brochure HERE

Book Your Tickets


Click here to find full details for those with access requirements.

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