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Di Mainstone and Imogen Heap Showcase Pioneering Performances At 'Thinking Digital Arts'

Posted on 12 May 2017

British artist Di Mainstone explores the music, acoustics, movement and architecture of the iconic Sage Gateshead building in an interactive film installation Banistonica, which will be on view at the venue from Tuesday 16 May to Sunday 18 June.

The commission is part of Thinking Digital Arts, a festival that celebrates emerging digital arts practice. Thinking Digital Arts is part of the annual Thinking Digital Conference event held at Sage Gateshead on May 16 and 17 May 2017.

Di Mainstone (best known for transforming suspension bridges into giant harps) has created a design fiction film called Banistonica that imagines Sage Gateshead as a living musical creature. Named as one of the “new generation visionaries” of the international digital arts scene by The New York Times, Di creates interactive installations that combine sculpture, music, dance, technology and film.

She said: “The film tells the story of Sage Gateshead’s night time janitor, who discovers that the building is a living entity – when one night she hears it breathing through the air vents. The building begins to communicate with the janitor by growing musical instrumentation fabricated from the same architectural materials as the structure. Over a single night the janitor explores the space in an entirely new way and learns how to use these fantastical musical instruments to release the building’s voice, resonance and soul.”

Thinking Digital Arts also welcomes singer-songwriter, innovative artist and GRAMMY award winner Imogen Heap on Wednesday (May 17) for a unique performance sharing her pioneering vision for a sustainable future music industry ecosystem in light of Blockchain technology. Heap will discuss the projects she’s currently developing while weaving in live songs into the talks. Heap’s much talked about MiMu gloves system, which turn the arms and hands of performers into musical instruments, will feature as she shares the connected stories.

Imogen Heap will also join sound artist, designer and electronic musician Yuri Suzuki, live coding pioneer Alex McLean, artist and digital expert Ghislaine Boddington, and Di Mainstone at the Performing Creative Innovation, half day symposium. The panel of speakers will explore digitally enabled performance, wearable and new technologies and the role and impact of disruptive and new technologies on artistic production, cultural consumption and shared innovation.

Suzy O’Hara, curator of Thinking Digital Arts said “My aspiration is to demonstrate the breadth of experimental and innovative art practices currently emerging within and between the Arts and Creative Industries in the UK. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome such talented artists to Sage Gateshead this year, each of whom actively fuse new connections between art, design, science and technology and forge new visions of the role of art and technology in the future of society.”

Thinking Digital Arts takes place 16 and 17 May at Sage Gateshead, find out more and book tickets.

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