Today, Chapter Arts Centre launched the programme and fundraising campaign for this year’s Experimentica, Cardiff’s live art festival, the only one of its kind in Wales, taking place from Wednesday 29 March to Sunday 2 April.
Experimentica is an annual programme of genre defying experimental arts from home and abroad. An opportunity for audiences to experience new trends in contemporary performance and for artists to try out new ideas that speak to a world beyond the mainstream.
The title of this year's festival is Secret Language. Festival organisers Chapter Arts Centre asked artists to think about class, cool and secret codes. Artspeak, textspeak and slang. Who gets to choose what’s in and what’s out? What are the invisible languages that govern our lives?"
The festival presents work from young emerging artists alongside established artists and was curated following an open submissions process.
Highlights include Something Bigger, a work in development by Canadian theatre makers Dustin Harvey and Adrienne Wong that is delivered through players’ smartphones. Part story, part game, individuals are engaged in a deliberately immersive and invasive experience that’s intended to make them question who’s in on it, and the secret ways people connect in the real world.
The language of contemporary art will be explored through Yr Ymarferiadur – What’s Welsh for Live Art? (Sun 2 April) - a playful investigation into discourses on contemporary art and their translatability. Heike Roms and Gareth Llŷr Evans, who are performance researchers based in Wales, will do this by creating a new dictionary of Welsh contemporary art terms.
Cardiff based Johnny Cotsen will premier his new piece that examines the shift between disability and ability and how we are all connected and disconnected, deaf and hearing.
Tim Bromage (a member of Chapter’s Associate Artists Scheme Peilot), will perform a brand-new piece that delves into the concept of a closed time loop and the language of the theatrical experience in The Man Stands Alone In The Vortex
Japanese performance artist Anti-Cool will present her feature length film Plena Rondo, which documents her sixty-day experiment to master the world’s easiest and most egalitarian language, Esperanto, using only free learning tools.
Following a work in progress showing in November last year, GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN are back with a full presentation of Frankenshow - a Chapter commission about what happens after the creation of a monstrosity. It’s about the end of things and explores with feverish pace what happens when we do too little too late.
With support from the Arts Council of Wales this festival has gone from strength to strength over recent years and is the only festival of its kind in Wales. To help grow the festival and showcase the work of even more artists, Chapter, are calling for supporters to help keep experimental performance alive in Wales by texting ‘EXPM17 £5’ to 70070 to donate.
Director of Programme, Hannah Firth said: “It costs us over £1000 to support each artist in the festival and with funding for the arts ever decreasing it’s more important than ever that we find other ways to help keep important festivals like this going”.