MERGE Festival 2016 is crowdfunding
Planning is well underway for the 2016 MERGE Festival programme, taking place from 23 September – 23 October for the sixth year in Bankside.
As Bankside continues to evolve MERGE plays an important role in bringing historic buildings and unusual locations to life in Bankside, and making art accessible to all. This free festival relies heavily on the support of volunteers, which in turn need management, so we need your help to ensure MERGE is bigger and better for 2016.
We have just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Spacehive – a platform which crowdfunds for civic projects. All amounts, however small, are welcome while we build support and popularity of the campaign. The first 50 backers who pledge £150 or more will receive an invite for you and a guest to a private launch event at the end of September at the headline installation. Drinks included.
Our crowdfunding goal is £55,332.00 but if the project does not reach this goal, no money is transferred.
MERGE is a unique and interactive festival in Bankside. Where else would you get chance to see tap dancing robots or a melting wax house? Support the arts and help us to secure the future of the festival.
See our MERGE project page on Spacehive. https://www.spacehive.com/mergebankside You can donate anonymously if preferred.
We welcome all levels of support and hope you can help us deliver a great festival for 2016.
MERGE is the annual arts, music and performance festival where artists draw upon the rich heritage and contemporary culture of Bankside, London.
23 September - 23 October 2016
MERGE Bankside is curated and produced by Illuminate Productions. It is supported by Better Bankside and Tate Modern.
ON YOUR WAVELENGTH THE VIDEO
On Your Wavelength was an extraordinary interactive installation that produced an amazing response from the public. Watch the film to hear the reaction from those who participated.
Film by Tommophoto for Illuminate Productions 2015
ARTISTS AND EVENTS
Bompas & Parr invited you to make a wish in ‘The Chamber of Wishes’ – an immersive interactive installation in which visitors were able to focus on their hopes and dreams, while also experiencing one of the ocean’s great mysteries up-close and personal. By unveiling the lost rich history of springs, wells and grottos in London’s Bankside, and the rare phenomenon of bioluminescent sea water, Bompas & Parr's aim was to facilitate a truly unique merger between art, science, folklore and the mystery of the natural world. They had enlisted the help of Microbiologist Dr Simon Park to bring one of the ocean’s great secrets to light.
In celebration of TV Times 60th anniversary, and as part of the 2015 Merge festival, TV Times and Illuminate Productions showcased a selection of exclusive images from the TV Times vast archives. Many of these, were never seen before images from 6 decades and was on show at 2 venues in the Bankside area, The Blue Fin Building and Platform Southwark.
The Riverside Stage was on the river walkway by Millennium Bridge and showcased live music throughout the festival. The stage was curated to showcase and promote original song writing and musical talent. Bands this year included winner of the BBC 2 Folk awards ‘Stick in the Wheel’ and the adventurous seven piece band ‘Mishaped Pearls’, nominated for Best Song- Folk Singer in The Independent Music Awards 2014.
‘On Your Wavelength’ by Marcus Lyall and Rob Thomas was a site-specific interactive installation which used participants brain data and the latest light and sound technology to create a large-scale immersive light and sound installation. A new commission for MERGE 2015, this spontaneously choreographed digital artwork was created from intersecting thought patterns, via an EEG headset. The laser and sound would then amplify their brain activities to epic, architectural scale.
Working with emerging writers, directors and actors, The Caravan Theatre programmed by Robin Steegman brought mystery and immersive theatre productions to a small intimate audience of 4 people at a time. Performers in the 70s gold safari caravan this year included: Sammy Kissin, Judith Amsenga, Annemiek van Elst and Robin Steegman.
‘Time to be Late’ took to the streets. Part evocative bus journey, part site-specific theatrical experience, the public’s daily journey to and from work came alive through a series of energetic and humourous scenes that took place at bus stops and buses along Blackfriars Road. Performers included the award winning Natural Theatre Company who have been making people laugh in nearly 80 countries for over 40 years, and Scotty the Blue Bunny who performed his unique cabaret show.
For the second year for Merge, the Nursery Theatre presented a programme of improvised theatre and comedy. Every Friday and Saturday from the start of October at the Edric Theatre, Borough Road.
TROPE, designers in choreographed time, became artists in residence at the Kirkaldy Testing Works, taking inspiration from the 1874 building made to house the first tensile testing machine in the world. ‘Chain Reaction’ explored the fluid nature of time through action and re-action, in a series of playful, interactive and mechanical artworks. TROPE, working alongside 12 engineers, developed an audio-visual installation that synthesised digital and analogue technology to resuscitate and reframe the guts of the museum. Visitors journeyed through an interactive, liminal and immersive world where the basement space of Kirkaldy Testing Works was re-animated in a unique, ghostly ballet.
Two chefs presented their newest food creation together in a site-specific performance for Borough Market’s food demonstration kitchen with disastrous results!
Heady Conduct Theatre presented scenes from Reckless, in the first ever midnight performance at The Rose. Directed by Rebecca Rogers. And more.
MERGE collaborated with Resonance fm to produce 4 x 1 hour programmes featuring artists, musicians and performers from the festival. Artists talked about their work, musicians played live, with discussions on topics such as history and digital art. Hosted by Art Terry and Angie Dixon.
A musician and a neuro physiologist will discuss how music has an effect on people who interact with it. The discussion will culminate with a networking event where people who work in the Sciences can meet and talk to their opposite numbers from the Arts. The event is delivered in collaboration with the Dennis Rosen Trust, and will be taking place for the fourth year at MERGE.
Did music change the taste of wine? Guests joined in with the experiment to find out. With Live music performed by Adam Beattie and Brooke Sharkey.
For Tunesdays at Mondrian London, MERGE was in residence at the Dandelyan each Tuesday evening for a series of live music events to showcase and promote original song writing and musical talent.