Abandon Normal Devices Festival - the UK's only roaming digital festival - resurfaces for 2021 taking you on an extraordinary journey reponding to the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey, taking place on docklands, on the water and through an expanded online programme of radical and disruptive artworks, film screenings, audioviisual performance, sound installation and talks. The programme follows the flows of shipping, energy and political power structures, from container ports on our doorsteps to the depths of the ocean floor; through ecosystems bound up with industrial chemicals, minerals and microplastics, to their effects on our planet, human and non-human bodies.
“I want to update the conventional guided tour into something magical that weaves together science fiction, environmental themes and local architecture into a future fairytale – as seen from the River Mersey Ferry” – Anita Fontaine
Step aboard the iconic Mersey Ferry to inhabit THE BLUE VIOLET RIVER a fantasy-fiction world exploring an evolved reality brought about by climate change, rising sea levels and tropical climates.
Anita Fontaine’s augmented ecology of the River Mersey invites the viewer to suspend belief and encounter a kaleidoscopic world through custom-built viewfinders on the decks of a Mersey Ferry. Psychedelic audio-visual sculptures explode from land and water, and the Liverpool skyline playfully shapeshifts revealing a surreal alternate reality of the urban landscape in The Blue Violet River.
This augmented reality (AR) work playfully envisions a peaceful future vision of evolved humanity, freed from an unsustainable past and tuned into a new core consciousness of planetary sound frequencies. From the river’s intercontinental trade to the regular blooms of moon jellyfish drawn in by tidal currents, our post-industrial perspective of the River Mersey playfully warps in this future-forward techno fantasy.
The Blue Violet River will be presented on board Mersey Ferries.
Anita Fontaine is an Australian speculative future artist who blurs the virtual and physical with a flexible tactility. Layering high tech with low art, her work spins fanciful new expressions within the grand Metaverse marked by a sense of punk and hyperrealism.
Her visionary perspective has materialised future labs, VR experiences and immersive installations, games and films, and led to collaborations with galleries, museums and select brand entities. Most recently she co-founded The Department of New Realities – a future-forward creative unit hell-bent on finding ways to connect humans with new tech art experiences.
She continues to alternate her technical approach like a chameleon for the new age. Concerned with expanding eco-anxiety she’s now focusing her inventiveness on untangling the collective hive mind. Through the synergies of art and innovation her hope is to positively influence the future’s landscape, benefiting the environment and reducing the suffering for all.
In 2019, Fontaine was voted one of Adweek’s most fascinating creatives and was one of 50 Creative Leaders to watch in 2018’s Creative Review. She has spoken at SXSW, OFFF, Nicer Tuesdays and FrameLab and been featured on Nowness, Dazed Digital and It’s Nice That.