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.
From the make-up, soaps and birth control pills in your bathroom to plasticpackaging in your kitchen, beauty, hygiene and lifestyle products in the average home cater to a consumerist culture driven by ideals of beauty, sterility, and purity. In actuality, these everyday items leach a multitude of pervasive chemicals that wend their way through our bodies, environments and urban systems, disrupting hormones of all species and causing ecological threat to our landscapes. Mary Maggic,’s ESTROWORLD NOW: THE QUARANTINE EDITION invites users to navigate 3D model renderings of the interior of an actual suburban home in the North West of England, confronted with an overpopulation of Estroworld products, pop ups, and derivative company slogans, that promise to either shield or distract us from our current state of planetary ruin. Are we all already living in The Estroworld? How political is your shampoo?
One of three online artworks newly commissioned by ABANDON NORMAL DEVICES for TOXICITY’S REACH along with accompanying body of research, tracing how contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) exert agency over our lives in unexpected and lesser-known ways.
From micro-plastics to fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are lively and leaky pollutants that contaminate waterways, eroding environmental and public health. Although invisible to the naked eye, micro-polluting chemicals are everywhere.
The River Mersey in Liverpool, England, is a prime example with a complex history of industrial pollution. In the 1970s, if someone had fallen into the river, locals would say that they would die of poisoning before they would drown. Today, despite highly effective clean up attempts tackling obvious ‘point sources’ of pollution, such as effluent and sewage, this renowned waterway has more microplastic in it than in the pacific garbage patch.
Mary Maggic is a non-binary Chinese-American artist currently based in Vienna, Austria. Their work spans amateur science, public workshopology, performance, installation, documentary film, and speculative fiction. Since 2015, Maggic’s research has centred on hormone biopolitics and environmental toxicity, and how the ethos and methodologies of biohacking can serve to demystify invisible lines of molecular (bio)power. Completing a Masters from MIT Media Lab (Design Fiction research group), their work has exhibited internationally including Philadelphia Museum of Art (US), Science Gallery London (UK), Migros Museum of Contemporary Art (CH), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (DE), Jeu de Paume (FR), MOCA Tuscon (US), Haus der elektronischen Kunst (CH), Institute of Contemporary Arts London (UK), Art Laboratory Berlin (DE), Jogja National Museum (ID), and Spring Workshop (HK).
In 2017, their project “Open Source Estrogen” was awarded Honorary Mention at Prix Ars Electronica Hybrid Arts, and in 2019 Maggic completed a 10-month Fulbright residency in Yogyakarta, Indonesia investigating the role of Javanese mysticism in the plastic pollution crisis. Maggic is a current member of the online network Hackteria: Open Source Biological Art and the laboratory theatre collective Aliens in Green, as well as a recent contributor to the radical syllabus project Pirate Care.