Another Notch on Beijing`s Bedpost

Posted by Pete DeMola on 20. Oct 2009

NO+CH ID-ENTITY 09, a creative festival featuring electronic music, art and design exhibitions, idea conferences and other progressive installations will kick off on Sat, Oct 24 at the Village at Sanlitun.

NO+CH, which is shorthand for Nordic plus China, is designed to facilitate cross-cultural communication between the Nordic countries and the Middle Kingdom. It also seeks to nourish the local creative scene.

"We will offer an opportunity to local creative teams to meet other teams from the Nordic countries who are known for their art and design," said Chief Curator Jiang Jian in an email message.

He admits while such an exchange isn't exactly rare, it hasn't yet reached the point of an continuous conversation, either.

This year's festival is the fourth incarnation of the event and will be held simultaneously in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Audiovisual performances and installations tend to lean on the avant-garde side.

Participating artists include Danish fashion designer/filmmaker Henrik Vibskov, Shandong-born photographer Chi Peng and Fei Jun and Lulu, a team of local graphic designers who will utilize one of the Village's massive LED screens to create an interactive mobile phone-activated game open to all passerby.

Sonic offerings range from the experimental (Norwegian duo Food), the dance-y (8-Bit Danish twosome La Belle Indifference) to the melancholic indie rock of Hong Kong quintet Modern Children, who will perform in Guangzhou only.

Event highlights include the Mainland's first Silent Disco, where traditional speaker systems are eschewed for an FM transmitter broadcasting to wireless headphones worn by the participants, transforming the Village's Deck into pulsating mass of dancers moving to sounds only audible to them, which will undoubtedly flummox local folk in the process.

Saturday's Halloween Sleeping Concert, in addition to featuring Nordic electronic recording artists Biosphere, Mokira and Vectral (and maybe Beijing's own Dead J), has another guest: a large airbed designed by Swedish architecture group Testbed.

"Audiences can lie down while enjoying the performance," said the event's promoter Yadan Ouyang, adding that sleeping is optional.

Also noteworthy is the ID-remix Conference (Sun, Oct 25) where 10 guest speakers will attempt to tackle the theme of Multiple Identities and Crossover Practice.

"The project is intended to illuminate the relationship between audience participation and art by provoking a conceptual conversation about the multiple identities and creativity in the form of exhibition and performances," said Jiang.

In laymen terms, the conference seeks to provide a platform for artists involved in transnational creative groups to share the elements that they feel best showcases their multiple creative identities and talent. (Full disclosure: I'll give a 15-minute speech about this website.)

Jiang is optimistic for a high turnout, citing the ambitious program. "I'm fairly confident," he said, "that people will find it interesting and come to the event."

NO+CH will run from Sat, Oct 24 to Sun, Dec 6. A limited number of tickets are free to the public. The full event schedule can be viewed here.

Cover image: Carl Emil Carlson's "Life Like."


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