Abandon Normal Devices (AND) delivers a biennial festival of new cinema, digital culture and art. Attracting the most innovative artists from across the world and inviting them to work in collaboration with academics and anarchists from across the realms of technology, science and film.

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AND Festival 2021 took us on an extraordinary journey responding to the Manchester Ship Canal and River Mersey. The programme followed 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.

AND Festival 2021 took place online, on docklands and on the water, featuring field trips in the physical world via augmented reality seascapes, immersive voyages and floating laboratories, expanded through an online programme of radical and disruptive artworks, film screenings, performances, talks and workshops. Inviting radical artists, critical thinkers and curious audiences to renavigate the industrial landscape from physical and virtual perspectives, the programme brings into focus the oceanic scale of networked industries and infrastructures that form part of our daily contemporary consumption.

Highlights from our festivals:

AND Festival 2013 invited award winning artists from across the world to join in a celebration of the ‘artistic border-crosser’, artists who traverse roles as diverse as the alchemist, ethnographer, engineer and inventor. It was because of this, we changed the usual festival format to create a live laboratory featuring the making of projects and prototypes and inviting audiences to test and contribute to their evolution, like an industrial fable, you were asked to imagine a paradoxical future.

AND Festival 2015 created a space where audiences could experience the forest anew through inviting world-class artists to create new art works for the historical site. We turned Grizedale Forest into a laboratory, which became a temporary haven for filmmakers, artists, creative technologists, philosophers and scientists, who explored the secret infrastructure of the forest and natures processes. The programme provided new perspectives on the forest, through the eyes of the plants, animals and machines that inhabited it, allowing visitors an insight into natures technologies as well as emerging trends in digital practice.

Across four days, AND Festival 2017 saw a host of site-specific installations, world premieres and performances take-over the village of Castleton in the Peak District National Park. From satellites to neutrino observatories, fossilisation to free-fall, the programme revealed the earth’s layers, from the drone’s eye view to the sunshine-deprived depths of subterranean bunkers, exploring themes of verticality and deep time in a series of prophetic, provocative and uncanny reflections on the earth.