Abandon Normal Devices Festival
Supporting the 2021 edition through our Ignition Awards

Abandon Normal Devices Festival resurfaces for 2021, running online & on-site from 27 May – 11 July.

Abandon Normal Devices, the North’s nomadic commissioner of experimental digital culture and producer of a free-roaming, boundary-defying media arts festival, is back. And for 2021, the good ship AND has resurfaced for an extraordinary journey along the Manchester Ship Canal, the River Mersey and beyond.

Running online and on-site from 27 May – 11 July, the festival’s hybrid programme of happenings, art, film, performance and talks will flow from the post-industrial waterways of the North West to the wider world. The 2021 line-up traces the currents of shipping, energy and political power, and invites audiences to consider the environmental and industrial ecologies of our rivers and ports, and their impact on our ways of living. Support for AND’s film programmes comes from National Lottery funding through Film Hub North’s Ignition Awards.

Each week from 4 June – 2 July, AND presents New Cinema Shorts: an online programme of short form film selected and introduced by guest curators working in response to AND’s 2021 focus on the aquatic, political and environmental flows around us. From 16 June, the festival team partner with grassroots film exhibitors Scalarama Merseyside for Headwaters. Taking place online and in open-air spaces, Headwaters presents local heritage and archive footage as part of a discussion around the environmental impact of film, activism around water and the need to respect and protect our cultural and natural resources.

Premiering at AND on 18 June is Notes from the Periphery - the latest short film from Tulapop Saenjaroen, commissioned by the festival as an exploration into the globalised shipping networks, liminal territories and spaces of trade and labour that converge on the port city of Laem Chabang in Thailand. Notes from the Periphery screens alongside Saenjaroen’s previous shorts: People on Sunday and A Room With a Coconut View.

And, on the festival’s penultimate weekend, AND takes over Bidston Observatory – once a site of marine and tidal research – for Observatory Cinema, an open air cinema overlooking the Merseyside Estuary. Programme selections include All Light Everywhere, Theo Anthony’s Sundance-winning exploration of the shared histories of cameras, weapons, policing and justice; and The Fog, John Carpenter’s cult classic about a Californian coastal town beset by a mysterious fog bank and a hoard of maritime ghosts.

Explore AND 2021

AND Festival 2021 is supported by National Lottery funding through our Ignition Awards. For more information on how we can help your next project, contact our team or visit our Exhibition Funding landing page.