Paradigm is an electronic arts and music festival that brought together many visual and sound artists to present a vibrant, cheerful and interactive event at the Biscuit Factory in Leith, Edinburgh. Being a genuine promoter of the avant-garde, Paradigm staged the innovative works of Alan Brown, Ray Interactive, Hostel Freaks, Emily Dunlop, Euan Winton, Jon Place, Juliette Duffy, Lauren McDonaugh, Brightside Studios, Dave House, Sarah Calmus, Yann Seznec, Andrew O’dowd, Chris Ward, Blueroom Collective and We Throw Switches. People had the chance to experience virtual reality, play video games, interact with responsive pants that shared their feelings with a touch, and even compose their own electronic tracks using loops from a sampler, the size of which invited more than one dj wannabes at a time to collaborate and enjoy the creative process. At the same time, audio/video and light/sonic installations offered an immersive experience, working cleverly with the industrial character of the venue.
I spoke with Sarah Calmus, who displayed her own interpretation of different truths and realities through her hologrammatic experimentation with strings and light. Her installation was a 3D experience as people could walk literally inside the sculpture itself, exploring all the different shapes and shadows created from the anarchic reflections of her projections. Behind the black curtain that surrounded her work, light was moving in a way that reminded me of the lunar cycle while film and lyric projections were on a long loop that created an almost different experience for each of the visitors. She told me that for her audience involvement is equally important to the artwork itself, which to me really aligned with participatory spirit of the whole event. In addition, the fact that for this work she collaborated with Dave House, who curated the sound installation of the artwork, also captured the essence of Paradigm’s interdisciplinary nature. Calmus and House’s randomised visuals and sounds created an appealing micro-wormhole where art, music and technology allowed various ways of navigation, exploration and contemplation.
The night of the opening party when I visited had also a very powerful music line-up of emerging names featuring The Reverse Engineer, Trudat Sound & Light, Hostel Freaks, Audio Pervert, DTEF, Sin/Red and Unforeseen. Despite some technical problems with the sound, the artists created a great atmosphere with their music being diverse yet smoothly interwoven as one act performed after the other. This upbeat audio-visual production kept people dancing until the very last minute of the event!
My verdict? When’s the next Paradigm event?!