Visitors to York city centre over the coming ten days are invited to discover what happens when art meets the future, with the opening of new international media arts festival, York Mediale 2018. The festival opens today (Thursday 27 September) and promises diverse and thought-provoking work and experiences – from sculptural installations to performance art – at venues across the city.‏

The inaugural festival will see artists, technologists and influencers from all over the world converge on York for the event. York Mediale presents the next generation of art, pushing the boundaries of media and digital technology. Experimental and experiential music will sit alongside immersive performance and thought-provoking film created by international artists and some of York’s finest creative talent. The festival builds on York’s designation as the UK’s first and only UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.‏

‏“Hosting this event has been an ambition for a number of years, and we’re delighted that all of the pieces have now come together, and we can share our vision with the world. ‏ ‏Building a brand new media arts festival for the UK, full of challenging and dynamic work, has taken us on quite a journey. Throughout, we have stayed focused on delivering a programme packed with some of the world’s most exciting media artists. We’re showcasing installations, performances and immersive experiences that wouldn’t be out of place at Ars Electronica in Linz, South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, or any other established high quality media art festival,” comments Tom Higham. “I can honestly say that we have a programme that we are all immensely proud of. Some of it will be challenging and very different to the sort of art that people have seen before in the city, but that is a good thing. Art should challenge your thinking, your beliefs and the way you view the world.” ‏

Particular coups for this year’s York Mediale 2018 include:‏

● ‏Securing the first Deep Lab (Deep Lab are a global cyber-feminist collective) outside of the USA, following a residency in the city supported by the University of York, DC Labs, the Theatre, Film & Television department at the University of York, and Crowdicity, a large scale digital projection will be installed on the façade of York Art Gallery in Exhibition Square. The piece‏ ‏ ‏ ‏Can You Die If You Don't Exist?‏ ‏, uses ‘The List’ of 34,361 refugee deaths published by The Guardian Newspaper, visualising their anonymity and drawing out the cultural disregard of the non-white immigrant body. ‏

● ‏Presenting ‏ ‏What Is Love?‏ ‏, powered by The Cutting Room, an Object Based Media tool developed by Davy Smith, from Digital Creativity Labs, based at the University of York. ‏ ‏What is Love? ‏ ‏premieres a new breed of storytelling, algorithmically tailored to each viewer and is the first public airing of this new technology, already in development with BBC R&D. ‏

● ‏Welcoming the people of York to experience and explore ‏ ‏Strange Stranger‏ ‏, a world premiere performance created by internationally acclaimed choreographer Alexander Whitley. ‏ ‏Strange Stranger‏ ‏ investigates the idea of presence and the right to be forgotten in the digital age. It will then become an interactive installation that uses motion capture technology to collect kinetic data, generating a unique and constantly evolving atmosphere of light and sound. ‏

● ‏Three international non-binary artists have been brought together for York Mediale with the support of the British Council, and commissioned to present a series of installations named collectively as ‏ ‏Still We Rise‏ ‏, inspired by Maya Angelou’s world famous 1978 poem challenging discrimination in society. Work from Ulungile Magubane (South Africa), Neo Musangi (Kenya) and Brandon Covington Sam-Sumana (USA) feature across York Art Gallery’s project space and the Stained Glass Centre. The work focuses on the fight for equality, as the artists confront the violence they each face in response to the visibility and obscurity of their identity as international non-binary media artists.

‏“To compliment the work of internationally acclaimed media artists, we will also be presenting work from local artists Bright White and Tom Smith and featuring exciting local performance companies such as SLAP, as well as dozens of other local contributors and collaborators all across the programme,‏ ‏”‏ ‏adds Tom. “We promised to bringing cutting edge international media artists to the city, and we’ve delivered on that. We promised to engage with local artists and community groups and through our work with organisations such as Accessible Arts and Media, Ourobouros, Bad Chapel and many more, we feel have achieved that too. ‏ ‏The One Percent‏ ‏ project and film by Inspired Youth, looking at the plight of care leavers, is definitely one not to be missed. It shines a light on serious local issues with a national impact. We are proud of what we are presenting in the city over the next ten days and we’re really excited to see what conversations and opportunities we can create for York and its artistic community, as we look towards 2020.”‏

York Mediale 2018 runs from 27 September until 6 October 2018.  For more details of the programme, please visit‏

‏For more information, including the full programme of events, concerts, shows and installations, please visit or pick up a programme from the Tourist Information Centre or venues around the city.‏


‏Notes to Editors:‏

‏About York Mediale‏

‏York Mediale is a brand new international media arts festival which will explore the future of art, technology and everything in between. Artists of all kinds will use technologies and media to redefine and tell the stories of our cities, our landscapes and our lives. This biennial event will offer opportunities for collaboration between artists, curators, businesses and educators throughout 2018, culminating in a 10-day programme of exhibitions, performances, lectures, workshops and much more, from 27 September - 6 October 2018. These events will mark and celebrate York’s status as the UK’s first, and only, UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.‏

‏Festival attendees can expect a full programme of live performances, dance and music across the city with headline performances planned in some of York’s grand old spaces and some of the freshest new sounds in emerging music playing in lesser known spaces. ‏

‏York Mediale is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) and is supported using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership. Partners in the realisation and delivery of the festival include City of York Council, Make It York, The University of York, York St John University, York Museums Trust, York Theatre Royal, Science City York, the Guild of Media Arts, along with many other supporters involved in media and arts in the city, and across the country. ‏

‏For further media information or photographs, please contact:‏
‏Jay Commins‏
‏Pyper York Limited‏
‏Tel: ‏ ‏01904 500698‏
‏Email: ‏ ‏