Five reasons not to miss this year’s BOZAR Electronic Arts Festival

New season, new affairs: the capital’s much-beloved fine arts centre BOZAR are adding the final touches to their heavily acclaimed Electronic Arts Festival – and they’ve pulled out all the stops on this one. Another hefty two week, multidisciplinary exposition of stellar one-off shows, performances and (free!) exhibition series ranging from all things technology, electronica and the arts. Out of an already fine selection, we’ve hand-picked five of our not-to-be-missed events in prep for the opening night tomorrow Thursday. Don’t sleep.

Amongst a long string of cutting-edge expositions, the eye-catching Tendencies: Belgian Art in the Digital Age. In the Feminine #2 is absolutely unmissable. For the second edition of Tendencies – an intricate study of the increasingly blurred boundaries between contemporary arts, media and technology – the recently appointed director of Les Halles St. Géry Stéphanie Pécourt has invited six ambitious female artists to make their marks. From the already-established to the up-and-coming, but always local(ly based): Alex Verhaest, Stéphanie Roland, Anne-Marie Maes, Claire Williams, Katia Lecomte Mirsky and Esther Venrooy explore various mediums ranging from video to bio-technology. A poignant cross-examination of modern feminism, creativity, and the sciences.

NeuroTheatre Collective have been invited to present their most recent findings and musing entitled Demultiplexia: a deep and detailed exploration of the potential futures of theatre and performative arts. The Estonian collective are bringing along a multitude of artistic and scientific experts to put their minds together to consider the possibilities of a cyber-enhanced society, consequential non-verbal communication, and it’s overlapping relationship with the power of human emotions. Absolutely intriguing.

BEAF’s got a long bill of one-off shows and soirées running throughout the two weeks across Brussels, to compliment their longer-standing expositions. Friday the 29th will see prolific German producer Pantha du Prince performing at Henry Le Boeuf Hall alongside the Australian Ben Frost. The Rough Trade-affiliate Pantha will be gracing the audience with an exclusive AV show, primarily playing pieces from his new album Triad. And as if that weren’t enough, the mind-blowing do project between The Bug and Dylan Carlson of drone-outfit Earth fame are sure to close the night with a bang. Start the weekend right.

The closing night on the 30th will see another fine line of forward-thinking virtuosos: Japanese avant-garde queen Phew (in the Studio), American composer William Basinski’s and the Belgian premiere of his brand-new Bowie eulogy A Shadow in Time, and lastly – but definitely not least – the Islandic Jóhann Jóhannsson. The multi-talented and highly-acclaimed composer will be accompaned by the Belgian Echo Collective (and “special guests”) to perform select pieces – mainly from his recent album Orphée. A rare chance to see him masterfully cross the boundaries between the classical orchestra and the contemporary, electronic minimalism.

As if BEAF wasn’t impressive enough as it is, BOZAR is timing their festival with the public launch of their brand new department BOZAR Lab, purely dedicated to interdisciplinary approaches to innovation and creativity. An open space for artists, researchers and the general public to come together and critically enhance their respective fields and mediums. And in light of BEAF’s themes and inquisitions, the Lab will kickstart their founding with not only the Art, Science and Technology Collaborations in Europe symposium, but additionally The Archaeology of the Screen: The Estonian Example exhibition, which explores Estonia’s pioneering role in contemporary video art. Utterly spoilt.

Pinar Yoldas’ Plastoceptor