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Festival: L.E.V. Matadero 2023, exploring electronic music, audiovisual creation & digital art in Madrid, Spain

Text by CLOT Magazine


L.E.V., the International Festival of Audiovisual Creation of Gijon, explores electronic sound creation and its relationship with visual arts. It converges the natural synergy between image and sound and the new artistic trends, emphasising live actions. Since 2019 the L.E.V. Festival has widened its field of action to Matadero Madrid, an ample space for interdisciplinary creation and contemporary thinking that is the perfect location to host this extension of Laboratorio de Electrónica Visual. 

The fifth edition of L.E.V. Matadero in Madrid (Spain) will take place from September 21 to 24. The people behind L.E.V. have just announced the live shows and audiovisual performances, including 16 acts, with some true flagships and visionaries of the current scene. 

Highlights include Oval, who will bring one of his extremely evocative live shows with visuals by Robert Seidel. Riccardo Giovinetto will present FEMINA, an audiovisual performance on two screens, where Renaissance paintings transform into a flux of constantly changing images. Venus Ex Machina by composer and producer Nontokozo F. Sihwa is combined with the audiovisual work of the Taiwanese multimedia art lab Xtrux in a unique live show specially curated by L.E.V. Zan Lyons’ new project explores a new multi-sensorial concept named by his creator as Interactive Visual Audio, a combination of music, video games and films. 

Lorem, a project directed by Francesco D’Abbraccio, creative co-director of Krisis Publishing, will showcase their new audiovisual performance, Tesh, based on a daring script combining dream transcriptions and strange literature created with automatic learning systems. CoH and Abul Mogard’s first collaboration was born out of a casual encounter and is focused on new and surprising perspectives of their individual works, wildly singular and highly revered. And Halina Rice will showcase her project New Worlds and her immersive audiovisual environments. Other highlights include NSDOS, Kom-om-Pax, Verbose, collaborations of artists who blend their works to reach new dimensions, such as Kataryna Gryvul & Alex Guevara, female creators who combine tradition, folklore or classical music with current sounds, such as CORIN or Rocío Guzmán; live shows by LustSickPuppy, Halina Rice, or Beatrix Weapons, and audiovisual explorations like the ones by Joakim who address current affairs such as the preservation of the environment.

Nerd_Funk, Ali Eslami and Mamali Shafahi
Yang Yongliang’s Nine Dragons
Nine Dragons, Yang Yongliang

The Ciudad Aumentada section will feature Lauren Moffatt’s Compost AR. For the piece, the artist uses video game techniques combined with conventional painting techniques to reconstruct flowers and plants digitally, and to explore forms of environmental recovery and deceleration. 

This year the VORTEX section includes virtual reality experiences such as Pedro Harres’s From the Main Square, a cohesive, critical portrait of social fragmentation and Quatum Bar by Christina “Xaos Princess”, for which the artist explores the use of conversational robots in social VR environments, and the ethical issues concerning the current development of such technologies. Yang Yongliang’s Nine Dragons will take the audience on a mythological, immersive flight through the eyes of a Chinese dragon. In Juan Le Parc’s Templo de la carne / Tragedia Zoophilica, visitors explore an ancient temple built with meat from delicatessen and butcher shops.  Other highlights from the VORTEX section are François Vautier’s multi-awarded work I Saw the Future; Herman Heller and Jorge Tereso’s mixed reality multiplayer video game Eggscape; Robert Seidel’s Hysteresis and Touha and Ali Eslami and Mamali Shafahi’s Nerd_Funk, a VR installation to go inside and reflect on the new reality born out of social media.

Last but not least at Centro de Experiencias Inmersivas MAD. Madrid Artes Digitales, Taiwanese collective Naxs.corp.’s ID0, will explore the decentralised structure of post-Internet society. Blurring the limits between video, film and games, this installation will allow 50 people to simultaneously enjoy this piece’s virtual space and interact among them from their mobile devices.

This year, the live shows and audiovisual performances take place at Central de Diseño (DIMAD) and Auditorio de Casa del Lector. But, at Plaza Matadero, with free admission, we can enjoy one of the most outstanding works at this year’s festival, in the organisers’ words: Lawrence Malstaf’s performative installation Shrink 01995. At Plató de Cineteca, the festival will showcase Andy Thomas’s Visual Bird Sounds, where the artist has compiled sound recordings and photographs of birds and other travelling animals. 

L.E.V. Matadero in Madrid (Spain) run from September 21 to 24.

Tickets are available here.

(Media courtesy of L.E.V. festival)
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