DEAF 2007
THURSDAY 25th to MONDAY 29th October 2007


Now in its sixth year, the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival is every year further cementing its reputation as one of the most forward-thinking events of its kind in Ireland's cultural calendar. Certainly DEAF's artistic remit has widened considerably since its inception, moving beyond the confines of its roots in club culture. Nonetheless, the festival has succeeded in remaining true to its core ethos: to focus on the experimental, and to promote a genuine inclusiveness in its approach to showcasing the electronic
arts to new audiences in Ireland.
Our national un-preparedness for many of the changes affected by the recent economic boom has resulted in further serious cultural challenges to what had previously been quite an isolated and inward-looking nation. Of course the Irish themselves are famously no strangers to emigration, but our first experience - in modern times - of a reversal in this trend, has strained our national self-image to the point of buckling. A recent feature in Ireland's leading broadsheet The Irish Times described immigration as the issue that dare not speak its name, and went on to note (accurately) that the last
general election campaign was characterised by a lack of real engagement with the subject across the political spectrum. While Ireland's burgeoning non-national population is an ever-increasing
presence in the businesses and on the streets of the capital, the apparent political unwillingness to broach this potentially inflammatory subject seems to me to necessitate a deliberate and positive response, both from the artistic community, and from organisations like ourselves that are not
locked on to the pursuit of profit margins at any cost year after year.
DEAF 2007 Programme Overview:

DEAF celebrated its fifth birthday last year with an all-Irish programme: a statement of confidence in the quality of the work offered by Irish-based artists, which culminated in the release of a 10-year retrospective CD featuring the work of the pioneering Irish composer Roger Doyle. Now for 2007, the theme of the festival is Asian - offering audiences not just the opportunity to sample the work of Chinese, Japanese and Thai artists amongst others, but also the chance to witness Irish artists deliberately engaging with other musical and artistic traditions in an explorative and open-ended creative process. In choosing such a theme at this point in our development (which to say the least, runs contrary to local expectations) it is our hope that we will be opening up an imaginative space for both local artists and
audiences to contemplate anew their own ideas of what is meant by the descriptive term 'electronic art'. Some musical highlights of this year's programme include a return appearance for the world-renowned thereminist Pamelia Kurstin who last performed at DEAF in 2005; also, performances by Wu Fei (a Beijing-born student of the traditional guzheng who has marked out a space for herself by taking this traditional instrument into a contemporary setting) and Miya Masaoka (a leading Japanese koto player, composer and performance artist whose sound projects have explored race and the interconnectedness of different species).

We are privileged to have been kindly granted space for these performances in the hallowed settings of St. Audoen's church, in Cornmarket on High Street - beautifully restored relic of another different wave of migrants, who reached Ireland from foreign shores circa 1200 AD. We are also blessed to have received such a positive response from the artists so far invited to participate: a collaborative improvisational performance is planned between Masaoka and local musician Daniel Jacobson, while Kurstin will be stepping into the role of tutor for the return of the highly popular 'DEAF Junior', a series of interactive classes aimed at introducing 10-14 year-olds to the processes of making and recording their own electronic music. Other highlights for 107 include a special presentation by the veteran cinematographer, the Australian-born Christopher Doyle, describing hisexperiences as a pivotal figure in the Hong Kong film industry for more than twenty years, plus Trevor Knight will present a live collaboration between Gyohei Zaitsu(Japan): Butoh dancer, Itaru Oki (Japan):trumpet and accessories and Trevor Knight (Ireland): keyboard /electronics called 'Featherhead'.
Once again DEAF will also be collaborating with Darklight Film Festival, this time to host a special screening of the controversial Thai film 'Tropical Malady' by Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, plus visually stunning new anime Tekkonkinkreet - directed by American Michael Arias/Studio 4°C, Japan & soundtrack by UK electronica veterans Plaid, both to run over festival weekend at the IFI.
With live club appearances from the likes of D-Styles, Jazztronic, Ray Mang, Lee Douglas, UR live and The Boredoms amongst many other performances (including an all-day improv session to be run out of the karaoke booths of a city centre oriental eatery), we believe that DEAF 2007 offers not just entertainment, and an in-road into the electronic arts for new audiences, but also a positive statement in favour of multiculturalism - at a point in time in which we in Ireland perhaps need reminding of its many benefits. DEAF 2007 partners: Arts Council, Dublin City Council, IMRO, Tiger Beer, Totally Dublin Lyric FM, and Newsxpress.
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