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DEAF 2002 - present:
Now entering it’s seventh year, the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival is independently-run by veteran Irish music label D1 Recordings (http://www.d1.ie) and is every year further cementing its reputation as one of the most forward-thinking events of its kind in our cultural calendar. DEAF’s artistic remit has widened considerably since its inception, moving beyond the confines of its roots in club culture, realising Ireland as a creative centre for the digital arts. 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.
Since its inception in 2002, DEAF has established close links with many of the most exalted names in the electronic arts: from artists such as Coil, Plaid, Ulrich Schnauss, Static, Tarwater, Taylor Deupree, Frank Breitschneider, Roger Doyle, 4 Hero, Rahzel, Undergound Resistance, Crash Ensemble, Photek, Ewan Pearson, Richard Chartier, Pamelia Kurstin and Lisle Ellis.
For 2007, the theme of the festival was Asian - offering audiences not just the opportunity to sample the work of Chinese, Japanese, Indian 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 was our hope to open 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’.
We were delighted to have received such a positive response from the artists invited to participate: a collaborative improvisational performance took place between Miya Masaoka and local musician Daniel Jacobson, while Wu Fei & Takeshi Nisimoto brought us stunning performances in St Audoen’s Church, while Pamelia Kurstin stepped 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 07 included a special presentation by the veteran cinematographer, the Australian-born Christopher Doyle, describing his experiences as a pivotal figure in the Hong Kong film industry for more than twenty years, plus Trevor Knight presented a live collaboration between Gyohei Zaitsu (Japan): Butoh dancer, Itaru Oki (Japan):trumpet and accessories by Knight himself: keyboard /electronics called ‘Featherhead’.
DEAF is committed not just to the annual programming of a series of flagship events to represent them, but also to the establishment of a broader framework within which selected artists, producers and musicians are given an opportunity to present their work to Irish audiences alongside artists of international renown. DEAF also seeks to promote discussion on the subject of the electronic arts, to provide the public with opportunities to get hands-on experience of new technologies employed in the digital arts, and to present the electronic arts in new and exciting environments.