Merge, he month-long free arts festival, is back for its fifth year. A collection of talented artists will be making use of the rich heritage and contemporary culture of the area to create engaging and interactive art installations. MERGE Bankside is curated by Illuminate Productions and is supported by Tate Modern and Better Bankside. The festival runs from 18th September – 18th October 2015.
Highlights will include:
‘On Your Wavelength’ is by Marcus Lyall and Rob Thomas, the team who produce visual effects for The Chemical Brothers and Metallica live shows. This site-specific installation uses participants’ brain data and the latest technology to create a large-scale immersive light and sound installation. The spontaneously choreographed digital artwork will be created from intersecting thought patterns, via an EEG headset. The laser and sound will then amplify their brain activities to an epic, architectural scale.
Bompas and Parr invite you to make a wish in the ‘Bioluminescent Chamber of Wishes’ for an interactive installation that takes inspiration from the lost springs, wells and grottos of London’s Bankside. The piece uses the rare phenomenon of bioluminescent sea water, created with the help of Microbiologist Dr. Simon Park. By entering a magical grotto and tossing a unique wishing token into the water, guests will be able to both see their splash light-up in a phosphorus shimmer and then view and interact with the algae’s luminescence. In addition to the immediate effect created by the splash, visitors will be able to keep a lasting memory of the experience in the form of a laser triggered photograph.
Colourful Crossings sees one of the main arteries in Bankside, Southwark Street, transformed into an outdoor gallery with a series of on-street public artworks; which will bring pedestrian crossings to life. Award winning photographer Morgan Silk will be creating a large-scale anamorphic scene. This illusionary piece, where the road will appear to reveal a hidden world, then disappear when the viewer moves from the vantage point is interactive so that the public can become part of the artwork.
Watch as you walk down Blackfriars Road in September as ‘Time to be Late’ takes to the street. Part evocative bus journey, part site-specific theatrical experience, the commuters’ daily journey to and from work will come alive through a series of energetic and humorous scenes taking place at bus stops and on buses along Blackfriars Road. Performers include Award Winning Natural Theatre Company and a unique cabaret show from Scotty the Blue Bunny.
The Caravan Theatre and Riverside Stage will return to the river walkway outside Tate Modern. Working with emerging writers, directors and actors, Caravan Theatre brings unique theatre productions to intimate four-person audiences. Performers this year include Sammy Kissin, Natalie Smith and Croft and Pearce. The Riverside Stage will showcase a range of musical talents to support original song writing and new British music.Bands this year include winner of the BBC2 Folk Awards ‘Stick in the Wheel’ and adventurous seven-piece band ‘Mishaped Pearls’, nominated for Best Song and Folk Singer in The Independent Music Awards 2014.
MERGE Bankside: 18th September – 18th October 2015 Bankside, SE1 Cost:Most are free but some installations require a small charge and booking to me made in advance. See the website for more information.