Back for 2016 MERGE Bankside is to showcase a collection of immersive art, theatre, and musical performances throughout Bankside, London SE1. The festival features high profile names and emerging talent in the art and music world taking over spaces in the Bankside area, from Blackfriars to London Bridge, from 24 September – 7 October. MERGE Bankside An annual arts, music and performance festival that draws on the rich heritage and contemporary culture of London’s Bankside, by staging exhibitions, performances, and events in disused office blocks, historic buildings, open spaces, and local businesses. It takes art and music directly into the heart of the community bringing together residents, workers and visitors, both as participants and audiences. MERGE is curated by Bankside art production company, Illuminate Productions, and developed in collaboration with Better Bankside and Tate Modern.
This year’s headline comes from Bompas & Parr as they create an art installation which transposes your voice to infrasound to give visitors supernatural experiences at Hilton London Bankside’s swimming pool. ‘Voice of God’, from 29 September – 2 October, is a world first; the only time that infrasound has been creatively used to give people a spectral visitation. The physical installation poses questions about consciousness, our perception of the physical world, and our understanding of the supernatural.
Bompas & Parr have worked with acoustic scientists to design and build the sound-based installation that appears to connect you with the supernatural. A custom sound system will broadcast infrasound at 19 Hz. This frequency is below the regular hearing threshold of a human but is the resonant frequency of the human eyeball. These low-frequency vibrations can cause the eyeball to distort activating the rods and cones in your eyes through pressure rather than light. Guests are invited to use their own voice to trigger seemingly supernatural and divine visions through the medium of sound. To create a message and submit your entry all you need to use is the mic feature on a phone and to record 10 – 30 words in a quiet place. Send the sound file to VoG@bompasandparr.com by 15 September 2016.
Other highlights from the 2016 programme include:
The ever popular Riverside Stage will be back outside Tate Modern with a weekend of live music programmed by New Roots and Sister Ray on 25 – 26 September. It’s been nearly 30 years now since Sister Ray Records first opened its record shop on Berwick Street in Soho and it’s now considered an institution. Line up includes London-born Soul man Danny Toeman, Wesley Gonzalez, Jon Kenzie and Ned Roberts.
Food demonstrations gone wrong at Borough Market, with spoof chefs of course, keeping up appearances during a live food demonstration while trying to save the dish of the day!
Time To Be Late, providing commuters with much-needed comedy along various points on Blackfriars Road on 6 and 7 October. At unexpected points, at unexpected times, MERGE aims to put a smile on the face of commuters with activity inspired by the rich history and infamous characters from the area.
There’ll also be another surprise for people in the Blackfriars Road area as London-based outdoor arts company Bureau of Silly Ideas has a plan to celebrate the centenary of the shooting down of a Zeppelin airship over Blackfriars Bridge. On 30 September and 1 October watch out for the Peas Corps and something big and white in the sky!
More details, exact venues and additional performers will be announced over the coming weeks at mergefestival.co.uk.
MERGE Bankside is a festival created in association with Better Bankside, a Business Improvement District dedicated to making Bankside a place to work, live, and visit. It is also supported by Tate Modern.
Bankside is London’s cultural district: a thriving and vibrant central London location stretching along the River Thames from London Bridge to Blackfriars, with the famous Borough Market and Tate Modern at its heart.
About Better Bankside Better Bankside is a Business Improvement District (BID) which exists to make Bankside a better place to work, live and visit. It aims to improve the quality of the area and enhance the competitiveness of its businesses. It is a company owned, funded and led by employers in the Bankside area of London. Visit betterbankside.co.uk for more information.
Illuminate Productions is a not-for-profit organisation that presents contemporary art in unusual, yet accessible, environments. It stages shows in buildings of geographical or historical importance, as well as public outdoor spaces. Emerging and established artists are challenged to work in groundbreaking contexts so their work may be brought to the community and international audiences. Illuminate Productions takes contemporary art out of gallery-type situations and into the public domain where everyone may enjoy it.
Experience Bompas & Parr’s supernatural voice installation at this year’s MERGE Bankside
The annual immersive arts, music and performance festival returns for the sixth year: 24 September – 7 October