Frequency Festival 2013

Seeing the flyers popping up everywhere I went was weird but it meant the word was getting around about the festival. After a couple of months hearing about the plans and designing the bits and bobs, it was finally here – Frequency 2013.

Also, there was a familiar face added to the Frequency team…

…Emma was back doing what she does best – managing/ organising/ bossing people around as a Festival Assistant. And I did what I’m best at; looking, watching, experiencing, forming an opinion and posing for cheesy photos…

Over the 9 days, I visited numerous sites, dragging along different people and we explored the festival:

The pop up Go Dome dominated Cornhill to display Clonal Colonies by Timothy Chesney and Bret Battey. It was a bit scary at first, especially because you had to go through the bouncy castle-like opening and didn’t have a clue what to expect. But when you got inside…

… it was like another world! Lydia & I were papped whilst inside by Steve Smailes for the The Lincolnite – we’re on the left. The seamless transitions between the patterns and the co-inciding music was pretty mesmerising! It was a great experience – relaxing and atmospheric and totally weird to think that I was sitting on the floor in the middle of Lincoln!

In a pop up shop on Sincil Street I discovered the colourful work of Juneau Projects – Chapel of the Infocalypse:

Some lovely printed textures!


In the new Architecture, Art and Design gallery, Contact is an interactive piece combining lightbulbs and the power of social networking by Lincoln grad Matt Whetherly.

And the award for the work which I visited the most amount of times goes to Conversio by Trope:

Hidden underneath a bank in the centre of Lincoln lay the preserved remains of Roman Lincoln’s Posterngate. Going down the steps into the darkness, you are fully immersed in Conversio – a combination of light projections and music. There are 3 different components to the experience – the first happy part is what I perceived to be ‘flowers’, then a chain and hook which is a bit creepy (and creeky) and then some bricks which tick like a clock. I can’t really explain it… you just had to be there!

I visited Conversio 6 times in total – just couldn’t get enough!

Another piece which I saw a couple of times was Chris Levine’s Angel Presence:

Also another which you had to experience to understand. I walked into St Swithins with Sara, Glen, Joe and Rebecca to see this piece and I didn’t get it at first because it looked like it was just a pillar of lights. We’d heard that you had to move your head to see something but it sounded a bit weird and after swinging my head side to side and seeing nothing, I was confused. It wasn’t until I turned to Rebecca saying ‘I don’t see it…’ that I saw it! I don’t know how it works, but it’s pretty impressive!

Tom and I ventured up the hill to tick more of the events off of our lists:

AAZ’s 1/4 Mulch

At Chad Varrah there were interesting things happening, some of which I will admit I didn’t really ‘get’, but that’s art isn’t it? What I do understand as a creative is that not everyone will understand everything you do. For example Tony Conrad’s kaleidoscopic images of the New York cityscape looked amazing and so interesting…

… I could have watched them all day if it hadn’t of been what sounded like someone playing the bagpipes really badly – it gave me a headache!

Escaping the noise, Tom and I found some old projectors with film rolling:

Tucked away in St Mary Magdalene’s on the Bailgate we found Emma Dex Dexter’s Universal Cabaret:

Tom stepped in(but not past the barrier) for a closer look at the interesting piece which uses Lenticular printing to achieve the 3D optical illusion. In my opinion, I felt the piece was kind of lost in the venue and could have had more of an impact without the distractions of the Church surroundings (as lovely as the Church is).

A piece which worked perfectly with the surroundings was Street Ghosts by Paolo Cirio:

Dotted around Lincoln were a few of these figures – I love this idea and think it’s really interesting and engaging. I only managed to spot 3 figures which I was quite sad about but I heard that there were a few lurking on the University Campus and in the Student Village.

During the festival I bravely booked into 2 interactive experiences which involved losing control by wearing video goggles and instructional headphones and because of this, are solo experiences. The idea of that really scared me and I was quite worried about what I’d gotten myself into when I was waiting outside the room of the 1st experience. Il Pixel Rosso involved protecting an envelope, getting into what I’m guessing was a wheel chair and being wheeled somewhere to get into a car with some clowns, being tickled with a feather and sprayed with alcohol. It sounds pretty odd, right? And it really was! I’m not really sure what happened but it was an amazing experience.

After that, I knew I HAD to book in for the other experience by Me and The Machine. Tom came for the experience too and after I had finished I waited outside the door to catch his reaction:

All smiles! Again, another weird but amazing experience this time involving walking, answering a phone, weird smells and Salsa dancing. I felt like a bit of an idiot when I came out because at one point you’re asked questions and I didn’t realise I needed to talk. So they ask your name – I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know if the video was going to speak for you. Then it asks date of birth, favourite song and for you to sing a bit of it – well I stood there in silence because I thought it would be weird for me to just start talking half way through the questions. Ooops! But anyway, I loved Salsa dancing with a stranger and really got into the swing of things – by the end I was leading! An amazing experience and all topped off by the guy’s amazingly intense eyes (I totally melted like a girl).

It was a tough decision but my favourite experience of the festival was WIFE’s performance of The Grey Ones:

With digital projection, music and dance, it was an amazing combination which I’ve never seen or experienced before. I was completely transfixed on the 3 artists each standing on a box on the stage, like statues that came to life. The way in which they moved and reacted with the projections was brilliant and so impressive.

When I had been designing the pocket guide WIFE caught my eye and it definitely didn’t disappoint!

But Frequency Festival didn’t shut down at night – what about the ‘out of hours’ events? Urban Projections worked on a massive canvas using projections, spray paint and stencils at the Cornhill. The piece evolved over a couple of evenings as the artists continued to add and layer up different imagery. From this:

… to this:

And just across the high street, Impossible Projects’ giant globe with projections lit up St Benedict’s square:

I got roped into volunteering one evening to get people to come and see and be involved with Lightweight – you could have your photo taken and it would be randomly generated onto a characters body or angel wings. It was a 4 metre wide, 360 degree seamless screen and with the music too, it was pretty atmospheric!

And that was my 9 days of Frequency. So, after all of those amazing experiences how do you round off the festival and go out with a bang? You FREQ OUT of course…

Aw, look at Julia and Emma boogie-ing away!

A party at The Drill Hall was freq-y by name and by nature with some pretty interesting dancing from a guy who got hold of some balloons. When the DJs played the classic Le Freak by Chic some people finally plucked up the courage to get on the dancefloor and the dancing only got weirder from then on!

The festival team thanked Uzma, Barry, Sam, Kristy and Technical Jeff for all of their hard work organising, managing and making the festival happen.

And then everyone danced the night away…

… well, until they turned off the music and we got chucked out anyway. What a night. What a festival. I’ve learnt and seen a lot of new things and met new people. It was fun Frequency so see you again in 2015…

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© Natasha Nuttall | January 2022

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