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September 22nd, 2022 | by Mathieu Gayet

L.E.V. Matadero 2022 unveils VORTEX and Ciudad Aumentada, a complementary immersive line-up

Matadero Madrid, center of contemporary creations belonging to Madrid City Council's Department of Culture, presents this year's new L.E.V. Matadero. The Festival of Visual Electronics and Extended Realities, organized by Matadero Madrid, Cineteca Madrid and Medialab at Matadero, and curated by Datatron, will take place from September 22 to 25 2022.

Cover: (UN)RELATED TO GOD, by APOLLO NOIR & THOMAS PONS

After announcing its line-up of shows and audiovisual performances, with such prestigious headliners as the acclaimed German composer Alva Noto, the multi-awarded Japanese artist Daito Manabe, the unstoppable Catalan composer Marina Herlop, or the latest addition to the line-up Ziúr, plus this year's contribution by MAD (Madrid Artes Digitales) of a wide-format immersive installation, now the Festival announces the virtual and augmented reality experiences that will conform the sections Vortex (VRTX) and Ciudad Aumentada.

Besides, this year's L.E.V. Matadero will also feature the opening of the exhibition Metaverses: Realities in transition at Nave 0. This year's line-up is completed by an action-installation taking the shape of a sound walk by Clara Brea, 2021 resident at Matadero's Residential Art Center, and by a formative and educational programme organized with Medialab Matadero about virtual spaces and experimental sound creation.

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VORTEX: Virtual Reality and VR Cinema experiences

The Vortex (VRTX) section in this year's L.E.V. Matadero is composed by six surprising virtual reality works. One of them is ANANDALA, a virtual, abstract world full of fascinating forms and three-dimensional colors, inhabited by some intelligent artificial life. This universe, created by Kevin Mack, the pioneer of immersive art, invites the visitor to fly over and explore its surprising nature, and to interact and engage with its peculiar and friendly inhabitants.

MEET ME HALFWAY, by Italian architect, artist and engineer Anna Pompermaier, is an experience of multiplayer extended reality, created to research the future of meeting spaces, located inside hybrid environments halfway between a physical and a digital world. Another example of these new meeting spaces is the animated virtual reality experience GOLIATH: PLAYING WITH REALITY, created by Anagram, directed by Barry Gene Murphy and May Abdalla, and narrated by actor Tilda Swinton, who guides the visitor through the different realities of Goliath, a man who has lived most of his life isolated in mental institutions, and who connects with the outside world through multiplayer video games.

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MEET ME HALFWAY, by ANNA POMPERMAIER

The project FUTURE DANCE OF NOSTALGIA explores the relationship between our bodies and the hard, repetitive physical work during the pre-industrial age. A video game created by Beijing visual artist and designer Kexin Hao, combining songs about work taken for historical archives and the dynamics of games such as Just Dance. From Taipei, experimental artist and producer Meuko! Meuko! and Taiwanese collective NAXS Corp present INNERVISION, a version of their series Ghost Island in the shape of a virtual reality installation. A virtual post-utopian landscape in 3D, located in the frontier between mythology and reality.

Besides, the shocking documentary in virtual reality ON THE MORNING YOU WAKE (TO THE END OF THE WORLD) by the multi-awarded studios Archer’s Mark and Atlas V will immerse the viewer in a terrible event which took place in January 2018 in Hawaii, when its citizens received a text message from the Estate Emergency Service, wrongly warning them about an imminent ballistic missile attack. A piece that proves the vast potential of VR technology to portrait the world around us, and to make us reflect about it.

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GHOST ISLAND: INNERVISION, by MEUKO! MEUKO! & NAXS CORP

Ciudad Aumentada. Augmented reality urban experiences

This year, L.E.V. Matadero brings us a new experience of augmented reality at the outdoor space of La Placita. Created by the French illustrator and animation director Guillaumit, the piece LIVELYYY has the shape of a painted wall which contains a hectic inner life that we can discover on the screen of our smartphone. A fragile, rich ecosystem in 3D which the author invites us not only to discover, but also to take care of.

Sala Plató de Cineteca will host (UN)RELATED TO GOD, by the French two-piece formed by music and producer Apollo Noir and designer and director Thomas Pons. A multi- dimensional experience which reflects about our ability as human beings to forge their own destiny, through a series of paintings and objects which get activated in augmented reality. This project, supported by Paris' Institut Français, will also serve as an introduction of the new international networking project Sensor/PLAY, promoted by the association AUAFEIOMAU (creators of the Semibreve Festival in Braga, Portugal), L.E.V. Festival and Maintenant Festival (Rennes, France).

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LIVELYYY, by GUILLAUMIT

Metaverses: realities in transition. Using art to explore new digital territories

As part of this year's Festival, Matadero Madrid and L.E.V. will also feature the opening of the exhibition Metaverses: realities in transition, based on the premise that visual environments are a reality increasingly present in our lives. Supported by Taiwan's Ministry of Culture and Economic and Taipei's Trade Office in Spain and the Austrian Cultural Forum, the exhibition is composed by a selection of five metaverses, plus a generative installation, all created by and for artists and promoted by several cultural institutions.

This walkthrough shows the visitor a new way of understanding the metaverse, away from more commercial virtual spaces. It is an invitation to discover new territories of artistic experimentation in an immersive way, to travel through amazing aesthetic universes halfway between physicality and virtuality, to discover the endless creative possibilities of this technological media.

The title of the exhibition refers to Realities in Transition, a project created in collaboration with L.E.V. Festival, and recently selected by Europa Creativa, about the common European challenges faced by the growing development of metaverses, in order to promote open source, sustainable, accessible and diverse alternatives.

Workshop & Open Talks: Sounds of Immersion

Following previous events about the communities and workgroups devoted to extended reality, something which started in 2020 with the Planet L.E.V. Matadero metaverse, this year the Festival and Medialab Matadero organize a workshop about experimental sound design for immersive spaces, conducted by Thomas Aussenac and Arthur Vincent from project Sound Object, and a series of presentations open to the audience, where some of this year's line-up artists will talk about their creative processes in virtual environments.

Madrid Concrete. A sound walk with Clara Brea

Besides, on Sunday September 25, artist Clara Brea will showcase Madrid Concrete, a sound collage conformed by field recordings registered during her stay at Matadero's Residential Art Center in 2021. In this premiere, to be listened using wireless headphones, Clara Brea portraits and reimagines the soundscape of Madrid, in order to immerse the listener in the roaring sound of the city gears

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L.E.V. Matadero (https://levfestival.com/22/en/)

Festival of Visual Electronics and Extended Realities

September 22-25, 2022

Matadero Madrid

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L.E.V. Matadero 2022

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