Meet The Artists
25 June – 5 August 2022
Vivid Projects and Birmingham 2022 Festival presents the 2022 (Algo|Afro) Futures programme, now underway with a fantastic cohort of talented artists. We are delighted to introduce:
Canaan Brown | Demarae | Japhet Dinganga | Meesha Fones | melissandre varin | Sym Stellium | Tyger Gill
Throughout July, the seven selected artists will be developing completely new aspects to their practices – learning how to use computer code to create live music and visual experiences. Piloted in 2021, this year we are delighted to be funded through the Creative City programme to support Black artists to take part in a series of workshops led by artist mentors Antonio Roberts and Gary Stewart, with Alex McLean. The programme explores live coding as a performance practice in which code can be used to create live music and visuals ( as seen in the electronic dance music events called Algoraves) and as a technique. Live coding can be applied to noise music, choreography, live cinema, and many other time-based artforms.
The group will be developing their skills at Vivid Projects throughout July, taking part in tech sessions and masterclasses from the talented mentors.
A special FREE WORKSHOP will be taking place at Vivid Projects on 30 July – keep an eye on our socials for booking details.
The project concludes with an evening of live algorithmic techno and algorithmic visuals at Digbeth First Friday on 5 August – Save the Date. We can’t wait to see what the cohort produce.
Through performance arts, moving image assemblages, and site-specific installations – among other things – melissandre varin investigates love, intimacy, and tenderness. Making from an Afro and Caribbean diasporic context, melissandre adds layers of complexity using a situated Black feminism.
Sym Stellium is a movement artist, facilitator, performer and community worker with a focus on supporting and uplifting marginalised communities – and the exploration of connection and communication on micro and macro levels situated at the core of their practise. Sym is the lead facilitator of UNMUTED and creates and leads workshops from movement and confidence building to meditation and practical wellbeing practices. Sym has performed across stages in the UK such as Manchester O2 arena, Birmingham Hippodrome, Creamfields festival and Birmingham Pride future stage.
Tyger Blue is a multidisciplinary artist specialising in sound and ‘explorer of the intersection at which technology, art and science meet’.
Canaan Brown is an artist and designer, currently working as an Emerging Artist with Legacy West Midlands. Brown strives to advocate, exemplify, and inspire Black excellence through his art and design practice. Using film, writing, and digital media, as well as sculpture, painting, and installation, Brown employs diverse media to tell stories through his work – highlighting, celebrating, and speculating on histories, modernities, and futures. Brown was recently awarded as a finalist for the Black Heritage Undergraduate of the Year Award, 2022, and has exhibited his artwork internationally.
Meesha Fones is a Wolverhampton born electronic sound designer, live performer and creative producer. Meesha identifies as a neurodivergent creator with no formal training. They take inspiration from analog and digital sound, 70s post punk bands, arpeggiator synth lines and Electronic dance music. They play in bands’ Dorcha and electronic-trio Pretty Grim and solo perform under the name Naycha/Nature Boi.
Their style of producing can be most noted in ‘Queef’: a Birmingham based collective where They are lead producer, showcasing queer experimental art and live music. Queef challenges standard forms of hosting live performance, and the journey of how spaces can work and look. Meesha bases Their work on journeying towards immersion and self healing.
Birmingham based visual artist Japhet is currently working on several projects along with community organisations and other Birmingham based emerging creatives. ‘I’m excited to take part in this experience with high hopes to learn lasting skills and new knowledge’.
Demarae is a multidisciplinary designer, World builder & Music producer born and raised in Birmingham UK. Representing our city in new and innovative ways has been at the forefront of all Demarae experiences; from envisioning potential futures to the replication of the modern Midlands as a backdrop for virtual storytelling.
Demarae is a world builder who creates alternative realities in a stylised way, allowing you (the player) to experience new and familiar environments and take on adventures like never seen before. (Virtually and sonically)
Featured image of Sym Stellium by Emwa Jones