Abandon Normal Devices
- , 2017
Tickets cost £ various
Experiments in art, film and music in Castleton's caves and valleys.Visit site
A standard visit to Castleton tends to involve a trip underground in at least one of its famous caves, probably followed by a stroll amidst its picturesque Peak District scenery. But for four days this September, its landscape – both underground and above ground – will offer sights and experiences unlike ever before, as Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival sets up in the village for the first time.
The varied programme includes everything from an open-air light installation in a valley to film screenings and music performances in a cave, all of which in some way explore the earth – whether by heading down into the ground, up into the air, or back through history.
Sheffield's Site Gallery is taking to the Peaks with some of our city's finest artists to present Formation in the Castleton Garage forecourt. This series of installations explores the industrial kind of underground activity, looking at the implications of mining, rare materials, and global supply chains. Another series of installations can be found at Treak Cliff under the name Digital Dark Ages, questioning our relationship with heritage objects and how we preserve our digital lives for future generations.
In what looks set to be one of the most unmissable installations of the festival, Daan Roosegaarde's Waterlicht will fill the already dramatic valley of Winnats Pass with light and smoke on Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 7 and 11pm. By day, there'll be chance to wander the local area with a Heavy Metal Detector, triggering hard rock and metal music in your headphones whenever you come across metal in the landscape, to take a fear-inducing boat ride through Speedwell Cavern, or to enter a slapstick cave-dwelling virtual reality.
On the sonic side of things, AND is hosting experimental and immersive performances in Peak Cavern under the banner of Listening to the Dark. Opening for guided tours, these performance-installations will include a sculptural instrument created by Indonesian artists Ikbal Simamora Lubys and Tony Maryana in response to the mouth of the cave, a listening journey with artist Antoine Bertin, and an exploration of the concept of "deep listening" with electronic composer Beatrice Dillon. And don't miss a special evening event in the cave on Friday, as James Ferraro previews his "AI opera" and Nkisi showcases the dreamy, immersive Dark Orchestra.
There's a nicely varied film programme too, spanning everything from an 80s family cult classic The Goonies to artists' shorts. The Peak Cavern's nickname of the Devil's Arse will be particularly apt on Saturday night when it hosts the horror movie double bill of The Descent and Tremors. Castleton Village Hall will act as cinema for films about everything from high-rise living to a fake rock hidden in the Mojave desert, as well as Jeanne Moreau-starring film noir Lift to the Scaffold and little-known Herzog doc The White Diamond about the inventor of a helium-fuelled airship and more (tickets on sale individually or as a bundle). Parked up outside Castleton Visitor Centre, meanwhile, will be a cinema caravan, showcasing interactive video art.
Make sure you have a good look through the full programme so you don't miss anything. And we'll see you on the 272 to Castleton.