23 - 26 OCTOBER 2008

The last week in October is one to watch: following its successful re-launch last autumn, the Shift festival of electronic arts will kick off into a second edition and present projects drawn from the entire spectrum of electronic arts, including music, visual arts, film & video screenings and, above all, interdisciplinary ‘cross-over’ projects.

The festival theme, “record, record” refers to this era’s obsession with recording and storing data, which generates an endless data glut. Dynamic networked archives foster an emancipatory approach to knowledge yet the voluntary and involuntary disclosure and storage of data also facilitate manipulation, abuse and surveillance.

Shift 2008 seeks both to stimulate artistic and intellectual debate on the emergent poetry of data mountains, and to investigate the impact of an increasingly Big Brother-style surveillance society on civil rights.

The music programme brings together live acts from internationally renowned musicians such as Plaid, Fennesz, Vicki Bennett, DJ Q-Bert or Birdy Nam Nam alongside fascinating positions from Basle-based and other Swiss sound artists such as Goldfinger Brothers, Junction sm and Larytta.

In the exhibition ‘art company’ Etoy.CORPORATION presents amongst other things a model for a virtual life in the post-physical after-life whilst Alejo Duque and Lorenz Schori use special equipment to examine the festival site for signs of normal and paranormal apparitions and waves.

US-American David Troy demonstrates in real-time
how, given the constantly growing Flickr photo
databank the image of universal everyday experience is constantly changing; and Swiss artist Flo Kaufmann makes available his disk-o-mat, with which people can cut an analogue slice of vinyl featuring their very own voice.

A video programme compiled by four Swiss and German curators respectively curator teams will incorporate as an added bonus a retrospective and a special presentation of an artist. The festival theme “record, record” sets the parameters here and also for Shift in Progress, a presentation of recent work produced in Swiss universities of fine arts.

A conference entitled “Cultural Storage. Recording Systems in an Age of Digital Archives” and organised in cooperation with the University of Basle’s Institute for Media Studies will consider the festival theme “record, record” in the light of current media discourse.