One of Europe’s truly 24-hour festivals!
Self-proclaimed as “one of Europe’s few truly 24-hour festivals”, Electric Castle opens the doors of the historical Banffy castle in Romania and literally takes you under its wing for five consecutive days this summer. If falling into an alternate world of all-night sensory beauty is for you, this is the place. So, festival go-ers, get ready to revel in the rich history of the land alongside round-the-clock music, performance art and new media installations.
Established in 2013, Electric Castle sees its 8th rendition this year; a kind of symbolic translation for the festival’s gradual growth into the artistic hub it is today. To give you an idea, EC began with just four small stages but has gotten larger and more extravagant each year, priding itself on its inclusivity of genres as well as festival-goers (mind you, the festival also provides a sign-language translator).
Alongside the variation of familiar and great names on their fiery line-up, what also caught our attention was Electric Castle’s dynamic Art Programme. One of their most promising art acts must be Robert Henke. The artist began his career within an engineering background in Germany, yet today we know Henke as one of our most prominent electronic music composers, whose laser technology shows complex the audience through sheer unpredictability and variation. Henke’s performances are bold and eccentric, and it’s this combination of laser performance technology and sounds that creates the distinctive experience for the crowd. Henke’s contributions to contemporary electronic music is unique in its creation, he uses mathematical rules and coding as vital tools in achieving his sound. In the end however, it’s the performance of his music, which curates the experience.
James Clar is another artist, who caught our eye. Clar is an NYU graduate for Film and Animation, as well as Interactive Telecommunications. His work delves into the conceptual world and narrative behind light and technology within our everyday lives. For Clar, our reality of communication is built on light and technology, as those enhance and decrease information delivery to us. This notion of reality is central to his work and is evident in his thematic performances. Even though he works with technology and production he identifies their harmful effects on society, culture and human behaviour, providing an honest and thought provoking performance.
Where Clar bases his work in his reality, Claire Hentschker, another exciting artist billed for Electric Castle, uses photogrammetry and immersive technology to recreate lost memories and places, hence distancing herself from reality. Hentschker encourages imperfections within her performances as she believes they create new, eccentric replications of these memories, fragmenting their way into existence with a clear disconnect from the memory itself. Because of this rare perspective, Hentschker creates new versions of reality through experimental imaging technologies and embracing mistakes. For her, nothing replicated can be real, so why not make it almost real?
With 300 other artists performing this summer, our 3 art favourites may give you an idea of what’s to come but this is truly only the tip of the iceberg. And if the interwovenness of disciplines at Electric Castle is your cup of tea, hear this out too: ever since its establishment, the festival has re-done the Banffy castle’s roof, provided job opportunities for local workers and boosted the surrounding villages’ economy. This year, Electric Castle hopes to fix the Castle’s frame-work and to continue restoring Romania’s forgotten landmarks in a celebration of their heritage. See you in the Balkans, babes!