L.E.V. 2021

15 years of experiments with electronic sounds, audio visual creations and digital art

2021 has been a very special year for L.E.V. During one of the most unforeseen scenarios our society has been forced to deal with, we have also celebrated our fifteenth anniversary since the first L.E.V. Festival in Gijón. 

Many things have changed since then, but our essence remains unchanged: to go beyond the limits of creativity in all our actions, and to break the mould, keeping track of the current narratives and possibilities offered by today’s electronic sound creation, audiovisual creation and digital art, to bring them closer to anyone interested in discovering the most surprising and avant-garde side of contemporary digital creation.

Our year started in February, with Hay vida en otros mundos (virtuales), an activity organized by Matadero and DIMAD, on the occasion of Madrid Design Festival. It included online chats open to the public, and two extensive workshops about the creation of virtual environments, for design, architecture and fashion students. The starting point for this initiative was the virtual universe Planet LEV Matadero, a space of artistic and digital experimentation which can be visited online and as virtual reality in Steam. 

Meanwhile, the 15th L.E.V. Festival in Gijón was taking shape…

L.E.V. Festival: Gijón, 15th anniversary

From July 22 to 25, L.E.V. Festival occupied different city spaces with amazing works of audiovisual art, electronic music and digital art.

Supported by Gijón’s Town Council, this year’s line up included several audiovisual performances and live shows at Teatro Jovellanos and Teatro de la LABoral, by artists Ryoichi Kurokawafuse*Lucie AntunesFasenuova + Marta VerdeTadej Drolic and Alex Augier; the first Spanish solo exhibition by new media artist Hsin-Chien Huang, a joint effort with Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and Economic and Taipei’s Trade Office in Spain, plus virtual reality shows at Capilla del Palacio Revillagigedo; two audiovisual installations at Centro de Cultura Antiguo Instituto and LABoral Centro de Arte, by Elías Merino & Sergio Millán and Fred Penelle & Yannick Jacquet; and augmented reality experiences at Escuela de Comercio and Espigón de Fomento, created by Adrien M & Claire B, Brest Brest Brest collective, and Julie Stephen Chheng. The festival has been funded with a subsidy of the Government of the Principality of Asturias.

In a collaboration with the Youth Department and the Principality of Asturias’ Conseyu de la Mocedá, the Escuela de Comercio also hosted a workshop for youngsters about electronic and vocal musical creations, directed by sound project dot tape dot, who played two shows with his students at Muséu del Pueblu d’Asturies. Besides, artist Cyril Meroni showcased live the results of his residency at LABoral Centro de Arte, the audiovisual performance Advienne.

Two activities from the Festival are still open to the public: until January 2021 at LABoral Centro de Arte, the audiovisual installation Mécaniques Discursives by Fred Penelle and Yannick Jacquet, included in the programme Años Luz, with the support of Fundación EDP; and, as a permanent exhibition at Espigón de Fomento, the augmented reality experience Uramado AR. Tanukis Awake by Julie Stephen Chheng.

L.E.V. Matadero. 3rd Edition in Madrid

The third L.E.V. Matadero, Festival of Visual Electronica and Immersive Experiences, took place between September 23-26. It was produced by Matadero Madrid, with the collaboration of Matadero’s Cineteca Madrid and Naves del Español, and directed by Datatrón platform.

In the course of four days, the festival offered eight double sessions of live music shows and performances, ten virtual reality experiences, four wide-format audiovisual installations, and one free-entrance, open-space augmented reality experience at Matadero Madrid. Besides, throughout the whole Saturday, and thanks to a collaboration with Medialab, the festival brought together a long list of artists and collectives to put into practice the creative possibilites of augmented reality, and to share their current projects in this field.

Madrid audiences warmly welcomed this year’s programme: all tickets for live shows and VORTEX section virtual reality shows were sold out, as well as the tickets for the installations showed on the weekend. The augmented reality show Fauna, by creative French duo Adrien M & Claire B and the collective of designers Brest Brest Brest, will remain active until January 6 2022. 

The festival also boasted a groundbreaking official image, collaborating with 3D artist Lola Zoido to create a filter in augmented reality, which was included in the poster for L.E.V. Matadero 2021, and now it is available for all the followers of L.E.V.’s Instagram.

These are the artists and collectives that collaborated with this year’s Festival: Lee Gamble & Clifford Sage (Uk), Zoë Mc Pherson & Alessandra Leone (De/It), Scanner (Uk), Grischa Lichtenberger (De), Cruhda + Judith Adataberna (Es), Varg²™️ & Croatian Amor (Se/Dk), Ivankova + Álvaro Chior (Es), Bromo (Es), Martin Messier (Ca), Tundra (Ru), Adrien M & Claire B (Fr), Total Refusal (At), Jakob Kudsk Steensen (Dk), D-Fuse (Uk), Jeanne Susplugas (Fr), Lauren Moffatt (Au), Francois Vautier (Fr), Shoeg (Es), Hyphen-Labs (Uk), Fabito Rychter & Amir Admoni (Pe/Br), Boris Labbé (Fr), Adrien M & Claire B x Brest Brest Brest (Fr).

FAUNA in the streets of Gijón

Besides keeping it open to the public at Matadero, Arenas Movedizas and L.E.V. brought the activity FAUNA to the streets of Gijón last November, and, until January 6, this experience of augmented reality can be enjoyed in the city center and the neighbourhood of El Natahoyo. More info here.

While we were busy developing new projects and collaborations in 2021, it was also the fifteenth anniversary of our festival, something really exciting.

Thanks to all the people and institutions which have helped us along the way. A way which has revealed something new on every step, which has proved us that human creativity knows no limits and will never fail to amaze us. Because we live in a constantly changing, complex world, but our curiosity to reach new horizons of artistic expressions knows no limits.

From Gijón to Madrid, from the physical world to cyberspace, at L.E.V. we will keep on exploring the most surprising side of contemporary artistic creation, in order to share it will all of you.