Saturday 4 July &
Sunday 5 July 2015
Interdependence is a two‑day festival of talks, performances, and inspirational thought, celebrating the irrepressible human propensity to create – across all areas of arts and science. The weekend includes some of the most pre‑eminent creative minds working today.

‘Interdependence’ describes the relationship of matter, beings and ideas as mutually, delicately dependent – a ripe conceptual backdrop for today’s rapidly changing cultural landscape.

Interdependence features a unique, interdisciplinary programme, bringing together the artists who have created MIF15 with special guests from diverse disciplines to uncover possibilities and connections between that which is seemingly unconnected. Consider it a perspectival refresh for a precarious age.


Sat 11am

Welcome by Alex Poots and Steve Morrison

Sat 11.15am

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson has earned a reputation for creating epic public artworks that draw from natural phenomena to create momentous moments of private and shared experience. His works often play with illusion and sensory perception and demonstrate how art – like nature – has the power to make us reflect on our individual place in a complex universe, ‘to put ourselves in the shoes of others. It strengthens our capacity for empathy.’ Eliasson’s celebrated projects include creating waterfalls out of bridges for New York City Waterfalls; and installing a never-setting sun into London’s Tate Modern, The weather project. Recent projects include Riverbed, in which Eliasson filled an entire wing of Denmark’s Louisiana Museum with stones and water to emulate a river meandering through a rocky landscape. Last year, Eliasson staged the inaugural show at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. He is the co-director with Frederik Ottesen of the social business Little Sun, which produces solar lamps for use in off-grid communities.

Sat 11.30am

Decoding a Contemporary Ballet

With Tree of Codes, Alex Poots, MIF Artistic Director, invited choreographer Wayne McGregor, artist Olafur Eliasson and composer Jamie xx to create a new performance language for the 21st century. But what actually happens when you bring together three of the world’s great innovators, each with their own vision? And how does the world’s oldest ballet company find common ground with today’s most cutting-edge dancers? Benjamin Millepied, director of Paris Opera Ballet, and dancer Jessica Wright from Company Wayne McGregor join artist Olafur Eliasson and Alex Poots to discuss this remarkable new full-length ballet.

Sat 11.55am

22nd-Century Visionaries

Arca and Jesse Kanda give their first ever public interview. This is a very rare chance to meet the pioneering young duo who are considered today’s most exciting new voices in electronic music and digital art. Only 25 years old, the Venezuelan-born producer Alejandro Ghersi, known as Arca, has already worked with Björk, co-producing her most recent album Vulnicura, as well as FKA Twigs and Kanye West. Arca and artist Jesse Kanda are inventing a new visual and sonic language that blends queer identity with cyborg sensuality and Latin sass. They will be in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Co-Director of London’s Serpentine Gallery and an Artistic Director to MIF.

Sat 12.20pm

Does Culture Need Walls? Tales from Manchester, Lagos and Cardiff

Panel discussion chaired by Maria Balshaw, with Dave Moutrey, Abigail Gilmore, Azu Nwagbogu, Sir Howard Bernstein and John McGrath

Manchester is finally getting the high-tech cultural institutions it deserves, with the newly expanded Whitworth, the arrival of HOME and plans for the multi-million-pound Factory on the site of the Old Granada Studio (home of Interdependence and the future home for Manchester International Festival). But what kind of spaces do we need today to carry culture forward? How best to entertain people and foster new groundbreaking work? Who are the audiences we should be reaching and how to reach them? What can Manchester learn from what other cities are doing around the world?

To open the discussion, Azu Nwagbogu presents short films from the Lagos Film Festival

Sat 1.10pm


Sat 2pm

Sacred Sounds, Song and Silence

The Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir is one of the great legacy stories of Manchester International Festival. Originally brought together by MIF Creative in 2013 to perform with Sir John Tavener, Steven Isserlis and Abida Parveen, the choir have grown to today perform a wide repertoire of material including Sikh shabads, Buddhist chants and Christian hymns and prayers. Bringing together women from Greater Manchester, with and without previous experience of singing, the multi-faith choir are committed to building and promoting relationships of compassion and appreciation across race, language, culture and religion. They return to MIF15 to perform alongside Hélène Grimaud and Charlotte Rampling in the Douglas Gordon-directed Neck of the Woods.

Sat 2.25pm

Beautiful Baghdad

An original short film by Ayman Al-Amiri, presented by RUYA Foundation’s Tamara Chalabi and curator Philippe Van Cauteren

Commissioned for Interdependence, this short film by 19-year-old Baghdad-based photographer Ayman Al-Amiri invites us to see Baghdad through his eyes and reflects on how his camera and bearing witness to beauty as well as horror help him to cope with life in a city and country being torn apart.

Sat 2.40pm

Dance, Storytelling and the City

A live demonstration of pausing, snapping, gliding, bone breaking, hat tricks, animation and contortion by choreographer and pioneer of FlexN, Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray, and Flex dancers. This is your chance to learn why Flex is not just a dance but a form of deeply human storytelling. Together, they invite you to understand how dance can explore issues such as social injustice and personal narratives such as their experiences growing up in Brooklyn. Plus meet the amazing young Manchester dancers selected by Reggie to perform with them as part of their MIF15 show.

Sat 3pm

Art for Troubled Times

Panel discussion chaired by Liese Spencer, with Jeremy Deller, Tamara Chalabi, Philippe Van Cauteren, Ewen MacAskill and James Thompson

How can or should artists respond to the tumult of our times? Can art be a meaningful tool for resistance? Can art help recovery from post-conflict trauma? What can we learn about art from artists who have been living amid violence and war for the whole of their lives?

Sat 4pm

Sex Machine/Funky Drummer

Acclaimed British artist Jeremy Deller creates socio-political work that engages with the key issues of our times in humorous, local and celebratory ways. In 2009 he was invited by MIF to create a public artwork. Deller responded with Procession, a city-wide parade that brought together buskers, smokers, car modifiers, Big Issue sellers and even a replica of Valerie’s Snack Bar from Bury Market. Sex Machine/Funky Drummer is a new work created especially for Interdependence and continues Deller’s exploration of the legacy of the Industrial Revolution. It will be performed by drummer Pascal Nicholas and ballad singer/clog dancer Jennifer Reid. Plus Jeremy Deller discusses his work.



Sun 11am

Welcome by Alex Poots and Steve Morrison

Sun 11.15am

Becoming Digital Beings

Digital artist Ed Atkins presents on Performance Capture, his ambitious new project commissioned for MIF15 and the Manchester Art Gallery. For the duration of the festival, Atkins has installed a motion capture studio in the gallery and is working with diverse performers drawn from MIF15’s programme to produce a new film. An examination and ambivalent exemplar of contemporary image production, the project provokes us to think about what it means to now live in a world mediated by technology.

Sun 11.35am

Jeremy Deller’s Sex Machine/Funky Drummer

See Saturday for details

Sun 12pm

Artist Douglas Gordon and Professor Kostya Novoselov in conversation

Professor Kostya Novoselov is a Russian-British physicist, and Langworthy Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester. In 2004 Novoselov, working with Professor Andre Geim, isolated graphene using Scotch tape. At one atom thick, the two-dimensional crystal graphene is the world’s thinnest material and one of it’s strongest. In 2010, the scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their research.

Douglas Gordon is an artist whose work encompasses video, photography and sculpture. Gordon has won the Turner Prize and represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. Celebrated works include 24 Hour Psycho and, in collaboration with Philippe Parreno, Zidane – A 21st Century Portrait. For MIF15 he is staging Neck of the Woods, a collaboration with the pianist Hélène Grimaud, actress Charlotte Rampling and author Veronica Gonzalez Peña.

Sun 12.20pm

Playtime: Reinventing the 21st-Century Classroom

Panel discussion chaired by Ian Sample, with Steve Morrison, Juergen Maier, Clare Sutcliffe, Tim Malbon, Kostya Novoselov and the Mars Rover

Ever since CP Snow, we have been separating students into Arts and Sciences – separate buildings and separate cultures. With the arrival of the digital era, do we need a hybrid education? Meet the brains on a mission to inspire the Raspberry Pi generation.

Sun 1.15pm


Sun 2pm

Composing The Immortal

Composer Mark Simpson and librettist Melanie Challenger present on the stranger-than-fiction, real-life story behind Simpson’s MIF15 commission, The Immortal. Inspired by John Gray’s The Immortalization Commission, The Immortal draws from the so-called ‘Cross Correspondences’, the extraordinary scripts of a series of séances undertaken in the first decades of the 20th century by the great intellectuals of English society. The work explores a time when spiritualism and science walked hand in hand, leading Simpson and Challenger to ask if perhaps a value of art is to be able to stand apart and to scrutinise the certainties offered by science and technology.

Sun 2.20pm

Storytelling, Wolves and Our Imagination

Veronica Gonzalez Peña is a novelist, playwright and founder of the rockypoint press, which specialises in artist-writer collaborations in book, print and film form. She has collaborated with artist Douglas Gordon, pianist Hélène Grimaud and actor Charlotte Rampling on Neck of the Woods for MIF15. For her talk, she will lead us through an understanding of creativity based on the theories of Winnicott, thoughts on collaboration, montage, and the space of play. Bring a pencil, for there will be opportunity for you to create a short piece of writing in the style of Neck of the Woods.

Sun 2.35pm

Colour, Music, Light

Film-maker Peter Strickland has been described as the most distinctive voice working in British cinema today. He has made three acclaimed feature films, Katlin Varga, Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy. In 2013/14 Strickland collaborated with Björk to create a concert feature, Björk: Biophilia Live. Responding to the weekend’s exploration of creative interdependence, he presents a very rare programme of early abstract and avant-garde film, plus premieres two new short films. Strickland is joined by Artistic Director Film at Home, Jason Wood, to discuss his work, cinematic cosmological raptures and the otherness of insects.

Sun 3.30pm

The Sonic Catering Band

The Sonic Catering Band is an unlikely but always delicious interdependent mix of sonic experimentalism and culinary expertise. For the band, cooking and making music are the same thing – no source sounds other than those coming from the cooking of the dish are used and, as a commitment to artistic integrity, every dish is consumed by all members of the band. Sample song titles include Interculinary Dimension, Disco Brunch and Kitchen Utensil Ploy. Current band members include Peter Strickland, Tim Kirby, Colin Fletcher and Dan Hayhurst.


Old Granada Studios
Quay St, M3 4PR

Doors open 10.30am
Event starts 11am

Tickets: £5 per day
0844 871 7654

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Guardian Live. Produced by Manchester International Festival. With special thanks to Steve Morrison

Design: Julia