Tucked away in the window of a city café, something curious is stirring. All across the city, in a moment of wider social and cultural upheaval, curious hidden worlds are shifting and revealing their secrets. In a unique new project for the COVID-19 era, MANIPULATE Festival has commissioned eight Scottish artists to create moving sculptural installation works incorporating automata, miniature figures, or animated screens, alongside a compelling short story or soundscape, which is downloaded direct to the viewer’s device. We will have built-in interpretation in British Sign Language which you can download to your device.

Taking an initial seed of inspiration from Boccaccio’s 1353 novel The Decameron, where ten strangers shelter together in hiding from the Plague, finding their way through the quarantine by telling each other stories, Restless Worlds will offer glimpses into magical miniature worlds which bring joy and escapism in this unsettling time. Each piece will tell a unique original story, which audiences will follow a map across the city to discover.

Working in partnership with the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and Aberdeen Performing Arts, the project will visit Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow across January and February 2021. The project is designed to be a live, engaging citywide artistic experience that audiences can enjoy no matter the lockdown restrictions at the time.

SHATTERED / Shona Reppe & Tamlin Wiltshire

Silence is golden in the hospital for broken things. Shona Reppe is a multi-award-winning Scottish theatre-maker designer and puppeteer who has performed extensively all over the world including US, Canada, Japan, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Australia, Estonia, Slovenia, Poland and Israel with her shows Atlantis, Cinderella, The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean, Potato Needs a Bath, Olga Volt and Magic Sho.

CREATURIUM: THE LOST ONES / Lucas Chih-Peng Kao & Katanari

Lost to evolutionary history, Creaturium offers a peek into a curious collection of imaginary beings that may have existed in the past or the future. Lucas Chih-Peng Kao is a filmmaker, collaborator and multidisciplinary artist working across installation, performance, dance and video, born in Taiwan and based in Scotland. Katanari is a visual artist, puppeteer and theatre maker who often uses elements, materials from nature and objects with memory.

TRIALS OF BLISS / Chell Young

The seemingly timeless and utopic Renaissance architecture of Florence sets the scene as we unravel layers of deceit and disinformation in the present day. Chell Young is a visual artist based in Scotland, graduate of Edinburgh College of Art and former recipient of the John Kinross research scholarship. Through her work she interrogates architectural space in theatrical, cinematic and illusory ways.

A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE / Gavin Glover

A cabinet of curious journeys and impossible science. With many years of experience as a theatre practitioner, Gavin Glover specialises in puppetry and live feed micro cinema. He has developed his own distinctive style of work in both visual and text-based theatre.

THE DIKTAT SYNTHESIZER / Guy Bishop

This curious machine generates regulations governing social behaviour in the era of COVID-19. Guy Bishop is a sculptor, puppet-maker and designer who has created work for and with leading cultural institutions in the UK across visual art, theatre, film and heritage.

APPLE EATERS / Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre & Heather Parry

Is it better to be alone in ignorance, or together in despair? Exploring the classically gothic themes of isolation, love and the loss of innocence, Apple Eaters is a creative fusion of Sharmanka’s world of kinetic sculptures, Heather Parry’s writing, music by Brian Irvine and vocal performance by Kirsty Logan.

MR HOLDCROFT / Jessica Innes

An unexpected gift connects a lonely old man to the world outside his front door. Jessica Innes is an early-career puppeteer, performer and multidisciplinary artist, with an emphasis on work that is socially and visually engaging.

HERE. WE’RE NOT. / Samuel Watterworth

This installation challenges viewers’ perceptions of self, presence, and connection by pulling them into the work with interactive visuals and found audio from radio frequencies around the world. Samuel Watterworth is a Canadian visual artist based in Scotland, who focuses on generative design and real time systems, with an interest in how people interact with space, and with each other.

HOW TO BOOK

The eight artworks will be visible all day everyday on the dates listed, however they will only be in motion 4 times each day for approximately seventy-five minutes each time. Audiences should book a timed ticket using the links above. Two days prior to the event, you will be able to download the links to the audio and BSL elements of the artworks, along with a map.

During the allotted time slot audiences can complete the artwork trail in whichever order they choose – the trail is completely self-directed. The reason for allocating a limited number of tickets to each slot is to avoid crowding and ensure that social distancing can be maintained.

Image credit (c) Serhat Beyazkaya

This event is produced in partnership with: