Digital Arts & Creative Technology

SHIFT Artists Talk of the Town

SHIFT is excited to announce a series of events this Summer, where you can hear artists talk about how they work in a digital context and collaborate to create innovative digital art commissions in towns across East Cheshire.

Launching with Colony in Crewe, hear Alison Ballard and Mike Blow discuss this visually arresting and aurally entrancing work that transforms the environment into an alien landscape through light and sound. These large, tactile, sonic sculptures allow the audience to experience the physicality of sound through listening, touching, and hugging. Experience this fantastic installation in Crewe for free, before it heads to Bluedot Festival the following weekend.

The Colony installation is in Crewe from 30 June – 2 July, and the artists will be joined In Conversation with Louise Shannon- Creative Director of SHIFT at the Lyceum Theatre Circle Bar from 6pm on Friday 30 June.

How to Make Art from Life (with the help of a few ghosts) is the theme for our next talk with Scanner who is creating The Dreamer is Still Asleep  – a sound and aromatic installation that explores the transcendent state between sleeping and waking with sounds that would once have filled Little Moreton Hall, near Congleton. Visitors can expect a sonic experience of blurry dreamfulness, where voices, music, footsteps and glasses clinking together merge with a musical ambience to create an atmospheric and cinematic experience. Scanner (Robin Rimbaud) will talk about how he has focused on bringing to life many of the invisible or overlooked aspects of our world in ways that embrace both the cultural and historical in a playful, engaging and thoughtful manner. The talk takes place at Macclesfield Library from 6pm on Thursday 6 July.

Lovell Telescope LiDAR scan COSMOS

Following this, fresh from the World Premiere of his commission for Jodrell Bank’s Lovell Telescope at Bluedot festival, join Daito Manabe as he discusses his new work.

Developed in partnership with Abandon Normal Devices and SHIFT, this inaugural commission for COSMOS, a flagship international artist residency and commissioning programme, features Tokyo-Based Media Artist, DJ, Programmer and member of design collective Rhizomatics, Daito Manabe. Hear from the artist directly about his process to create this ambitious and collaborative work.

The iconic structure of the Lovell Telescope presents a unique and unparalleled canvas for Manabe to create new work. During the festival the telescope will be receiving radio signals from deep space whilst pointed at the zenith, directly overhead. Manabe’s artwork is projected directly onto the structure of the telescope using advanced projection mapping employing point cloud data gathered by LiDAR (Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging) scans.

Concluding our Summer programme, and following hosting a Tinker Market at Macclesfield’s fabulous Treacle Market, catch up with Ross Atkin talking crafty robots, design and technology.

Ross Atkin is a designer and engineer based in East London with a strong interest in making design and engineering more visible and accessible to young people. He has worked on technological development in industry at major UK manufacturers like Dyson and on academic research at the Royal College of Art. Ross has been working with pervasive computing since 2007 and actively developing Internet of Things products since 2011.

He was part of the ‘Fix Team’ on the BBC2’s flagship maker-focused program ‘The Big Life Fix‘ (aired February 2017) and started The Crafty Robot to radically lower the barriers for young people to getting into creative making. Ross’s work has been displayed in the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year exhibition and Fast Company Magazine’s Innovation By Design Awards.

He is also recognised internationally as an expert on the Internet of Things having been invited to speak on the subject at high profile technology and design conferences.

Join him on Monday 31 July where he will discuss his design practice and give valuable insight into his approach to making and new technologies.


Tickets are FREE for all events but capacity is limited so booking is advised, either via eventbrite or by calling:

Friday 30 June 6pm – Colony at Crewe Lyceum : T: 07580 860070

Thursday 6 July 6pm – Scanner at Macclesfield Library T: 01625 374000

Saturday 8 July 12noon – Daito Manabe at Macclesfield Town Hall T: 07580 860070

Monday 31 July 6pm – Ross Atkin at Macclesfield Library T: 01625 374000

At all of these events the audience will have chance to ask questions themselves, or text them in advance to 07580 860070 and our Creative Director will ask on your behalf.