With attendance still growing, and a delectable spread of international artist in attendance, Helsingør’s Click Festival has all the key ingredients to become a Danish creative institution.
When Wolf spoke with festivalgoers, the key high of the weekend was the seamless collaboration of music and art, and how well this collaboration was achieved. The themes of the exhibition were carried on by the visuals of the performances, highlighting what's possible to achieve with visual compliments to audio expression.
The unique collaboration of an exhibition of eclectic new media work with artist talks and discussions of new technology trends, conceptual art and design was a real highlight for Wolf, showing the process behind not only the works exhibited but the artist's view on the art world and their reasoning for their creative expression. Evan Roth, Kyle McDonald and Geraldine Juarez from F.A.T Lab in the US impressed us by their unique take on artistic collaboration, utilising a collective space to pursue topics on copyright, open sourcing and, in a sense, anti-establishment.
The work of 'The UX' also caught our attention by drawing on our inner vigilantism and brought underground Parisian culture into focus. Equipped with a translator, French national Lazar Kunstmann talked us through the establishment of The UX in Paris in the 1980's, which began with a group of 12-14 year olds purposely let themselves be locked in the Pantheon overnight, and discovered, and “borrowed” comprehensive maps of the Parisian underground tunnel network. He discussed the concept of reclaiming public space for the people, and highlighted the retreat of public space and the unfortunate triumph of the owners rather than the users of a city space.
The festival’s motto this year was 'doing it together' and after the weekends events it is possible to see this concept linked throughout the whole festival. By continually inviting festivalgoers to engage and immerse, the end result was a significant feeling of unpretentious enjoyment and interaction. The artists who contributed to the festival were approachable, wanted to talk about their art and were eager to engage in each other’s work as well. The talks that were held throughout the festival gave an unpredictable and unique twist, as it provided a different blue print for a festival and created a bit of depth for those who attended. We loved for instance that Squarepusher spoke for an hour about his method and process to then went on to playing the headline set a few hours later.
The musical aspect of the festival was curated by who Click see as Denmark’s most progressive forces in alternative music; STRØM, Wundergrund, Mayhem, Escho, Posh Isolation, Yoyo Oyoy and artFREQ making the performances eclectic and, as you would expect from a new media festival, there was an obvious importance of engaging visuals and going a step beyond the usual predictability of an electronic set.
The setting was intimate, perfect for the crowd, with a small and relaxed bar, where it was possible to buy a six-pack for 100kr and relax by the water. The location was a perfect mix of old and new with the newly developed Kulturvaerftet, which amicably holds an old wharf brick building within a new highly modernised shell of lines and geometric distractions. The ultra modernity of the Kulturevaerftet building in contrast to the classical extravagance of the Kronborg castle right next door, made for the perfect space to enjoy your six-pack and take a break between performances.
In short the diversity of the festival programme is what really won us over in the end, the fact you could meet with visual and musical artists and talk about their work, their method and their influences, to engaging in open discussions about the future of art and technology were all aspects that make this festival unique and definitely worth a look. The musical apect of the festival was a fabulous progression from the days creativity, and allowed a more causal setting to chat with artists and organisers. Click is still in its adolescent stage, but we hope that into the future the accessibility and easy-going nature of the whole event remains in tact. We will definitely be in attendance again next year!
Words: Ash Francisco