Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Search the University of Manchester siteSearch Menu StaffNet
Search type

Bluedot is where the art is

05 Jun 2017

Jodrell Bank announces impressive arts programme for this summer’s Bluedot festival

Jodrell Bank at night

Renowned Japanese artist Daito Manabe is set to deliver a unique projection-mapped artwork at Jodrell Bank’s award-winning Bluedot festival this summer (Friday, 7 to Sunday, 9 July).

The unique commission forms part of Abandon Normal Devices’ COSMOS project – a flagship international art-science residency at the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.

The results of the unique collaboration between world leading scientists and the international artist Daito will be the centrepiece of the festival’s remarkable fusion of art, technology and the exploration of space. -In a world first use of live astronomical data, Daito will transform the iconic Lovell Telescope into a vivid spectacle from 23:00 until 03:00 each night of the festival.

The award-winning Tokyo-Based Media Artist, along with technicians from Rhizomatiks Research have already been working with scientists during a residency at Jodrell Bank in May 2017, before returning to Japan to create a new artwork to inspire thousands of festival-goers at the Bluedot festival in July. Marking the 50th anniversary of the discovery of pulsars in 1967, the artists will use live data collected by the telescope to create a generative audio-visual artwork

A similar project at last year’s inaugural festival saw Brian Eno produce a projected artwork on to the iconic landmark. The work went on to win the ‘Mind Blowing Spectacle’ award at the prestigious AIF Festival Congress Awards (where Bluedot was also awarded ‘Best New Festival on the Block’)

Elsewhere across the festival’s arts and culture programme is internationally-acclaimed French theatre company, Compagnie De Quidams, who will host their ephemeral performance ‘Herbert’s Dream’ on the opening night of the festival. Illuminated and entrancing, and appearing on the Friday night only, this unique and other-worldly parade is certain to be a Bluedot highlight. Joined by UK company Handmade Parade, who will be working with local Crewe school Beechwood Primary in the creation of pulsar-inspired lanterns for the procession, festival-goers can expect a truly luminous display following Friday’s headline set by the Pixies.

Last year’s popular Outer Space area returns to the Jodrell Bank Arboretum with new multi-sensory artworks and installations. Outdoor Arts experts Walk the Plank are once again producing this immersive celestial experience and inviting festivalgoers to get closer to the cosmos with fire, sound and light installations. This year the unique area breaks new ground, premiering three new commissions; a bespoke fire installation, created by Walk the Plank with Hannelora Johansson, Night Chorus by Kazimier Productions. and TrOnion by Ian Broscomb’s. As night falls explorers will be able to navigate an atmospheric fiery terrain, as Walk the Plank bring their pyrotechnic expertise to the Outer Space. Fire installations flicker like solar flares on the sun’s surface and the Circle of Fire will provide a space for late-night stargazing and cosmic reflection.

To buy tickets

Bluedot takes place at Jodrell Bank from Friday, 7 to Sunday, 9 July. Tickets are on sale now but are selling fast. University of Manchester staff can access an impressive 30% discount on Adult tickets.

To find out more, visit: