New Forms Festival 14 celebrates a new wave of music & art

New Forms 14 brought together an eclectic mix of contemporary artists and musicians from around the world for a four day festival, turning a giant dome into an all night playground for lovers of art and experimental music.

Dj’s from around the world spun tracks in a plethora of genres, ranging from grime, house, electronic, and whatever you would call Inga Copeland. The crowd was as diverse as the music, everybody an individual, dressing and moving to the music differently.

Art was just as important as the music and New York based sculptor and performance artist Kevin Beasley whose work is largely based on sound experimentation drew large crowds with his performance, a cerebral piece which shook the walls. His demeanour during his set could only be described as intense, and at times overwhelming, the dedication to his craft immediately apparent.

A musical/visual collaboration between frequent collaborators Arca and Jessie Kanda,(most recently on the album of FKA twigs) was one of the most hyped events during NFF as their piece showed in Omnimax, to an audience of 400. It turned out to be the most controversial piece of the festival, with some viewers objecting to the highly sexualized imagery, but it was a risk they took and it made for some polarizing conversation afterwards. Perhaps the biggest hit at NFF were the ever changing projections on the wall, curated by a selection of artists such as Rick SilvaLaura Brother, Krist WoodLorna Mills, each projection lasting just long enough to snap a selfie.

The festival marked a change in Vancouver, a city whose “no fun” policy and strict alcohol consumption laws have been a longstanding point of dissension among residents. The festival proved that a group of adults can gather well into the morning, past usual closing hours, without disastrous consequences. It’s not clear whether or not NFF has paved the way for the city in that regard, but it’s changed how the city receives good art and music and we cannot wait for next year.


Music by Finn Johannsen, check out the mix here