With Abandon Normal Devices due to start on 29 August (a month away at the time of writing), it would seem a good moment to talk more about our theme for 2012, ‘Success’. The experience of success can be fleeting and addictive. We have become the status-chasing generation. Winning (or, put a better way, #FTW) is our meme.

The pursuit of success can have us going around in circles, travelling far but getting nowhere. We accept that whenever we strive for something new, there is always the chance we will fail.

With the hyper-competitiveness of the Olympics upon us, we are seeing moments of striving and failing played out in front of us again and again. AND 2012 is about the subtlety, humour, vulnerability and tenacity of such moments.

Mobile Republic: Digital Caravans | The Center for Genomic Gastronomy | Friday 10 August – Sunday 09 September

During a kaleidoscopic five days, unlikely monuments will be inflated, failed technological dreams will be resurrected and extinct industries will be salvaged and rebuilt. A mirror will be held up to celebrity culture and the shirked responsibility of the financial crash.

Alongside this are a number of events that focus on self-improvement, be it workshops to enhance your charisma, makeovers to prepare you for the world post-2012, or participatory work – live and online – ready to solve all your problems.

Empire Drive-In | Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark | Wednesday 29 August – Friday 31 August

Overall, the programme is as much about finished exhibitions as it is about work evolving over time. It is about artists experimenting and setting ambitious parameters. It is about creating the kind of cacophonous late-night actions and events that AND has striven for since its inception.

We want to offer rich counterpoints to perfection, undermine accepted logic and find alternative ways of being.

Only the question remains: Are you big enough to fail?

MASTER-SLAVE INVIGILATOR | Jeremy Bailey | Thursday 30 August – Sunday 2 September

Abandon Normal Devices runs from 29 August – 2 September across various venues in Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire & Cumbria.

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