Barry Esson and Bryony McIntyre gave a presentation about Kill Your Timid Notion, a festival which their Edinburgh based company Arika has run in Dundee (at Dundee Contemporary Arts) since 2003. KYTN can be seen as one of the most successful festivals of its kind within Europe.

As well as KYTN they also do other event and festival projects including Shadowed Spaces and Install. Install, which has a focus on music and performance has taken place at the Arches in Glasgow in the past but is moving to the Tramway this year.

KYTN’s focus has been on experimental sound, image and music and they will continue with this but in a different format this year. The festival, taking place between 21 – 28 February is being built from artist proposals rather than artist objects. In relation to this Barry said that the idea was that ‘films, paintings, sculpture or any object does not incarnate art – the process which produces these is the art’.

With KYTN this year it’s the first time the public focus has been over a week, with Investigations happening right through from Sunday 21 to mid evening on the next Friday. These Investigations will tie in with the artists’ proposals to produce the festival weekend events (and possibly longer term changes / projects and hopefully engagement). The phrase used was: the proposals will be ‘re examined with you the public – people like yourselves and people unlike yourselves’, through the Investigations.

Barry said that he found that the history of theories and practices (especially in his background of sound) was important but should be regularly rewritten. I think that this maybe is related to dealing with / getting free of assumptions – of audience, practitioners and maybe even funders and press about the more elusive or experimental practices that Arika tend to work with, and also I know that it relates to their reconsidering of their own practices as organisers (something I respect and will try to emulate for myself this year).

Arika says that ‘if you spend time with us we will consider it spending money with us’ and so have devised a tally card system that means that if you attend the Investigations you can get gratis passes to the weekend  pay events. (2 investigations = one day pass, 4 investigations = full weekend pass).

If you are interested in taking part – you need to act though as the Investigations are filling up, look at the programme online.

Other free highlights will be a free screening of a film from the legendary British filmmaker John Smith – see you there…


To find out what Dundee Popup was all about or to read more reviews & blogs  from the day, click here.