Mercy is a comprehensive arts agency and design studio which is ten years old this year

Ever since we started out as a zine and poetry event in Liverpool, we’ve been guided by the network of artists, writers and designers that surround us, and the things that really get us out of bed in the morning – that’s meant that we’ve delivered a massive range of work over the years, from brand identity and digital campaigns, to copywriting and live illustration. Right now, we have a fantastic roster of clients for our design, and an arts programme that produces new language-led commissions in performance, new media and the public realm.

The central strand of our arts programme is currently Electronic Voice Phenomena, it’s about really engaging with the technological interface, and seeing how it can be a kind of tool for experiencing language in new ways. We’ve been experimenting with and developing some new interfaces, such as LiveWriting which allows us to create live-written text animations. Working collaboratively with artists as we did with Sam Meech for LiveWriting is at the core of our values and is a key reason why we’ve been able to stick around for so long.

The Electronic Voice Phenomena theme is going to be part of our collaboration with Liverpool Biennial 2012 this Autumn, where we’ll again be working with Anat Ben David, Steven Fowler, Hannah Silver and Scanner. We’ve worked with the Liverpool Biennial since 2008 and have always aimed to present a completely new Mercy event for each festival. We always say this year will be our most ambitious, but it’s probably more honest to say that we’re always challenging ourselves and the Biennial is a great way of identifying how much we’ve grown over a two year period.

As soon as we’re finished with the Biennial (5 -7 October) we move straight onto the Manchester weekender where we’ll be creating a huge self-generating feedback loop of spoken word, live sampling, processing and projection at The Cornerhouse.

Between then and our EVP Spring tour with Penned in the Margins, we’ll be working closely with Young Pines, our pilot scheme to identify new ways for young talent to break into the creative industries. This year alone we’ve worked with FACT on a network where poets can learn coding, called Syntax, organised documentation from a 48 hour performance by Mark Greenwood, presented an EVP free for all at Cafe Oto and are now getting towards the finishing post with some work with public artist Laurence Payot and designer Scott Spencer.

All this is part of a GFA from Arts Council, which we supplement with workshops, other grant funds, and tickets, and partnership other galleries and festivals like the Biennial, FACT, Ideastap, Cornerhouse and AND Festival – as well as more independent organisations like new music curators like Deep Hedonia, Hive and Samizdat in Liverpool. We’re really proud of these partnerships, and we try to keep up with them all while building new ones. Just now, we’re chatting with super-cool curators Trigger in Scotland.

We were once told Mercy are generous which is something we’ve really clung onto. We wouldn’t grow if we didn’t actively seek opportunities to work with new illustrators and developers, artists and promoters. There are so many opportunities available if people are willing to step outside of their comfort zone.

It’s satisfying to make your living from ideas, but to make it work, it has to be intense most of the time.

Mercy are curating a Liverpool Biennial weekend on 5 – 7 October

Mercy Present:

Composite: Feedback
Sat 12th October 2012 | 3 – 6pm | 
The Cornerhouse Manchester.

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