Devised and created at the world’s largest scientific experiment – the Large Hadron Collider at CERN – Last Dance: The Wave Epoch is an immersive club experience. Created by grime DJ and producer Elijah, musician GAIKA and visual artists Haroon Mirza and Jack Jelfs, it imagines what culture will be like in 2000 years. It imagines a scenario where the collider has been rediscovered by a future civilisation and turned into a ceremonial site – similar to Stonehenge.
Elijah, whose Butterz label has made him a leading name in grime, has been Artistic Director at Lighthouse developing the Last Dance programme for the past year. Last Dance is a series of events that look at the changing nature of club culture, of which The Wave Epoch is the great crescendo. He describes Last Dance: The Wave Epoch as “a club experience with a deeper layer, full of sound, music, and colour”.
He continues: “The ecosystem of club culture is breaking down. Clubs are shutting down; music ownership is going over to streaming services. Because of that, the spaces where young musicians and artists collaborate are changing.
“I’ve been playing in clubs all over the world for ten years, and I’ve seen culture changing right in front of me. Technology plays a big part of that change – camera phones have now become a big part of a club experience – images and video are part of the dance floor. So, social platforms like Instagram, Instagram stories and Snapchat become an immediate contact to a different audience.
“Whatever new technology comes in, people won’t stop gathering together for a shared experience. Last Dance: The Wave Epoch is a physical manifestation of all these ideas.”
Collaborating on Last Dance: The Wave Epoch are internationally acclaimed visual artists Haroon Mirza and Jack Jelfs who are renowned for creating immersive environments by connecting light, sound, music, video, text and performance and building on a mutual fascination with media, time and transmission. GAIKA is an artist and musician whose expansive, experimental sound blends the sonic textures of the streets, influenced by Brixton, Jamaica and Grenada.
Also performing are two Brighton-based DJ collectives: all-female DJ collective Shook, who specialise in Jersey club, footwork, hip-hop and trap, and Off-Peak, an underground club night run by a collective of artists and producers specialising in grime, dubstep and UK garage.
During Brighton Festival, Lighthouse presents Last Dance: Re-Imagined Futures (Mon 8 – Sat 26 May), a programme that includes an opportunity to see behind-the-scenes footage of The Wave Epoch in the making.
Last Dance: Re-Imagined Futures will also celebrate and showcase the artistic talent involved in Last Dance, through a series of free talks, workshops and live sessions. Events confirmed so far include those by Platform B, Audio Active, QM Records, Typical Girls and Normal Not Novelty/Red Bull. Lighthouse has announed an open call for proposals from women and self-identifying women to contribute to the programme; the successful artists will be announced in late April.
Last Dance: The Wave Epoch has been developed as part of the Collide International Award, a partnership programme between Arts at CERN and FACT Liverpool. It was co-produced by the ScANNER network (consisting of FACT and Arts at CERN, as well as Le Lieu Unique, Nantes; CCCB, Barcelona; iMAL, Brussels) in collaboration with Lighthouse. The project is part of Re-Imagine Europe, cofounded by Creative Europe programme of the European Union, and supported by Arts Council England’s Change Makers fund.
Lighthouse is an interdisciplinary organisation for contemporary digital culture that connects new and evolving developments in art, technology and society. We support new ideas, world-class commissions, productions, exhibitions, education and talent development schemes. www.lighthouse.org.uk
Last Dance: The Wave Epoch comes to Brighthelm Community Centre on Thurs 24 May – Tickets £10.
Last Dance: Social Space is at Lighthouse, 28 Kensington Street, Brighton, on Tues 8 – Sat 26 May 2018. Entry is Free, but pre-booking is required.
Haroon and GAIKA (top) at LHC image by Sophia Bennett for CERN
Elijah image (middle) by Xavier Clarke