Theme 2010:
lost&found. rediscover, reinterpret

Born in 1935, the Swiss pioneer of electronic music, Bruno Spoerri – our special guest at Shift 2010 – has since the 1960s consistently exploited the latest in media technology to compose and perform music and thereby created hundreds of jingles, advertising clips and film scores. Today his music is being rediscovered and made newly accessible, thanks to Andy Votel's Finders Keepers label, for example, which specializes in this type of re-release.

It was via ads, soundtracks and jingles that electronic music first reached a wider audience, beyond the inner circle of academic aficionados The new sound stood for progress and technical precision, for the future or the weird and strange. It offered a formative undercurrent, a foretaste of what lay in store, prior to the triumphant rise of electronic Pop and dance music. Heard retrospectively, Spoerri's ad campaign scores invite you to lend them a keener pair of ears, to re-contextualise them as a source of sofa or dance-floor entertainment – a reinterpretation often tinged by a vague sense of nostalgia. In a new setting, futuristic music from the past becomes resolutely contemporary.

Media technologies alter our view of cultural production in bygone days. People often speak nowadays of an 'overwhelming flood' of images or of data. This bubbling whirlpool of information brings to the surface things long believed forgotten, triggers reminiscence and allows us in part, to compose new, fleeting histories and rearrange our memory banks.

For this year's edition of the Shift Festival, the focus is on independent views of the past, on the meandering histories of all that scrapes by, obscure and obsolete, on the margins of the allegedly linear history of events.

In addition to modern reinterpretations of Bruno Spoerri's work, subcultures such as the 8-bit scene devoted to the visual and musical idioms of early computer games, or record collectors and DJs' unabated treasure hunts among dusty piles of mass-produced vinyl also deserve a mention, for these too continue to forge bridges between different eras, locations and cultures.

Artists such as Deimantas Narkevi
čius pursue a strategic approach to historical discourse, beginning their line of enquiry by examining media technologies' potential to convey history. The constructed nature of history is questioned by playing with the permeable border between fact and fiction and re-editing historical material. Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevičius for example, re-edits clips from TV news broadcasts on the end of real (state) socialism in such a way as to suggest that statues of Lenin are being not dismantled but assembled. Products of media technology are thus transformed: a document that supposedly bears witness to authentic history here becomes material from which new histories can be constructed.

A personal connection to the past expands it into a space of greater potential: the new perspective on the past creates a new perspective on the present – and on the future.