All Articles
All Articles
CULTURE

LungA Festival 2013

CULTURE

LungA Festival 2013

Creativity takes center stage at Iceland's fascinating festival

by CH Contributor
on 08 August 2013

by Maj Hartov

lung-a-1.jpg

A celebration of art and creative practices, the LungA festival on the east coast of Iceland invites attendees to partake in a full week of activities during July each year. Set in a small town called Seydisfjördur, at the end of a long fjord between snow-capped mountains, the festival is in the middle of a spectacular surrounding landscape. The brutality of the mountains is, on one hand, daunting; and on the other, incredibly comforting. There's nothing else there, so nature manages to soothe the soul and and nurture the creative mind. With over a decade of success and a permanent school founded on LungA principles on the way for 2014, we were excited to attend this year's events for a closer look at the dynamic program.

lung-a-2.jpg

The festival centers on five days of workshops hosted by a wide array of artists—each an expert in his or her field who were tapped by LungA to facilitate the week's creative processes. This year's workshops included "Dance the Pain Away," dancing for body and soul by Ásrún Magnúsdóttir; "Waves of Ether," a radio workshop exploring audio as a creative medium by Marteinn Sindrí Jónsson; "Personal Space," exploring its possibilities and limitations by Adalheidur S Eysteinsdóttir; "Improv," an improvisation theatre workshop by Dóra Jóhannsdóttir; "High on Mountains," the creation of a mural in the centre of town by Anika Lori and Tusnelda Frellesvig; "Video Work," an investigation of the video as an art form by Máni Sigfússon and Lilja Birgisdóttir; "The Expansion of the Oscillators II," a sound and instrument making workshop by Arnljótur Sigurdsson and Ulfúr Hansson; and "Frontal Brain Damage for Beginners," involving a car, the spraying of dyed foods and masked men by OD Roth and DP Jónsson.

lung-a-3.jpg

Throughout the week, as the workshops progress, the town begins to buzz as individual projects are brought to life—explorations, excursions and provocations, all happening at the same time—and it becomes difficult to tell everything apart. Here and there, little art projects from locals appear, and visitors are constantly challenged and invited to participate. Alongside the workshops, the program consists of many other events, including lectures, art walks, stand-up comedy and more. An annual favorite is Lunch Beat, when the dining hall is turned into a full on party venue with heavy beats and loud tunes, dancing and eating all happening alongside each other.

lung-a-6.jpg

As Thursday rolls in and workshops are nearing their end, more people pour in from across the country and around the world to join. The evenings fill with parties, the bars are jam-packed with people, and the streets are busier than ever. By the end of the week, when art pieces are finished, final adjustments have been made and performances have been prepared, the evening calls for the annual fashion show. In years past the show has reeled in quite the crowd, and has been attended by the Danish designer Henrik Vibskov—who also has previously hosted a favorited workshop at LungA. The fashion show this year was set in an old fish factory right by the fjord with designers Agla Stefánsdóttir, Elísabet Karlsdóttir, Ziska and Lærke Koldskov. Collections ranged from specialty sweatshirts and prints from Soviet times to mysterious creatures and contrasting layers of colored textiles.

lung-a-4.jpg

On the last day of LungA, the most prized fruit of each artist's labor is finally exhibited. Attendees were invited to laugh with the brave souls in the "Improv" workshop at the small theatre in town, the mural on the front of the LungA center was unveiled and a tour of town courtesy of the "Waves of Ether" radio workshop was offered. Various dance performances appeared along the street, Expansion of the Oscillators II put on a concert with instruments they had built themselves. And at the harbor, a crazy display of "Frontal Lobe Brain damage for Beginners" was witnessed. To end it all: "Personal Space" as an installation and performance, and through film and photography. Only at LungA could all of this organized creative mayhem be possible.

lung-a-8.jpg

By the old fish factory, where the fashion show is held, are two stages and a bar in an old boat. The fog came in early that evening and made the festival's closing concert appear as though in a cloud. The line-up carefully complemented the week's experience and featured Ulfúr Ulfúr, Mammút, Grísalappalísa, Rangleklods, Ghostigital and FM Belfast. There was one fantastic set after another and another and then the sun disappeared behind the mountains—for just a few hours, only to appear again before the whole show is over, lifting the fog and revealing the vast fjord nestled between the mountains.

LungA festival is an enchanting experience that is well worth the trek to its mystical location. The powerful combination of the surrounding nature, the town, the people and the art have created a little gem at the edge of the world.

LungA has announced that they are opening a school in the autumn of 2014. Based on the principles of LungA and inspiration drawn from the Danish tradition of folk high schools' "education for the people," students of all ages can apply for a semester of creative workshops. A four-week Beta version of the school is open for applications now and commences on the 10 March 2014. Check out the LungA site to register.

Images courtesy of LungA

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York
Loading More...