Now 97 is a clamorous celebration of art and technology. Based in a variety of deliberately unconventional venues throughout Nottingham, the festival is directed by 27-year-old Andrew Caleya-Chetty. "He is keen to motivate a young audience with innovative and cutting-edge artists," says a spokesperson. With an adventurous combination of music, dance, performance, installation and new technology, it promises to rocket through familiar boundaries. This exciting amalgamation has been made possible by the evolution of virtual reality, the Internet, Quick Time VR, photography, digital, audio and film technology.

The line-up is broad and includes a diverse collection of radical performance artists and collaborations, eager to experiment and pulled in by the tide of last year's success. The programme features specially commissioned work and UK premieres by local, national and international performers. At the Nottingham Playhouse, dance company Ultima Vez will perform "Seven for a secret never to be told", which explores the myths and superstitions surrounding the number seven. Meanwhile, the confrontational Jonzi D and the Lyrikal Fearta body pop through hip-hop culture, challenging racism and institutions of white power. Other names include the Irish theatre company Desperate Optimists and the artist Jez Noond.

In the arena of music, Digital Clubbing 2 present super duo Coldcut aka Matt Black and Jonathan More. Together with the multimedia collective Hex and artists from their Ninja Tune record label, Coldcut will customise the Nottingham night-club The Bomb with digital sound and interactive installations.

The festival begins tonight with Empire State Human, a time-based installation created by Simon Miles. Based on the artist's experience of manic depression, the work explores a city through an altered sate of consciousness.

Angel Row Gallery Foyer, Angel Row, 11am-6pm, free. Until 16 Nov. Details: 0115-915 1402. Box Office (0115 941 9419)

Comments