‘Melbourne has never seen anything like it’: Taiwan’s most exhilarating artists are here to show us the future

WORDS BY AIDAN WILLIAMS

The Melbourne Fringe Festival’s boundary-pushing Fringe Focus Taiwan program returns this October.

Melbourne Fringe Festival 2022 is bringing two cutting-edge Taiwanese shows to the city in October as part of Fringe Focus Taiwan – the return of the festival’s popular program highlighting some of the most intriguing experimental art being made in Taiwan right now.

After two years of pandemic digital offerings as part of Fringe Focus Taiwan, Melbourne audiences will get their first experience of two thrilling new works in person, from Betty Apple and Software2050 and NAXS FUTURE, exploring the forefront of the digital world and asking big, bold questions about the future.

IT-ME TIME Traveller Beta Live x Social Dis Dance

  • Thursday, 13 October 2022 9.30pm at Runaway Festival Park
  • Friday, 14 October 2022 9.30pm at Runaway Festival Park
  • Saturday, 15 October 2022 9.30pm at Runaway Festival Park

If a machine mermaid from the MetaVerse gave you a message from the future, would you listen? That’s just one of the questions posed by the exceptional Betty Apple, who adopts the persona of a cyborg-mermaid to host an industrial techno-rave with a subversive message.

Machine Folklore

  • Friday, 14 October 2022 8.00pm at The Substation
  • Saturday, 15 October 2022 8.00pm at The Substation

What does humanity look like from an AI perspective? Using music, imagery, and light design, two of Taiwan’s foremost art collectives explore the future of digital culture, aesthetics and the metaverse in a hypnotic performance.

Explore the full Melbourne Fringe Festival program here.

Since 2020, Melbourne Fringe has been leading the cross-cultural exchange of Taiwanese art for Australian audiences, in partnership with Ministry of Culture. Connecting emerging Taiwanese artists directly with Australian audiences, the festival offers a showcase of some of Taiwan’s most exciting new artists.

‘It’s About Time’ is the theme of this year’s festival, as the event simultaneously reflects on 40 years of Fringe history and ponders on the next 40 years to come. This year’s Fringe Festival, more than ever before, explores the artistic, political and cultural movements that have shaped us, and uses these lessons to gaze into the future, constantly asking where we’re heading next.

The Fringe Focus Taiwan program presents artists who are vital contributors to this conversation: leading lights of a younger generation of avant-garde creatives in Taiwan, who are exploring the infinite possibilities and potentials of tomorrow in a place steeped in history and tradition.

Melbourne Fringe creative director and CEO, Simon Abrahams says “Betty Apple, NAXS Future and Software 2050 are some of the most interesting contemporary performance artists working in Taiwan at the moment, and I can’t wait for Melbourne to experience their work. I can absolutely guarantee Melbourne has never seen anything like it. These are Taiwanese artists at the top of their game.”

Shows begin on 13 October at Runaway Festival Park – The Vault, with tickets available on the Melbourne Fringe’s website, with discounts also available for Fringe Binge members.

Grab tickets for Machine Folklore here and for It Me Time Traveller here.


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