Science Museum prepares galleries for audio-visual art exhibits
LONDON – A large audio-visual artwork created collaboratively through a smart phone app will be on display for the first time at Media Space, the new galleries opening in the Science Museum, London. Art and design collective Universal Everything has been commissioned to create this new two-part installation, which will be on display from Sept. 21 until Feb. 7.
Working with emergent technologies Universal Everything, founded by Matt Pyke in 2004, has developed a vibrant playful aesthetic. The two parts of this digital installation, “1000 Hands” and “Presence,” originate from simple line drawings and are united in the gallery space through sound and light. This will be the first installation in the Virgin Media Studio.
Universal Everything has a history of collaboration and “1000 Hands” will be created through contributions from the public through a smart phone app. In the physical space, “1000 Hands” will take the form of a circular projection onto multiple screens with each screen showing an individual user-generated artwork. An evolving soundtrack will amplify and recede over time in relation to the works moving in unison on screen. Through the smart phone app a simple line drawing will grow into an elaborate, evolving form. Drawing different shapes will reveal hidden forms, behaviors and appearances.
“Presence” will be a circular four-screen video installation occupying the space around “1000 Hands.” These screens will show moving abstract forms against a black background, and the motion of these forms will reveal a human presence. These life-size abstract forms have been created by motion captured performances of dancers Julia Eichten and Nathan Makolandra from Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project. The playback of the performances in “Presence” show the dancers in a growing number of digital “costumes,” for example, glowing feathers or elaborate sculptural trails. The performances evolve in appearance over time, changing materials, color and behavior but always moving to an audio pulse, which harmonizes with the soundtrack of “1000 Hands.”
Founded by Matt Pyke (b.1975) Universal Everything is a UK-based digital art and design collective who work with a global network of designers, artists, musicians, producers and programmers. The studio creates vibrant digital artworks that explore anthropomorphism using new technologies such as 3D printing, touch screens, motion capture and large format video. For Universal Everything & You he has collaborated with composer Simon Pyke, Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project and architect Irene Shamma. Past artworks have been exhibited at MOMA, New York, V&A London, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, and La Gaite Lyrique, Paris among others.
“Our approach stems from our background and ongoing study of drawing, painting and sculpture. The exploration of a living presence is central to the studio’s practice, and through working with anthropomorphism, we strive to create deeper empathetic connections with the viewer. In this exhibition, we invite the visitor to create magical contributions, bringing warmth, emotion and humanity to generative forms,” said Pyke.
Hannah Redler, head of Media Space says: ‘Having grown out of the DIY subcultures of the 1990s, Universal Everything’s practice can be seen as a culmination of sustained, playful and experimental invention in sounds, drawing and moving image. Combining visual languages of living forms, synaesthesia, modernist design and digital visual effects, their absorbing installations immerse us in a new world defined by the creative potentials of code and humanised technology.’
Media Space is a new photography and art gallery in the Science Museum opening on 21 September 2013. A collaboration between the Science Museum and the National Media Museum (Bradford), Media Space will showcase the National Photography Collection of the National Media Museum through a series of exhibitions. Media Space will also bring together photographers, artists, curators and the creative industries to explore the relationship between photography, science, art and technology. Universal Everything & You will be shown alongside the major exhibition Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr, which will run until March 16.
The Presenting Partner of Universal Everything and You is Hyundai Motor UK and the Principal Founding Sponsor of Media Space is Virgin Media after whom the Studio will be named. A major donor to the project is the Dana and Albert R Broccoli Foundation set up by the family of the late James Bond producer. Media Space has also received generous support in the form of donations or artworks for auction from a large number of individuals, companies and artists.
Universal Everything and You will run from 21 September 2013 – 7 February 2014. in the Virgin Media Studio, Media Space, Science Museum, London. The “1000 Hands” app will be compatible with Apple/iOS and Android devices and available to download for free from Sept. 21 – www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/universaleverything
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