Opening this weekend 21 September 2013 at the Science Museum in Kensington,London is Media Space a brand new exhibition area. It will showcase the National Photography Collection held by the National Media Museum through a series of major shows. A collaboration between the Science Museum and the National Media Museum, Media Space will also invite photographers, artists and the creative industries to respond to the wider collections of the Science Museum Group to explore visual media, technology and science.
Media Space will be based on the second floor of the Science Museum. It is a £4 million capital project and will include a 500 m² gallery for major exhibitions, a Virgin Media Studio for installations, events and creative workshops, and a café/bar. Hannah Redler was announced as Head of Media Space and Science Museum Arts Programme in 2012.
The first major exhibition at Media Space will be Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr, drawing from the Tony Ray-Jones archive at the National Media Museum. The exhibition is curated by Greg Hobson, curator of Photographs at the National Media Museum, and Martin Parr has been invited to select works from the Tony Ray-Jones archives.
The space will also showcase Universal Everything & You is a new digital installation of two artworks by art and design collective Universal Everything specially commissioned for the Virgin Media Studio. The first work, 1000 Hands is created by contributions from the public through a smart phone app. In the gallery space it takes the form of a circular projection onto multiple screens, with each one showing an individual artwork generated by app users.
Presence, the second work, is a collaboration with the LA Dance Project and has been created by using motion captured performances of dancers which will be played back with evolving digital ‘costumes’.
Universal Everything, founded in 2004 by Matt Pyke (b.1975) are a UK based digital art and design collective who work with a global network of designers, artists, musicians, producers and programmers. For Universal Everything & You Matt Pyke has collaborated with composer Simon Pyke, Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project and architect Irene Shamma.
The studio’s focus is to create digital artworks which explore anthropomorphism, making use of new technologies such as 3D printing, touch screens, motion capture and large format video.
Past artworks by Universal Everything have been exhibited at MOMA, New York, V&A London, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture, Moscow, and La Gaite Lyrique, Paris.
Matt Pyke says, ‘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.’
Made up of two parts – 1000 Hands and Presence – Universal Everything’s interactive digital installation is described as a ‘playful and experimental invention in sounds, drawing and moving image’. 1000 Hands is created by contributions from the public through a smart phone app. In the gallery space it takes the form of a circular projection onto multiple screens, with each one showing an individual artwork generated by app users.
An evolving soundtrack will amplify and recede in relation to the works on screen as different shapes reveal hidden forms, behaviours and appearances. Presence meanwhile, is a circular four screen video installation occupying the space around 1000 Hands. These screens show abstract forms moving against a black background, created by motion captured performances of Julia Eichten and Nathan Makolandra from Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project.
The playback of the performances show the dancers in a number of digital ‘costumes’, for example, glowing feathers or elaborate sculptural trails. While the performances evolve over time, they always move to an audio pulse that harmonises with the soundtrack of 1000 Hands.
Founded by Matt Pyke in 2004, Universal Everything works with a global network of designers, artists, musicians, producers and programmers. The studio’s focus is to create digital artworks which explore anthropomorphism, making use of new technologies such as 3D printing, touch screens, motion capture and large format video.