Rather than move straight into creating some work I thought I’d step back and reflect on the Digital Revolution Exhibition I visited at the Barbican in Late August 2014 and posted about that visit here (link). This will help me step back from my own work and put it into some perspective.
The exhibition was arranged in three areas of which the first and main area formed a horse shoe of seven main interactive platforms. However in order to reach the entrance participants passed the Minimaforms Petting Zoo where the movement of participants resulted in strands of man made snake like shapes hanging from the ceiling move in response to them.
However once my ticket was taken I passed into a dark world illuminated only by TV and PC screens where old software and kit was displayed working, showing old programmes, and games and music.
The section reminded me of my old Amstrad 8256 and its (rather wonderful) Locoscript programme. It also showed me just how much technology has passed me by unnoticed.
The We Create area was too dark and packed with people for me to get any sense of its purpose or method – so I moved on to the Creative Spaces area quite swiftly.
The area was dominated by multiscreens running video loops of aspects of how the films Inception and Gravity were made. I have shown below two images that illustrate the video where you can see the before and after shots from Gravity.
It was interesting to see how the finished article was created layer by layer. Indeed it was rather like producing still images using layers in Photoshop. I stayed quite a long time in this section as you could only take in so much information viewing one loop of the video.
Sound + Vision
The immersive, but ultimately, passive nature of the audience that was a feature of Creative Spaces continued in Will I Am’s Sound and Vision.
The dark space was populated by a looped changing image high on a black wall preceded by three golden musical pyramids.
The show was a spectacle in every sense but its antecedents can be views throughout history. For example, the show made me think of steam fairs and the organs, music and rides. So thus far, while I had enjoyed the journey my expectation to be challenged or entranced had not been satisfied. This changed when I encountered three installations and I will post about these at a point in the future.
The exhibition was also mentioned by Jonathan and he posted some links here (link) to groups that have responded to it and I will also explore these at some point – probably when I review the book that accompanied it.
 N. McConnon , C. Bodman and D. Admiss, (Eds), Digital Revolution, Published by Barbican Art Gallery, 2014
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