Right Here Right Now @ The Lowry

I spent another Saturday in Manchester last weekend, this time my main focus was to go to The Lowry, Salford Quays. I wanted to see the digital art exhibition Right Here Right Now which I had seen advertised on their website.  The exhibition features the work of 16 international contemporary digital artists who through a range of processes have explored themes such as surveillance, artificial intelligence and social media interactions.

My favourite pieces have to be installations Darwinian Straw Mirrors by Daniel Rozin and Snowfall by Fuse* (a collective of Italian Multimedia artists)  both of which respond to and change with audience participation.  With both the viewer stands in front of a view camera and their figure is projected onto a huge screen as a series of lines or a snow silhouettes.

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Daniel Rozin’s Darwinian Straw Mirror

 

Fuse* Snowball

With this projection Installation Fuse explored the potential of artificial viewing techniques in the artistic field for the first time. The system processes the images captured by a number of video cameras in real time

The Lowry

 

I really enjoyed the playful feel to this part of the exhibition, it really brought out my inner child, and introduced me to a technology which I had very little knowledge or experience of.

Some of the other installations were

  • Corruption by Thomson & Craighead, the artists discovered that by using certain software they could create bright colourful imagery using the data of corrupt digital files, hence making something beautiful from something which can potential cause viruses within computer systems.
  • Planthropy by Stephanie Rothenberg another interactive installation where the artist explores the idea behind crowd-funding and social media.
  •  Oil Fields by Mishka Henner. First impressions are that it is an abstract piece of work but are actually a series of aerial shots taken from Google earth which have been stitched together to make a very large piece of work.

 

 

Overall a great exhibition, consisting of a wide range of digital art and technology parts of which making you consider the information we that we so readily share online. The gallery flows easily from one exhibit to the next,  I really like that on the 2 occasions I have been there that there have been some exciting installations which requires audience participation, it’s an excellent way to encourage children (both big and small) to become involved and interested in contemporary art.

 

 

 

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ExtraORDINARY – Everyday objects and actions in contemporary art

Currently showing at The Lowry, Salford Quays, is an exhibition made up of artists, sculptors and photographers where some the works requires audience participation in the making of the art. The idea behind this sort of interactive exhibition is the exploration of the making of art rather than the finished piece of work.

A couple of the installations really stood out for me.  The first one, ADA by artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski is a helium filled kinetic drawing sculpture. The sculpture shaped like a giant ball has large sticks of charcoal protruding from it and placed in a small white room, spectators were being encouraged to enter the room to bounce the ball from walls to ceiling in order to make marks on all surfaces.  There was something almost extra-terrestrial about this sculpture as it floated around the room, it bounced from wall to wall, the light projected through its translucent body giving it an alien appearance,

                                          

The second installation, Soul City (Pyramid of Oranges) by Roelof Louw,  started life in the gallery as a pyramid, here participants are offered the opportunity to change the appearance of the artwork by taking away an orange. By the time I visited, with just one week left to run the was very little evidence of the pyramid or the majority of the 5800 oranges!

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The exhibition as a whole is playful with some of the pieces of work possibly made with a sense of humour. The use of everyday objects in art is often a matter for debate, with viewers confused as to how a biscuit, Gavin Turk‘s  A Rich Tea Biscuit, or a range of different lengths of nails, and a floor display of ascending sized Cactus,both by Martin Creed, can be called art. These artists see the practice of selection and positioning of these somewhat commonplace objects as  fundamental in their creative practice.

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Martin Creed Work No 701

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Martin Creed – Work No. 960 (dimensions variable) 

This exhibition is an excellent way to encourage spectators, children in particular, to enjoy visiting the gallery by allowing them to touch the installations, becoming part of the process of the making of the art, thus becoming a part of the exhibition.