There’s only two days left to see The Lowry’s current show ‘Right Here, Right Now’ so you’ll have to sprint to see it. I’ve been wanting to view it since the New Year and finally got the chance to go over there earlier this week. I love going to The Lowry as its such an iconic building and they always put on well curated exhibitions.
This one is completely focused on the digital world. The different forms it takes, how it shapes and impacts our lives and how it can be used to see the world (and ourselves) in new ways. Continuing on from their last successful exhibition which incorporated artwork that involved the viewer (remember the big helium ball with charcoal spikes). This time is no different with several interactive works, but
|Portraits of a virus…|
its their attention to landscape and place, as well as people that really catches my eye. Considering the digital has no ‘physical structure’ its amazing how each artwork identities with the above themes. From trying to discover what data would look like if it were a ‘person or identifiable form’ to how beautiful a virus can be when uncovered in its ‘natural’ form.
Taking cues from our landscape is a key element. Mishka Henner’s ‘The Fields’ are abstract landscapes and on closer inspection are in fact stitched together composites of the oil fields in America, painstakingly compiled using Google Earth. Joe Hamilton’s ‘Regular Division’ brings together video and images of geographically disconnected places to create a new hybrid place. Its painterly composition with rolling layers of painted brushstrokes add to its interpretation of a video-painting.
‘Plantropy’ by Stephanie Rothenberg is a little more outlandish in its concept and people may struggle to identify with it. Several plants are hooked up to electronic drips that feed them with water keeping them alive, concurrently they’re also linked to charity Twitter accounts that enables viewers to tweet and donate to certain causes. Thus highlighting how social media and crowdfunding models lend money to people who need small finance.
Staying with the theme of data, Daniel Rozin’s ‘Darwinian Straw Mirror’ models the human figure represented in front of it with ‘data particles’ fusing Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by natural selection. Viewers will be enamoured with its ability to recognise and process their presence into ‘visual data’. Of a similar vein is ‘Fuse*’ whose ‘SnowFall’ application allows you to become part of the image, catching snowflakes and fusing people inside the artificial images created.
There is also a film depicting the big data ‘warehouses’ of telecommunication companies that occupy acres of land near cheap electricity generators in the USA to the small glass phone-charging electronic circuit model that allows you to charge your phone free-of-charge however beware their small print. As payment you have to agree to the images on your phone being uploaded to the TV nearby so everyone can see your personal photos… albeit they are obscured!
Overall, I like to think that the human factor is still highly prevalent within this exhibition and despite the advances in technology and the ability to define data as an ‘identifiable being’ its hard to think of these things being possible without human invention or interaction.
On until Sunday 28th February