Thin Air’s opening chapter is a transformative journey through the cavernous spaces of Beams. Taking advantage of over 55,000 square feet of vast interconnecting environments, the exhibition brings together works by seven global contemporary artists and collectives and explores the boundaries between art and technology, working with light, atmospherics, sound and experimental new media.
Featuring work by contemporary artists including 404.zero, James Clar, Robert Henke, Kimchi and Chips with Rosa Menkman, Matthew Schreiber, S E T U P and UCLA Arts Conditional Studio.
Thin Air explores the hidden complexities that shape the world we live in. Using digital technology and large-scale installations, international artists will transform the spaces of the Beams from 17th March to 4th June 2023.
Several of the artists invite us to question the effects spectacle has on us: How does scale affect perception? What happens when we turn up the dial of multi-sensory stimulation? The artist duo 404.zero addresses these questions in an environment built from thousands of beams of light. Driven by a powerful sound system, the work creates synaesthetic perceptions of infinite space, silence and death. A quieter contribution comes from James Clar, who explores the creative power of the ‘human pitch’ of 110 hz, creating a corridor of light and sound that evokes ancient trance states.
The Seoul-based duo Kimchi and Chips have developed a light and sound piece developed in collaboration with the Dutch artist and researcher Rosa Menkman. Using new material technology and glitch theory, they create a moment of suspended belief at the heart of the exhibition.
Robert Henke works with algorithmically generated images, laser installations and early personal computer hardware. A co-creator of the cult music software Ableton Live, Henke has redefined the way we create and experience electronic music. Likewise, the collaborative studio S E T U P has its roots in the music industry, having worked with artists including the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Skrillex. For Thin Air, they have produced an installation that uses optical illusion and distortion to encourage us to think outside the borders that separate us.
Matthew Schreiber’s volumetric laser structures create alternative spaces within the industrial architecture of the Beams. A spectacle in themselves, when you move through the space the geometric patterns seem to shift and flex, as if responding to the bodies it holds. UCLA Arts Conditional Studio presents two interactive experiences: a portrait studio where images of visitors are fed through visual algorithms, and a sound booth that transforms speech, singing and other sounds into images. Working in partnership with students and researchers from Goldsmiths, University of London, the group addresses the relationship between technology, politics and perception at the heart of Thin Air.
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