Over the last fortnight the Curated Place team have been working full tilt on guts of the Secret Cities: Immersion project with digital artist and photographer Andrew Brooks and A/V expert Nick Malbon of Lighting Made Simple: R&D to develop a new projection environment taking Andrew's stunning photography from the gallery walls into what we hope will be an overwhelming and beautiful projection environment.
Created in the Curated Place studios in Federation House, Manchester we've been experimenting with a variety of structures, different media servers, a huge range of Andrew's images (including some created on the workshops) and even cracked the creation of wireless MIDI control surfaces that will allow us to prototype the extent of interactivity and control variables we want to develop in the next stage of the project.
The ultimate aim is to allow audiences a way of interacting with Andrew's images that focusses on the clarity and quality of the experience and image over and above an encounter with digital technology. We've seen time and again how fetishising the technology in any exhibition or artwork leads to a dead end, and usually one where the technology that provided the initial excitement becomes obsolete within months of being revealed. So we're working towards making the technology as invisible as possible in the exhibition experience. Chris Milk the film Director and digital artist put it beautifully recently when speaking to the Guardian about his involvement in the Barbican's current exhibition - Digital Revolution:
"The ultimate challenge is how to remove the interfaces that are “an emotional barrier” between the viewer and the work: the keyboard and mouse, and, to a greater extent, the rectangles through which all film, TV and even paintings are viewed"
That's exactly what we're aiming for.
The next Secret Cities: Immersion Workshop takes place tomorrow in Edale focussing on Landscape photography (only 3 places left!) with the final full day workshop in Manchester taking participants into the Hidden Spaces of the city that were at the heart of the original project. That one is all sold out but if you want us to do more let us know!