Future Shock

The exhibition taking you inside a CGI-driven virtual reality
By Ella Joyce | Art | 28 April 2022

As the world we live in becomes increasingly driven by technology and virtual spaces, London’s 180 Strand are taking it further, exploring possible virtual reality scenarios that don’t seem so distant anymore. Combining forces with their longtime collaborator Fact, 180 Strand’s latest exhibition, Future Shock, builds on their successful past exhibitions exploring immersive technologies, including a series of trippy light installations from acclaimed Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda.

Transforming the brutalist subterranean space of 180 Studios into a mesmerising haven of digital technology, a carefully curated line-up of fourteen visionary artists whose disciplines span interactive algorithms, 3D digital mapping and holographic projections showcase the cutting edge space of sound and vision design. 180 Studios and Fact said of their latest exhibition: “Future Shock bridges the physical and virtual space with a series of site-specific immersive artworks that utilise the most forward-thinking technology but have to be experienced in person. All the works in the show are either new 180 Studios commissions or UK premieres from artists across the world, each creating hyper-kinetic environments that embrace a variety of mediums, from digital art to sculpture, film to laser projections, electronic music to hacked gaming programming.”

‘Subconscious’ by Weirdcore

Actual Objects installation Vicky imagines a world where branded data and gamified interactions have taken over from old power structures, six human scale LED screens housing digital humans are triggered by motion senses, allowing for the telling of multiple lives. While a host of CGI humans inhabit one room, Lawrence Lek’s cinematic universe takes over another with a futuristic take on the classic road trip movie trope and a Floating Points original score sits alongside Hamill Industries’ interactive light installation. 

Elsewhere, audio-visual artist Weirdcore presents the illuminating universe of Subconscious with a soundtrack composed by Aphex Twin, of which 180 Studios and Fact notes; “Weirdcore’s psychedelic wonderland is inspired by the phenomena of lucid dreaming and dramatically animated by light, colour and a gorgeous new soundtrack by frequent collaborator Richard D. James. Once experienced, never forgotten!” Once you enter the immersive space it’s a fluorescent-hued trip as you step foot inside a psyche powered by hypnotic notes of techno that leave you feeling as if you’re inside a real-life arcade game.

From here, move into Topologies, by London based collective UVA, founded by artist Matt Clark, which brings together five kinetic sculptures projecting planes of light across the room, creating shifting geometries that divide and reconfigure space as you wander beneath them. Of the work, the exhibition curators tell us: “UVA are masters of transforming our sense of space: their new work, Topologies, is an incredible, interactive sculpture constructed using light, sound and haze that’s both mesmerising to observe and charged with sensory electricity. Making its UK premiere the large-scale work transforms 180 Studios’ cavernous entrance into an all-consuming trip for the mind and body.”

Future Shock runs at 180 The Strand until August 28th, more info here.



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