Digital Art at Nottingham Playhouse. Visit Nottingham Playhouse and explore the foyer spaces to find portals that transport you into digital worlds.
Dual examines how digital technologies affect the creation of alter egos and the avatar culture, inspired by Nottingham Playhouse’s production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, a play built around double and mistaken identities. The idea of multiple identities has become commonplace in modern life as digital technologies now allow for the creation of alter egos that give rise to new online cultures.
Dual brings together a selection of artworks that explore our interactions between the virtual and physical worlds we inhabit. Offering portals to virtual realms, telematic film sets, and interactive installations, to question the devices of social engagement within physical and virtual spaces. The exhibition sees a new commission by Michael Magruder, and artworks by Paul Sermon & Charlotte Gould, Brendan Oliver and Kim Stewart.
Deconstructed Metaverse – a new commission by Michael Takeo Magruder and his team – enables visitors to explore a seemingly infinite ‘living’ virtual world that is wholly contained within a single USB pen.
The singular USB pen and server have been artistically deconstructed exposing the circuit boards and technology involved, and is arranged as a sculptural artefact within a physical gallery space. Visitors can access the virtual world contained within the USB pen at the interactive kiosk, whereby visitors can occupy an avatar (a graphic representation of you or your alter ego) and interact with the ‘living’ online world. The piece opens up the world of a computer generated virtual environment and creatively dissects the digital technologies that are taken for granted behind it. Offering audiences a glimpse behind the wires and coding Deconstructed Metaverse transforms Nottingham Playhouse’s top floor.
Audiences can step into a virtual forest and navigate their very own avatar within Mirror on the Screen with Paul Sermon and Charlotte Gould. This installation allows the Gallery visitor and their ‘second life’ virtual avatar to confront each other and coexist in the same enchanted forest environment in a live interactive public video installation. Simply step into the forest set and use the control keypad arrows to move your avatar around the scene. As you move around and explore this virtual forest scene you will discover that it is not only your Second Life avatar that exists in this space; through surprise encounters your virtual avatar will come face to face with its physical ‘first life’ counterpart (You!).
View yourself in local artist Brendan Oliver’s Particulation, a digital mirror that transforms your figure into colourful particles. Keep moving to see how your body adapts and changes in this computerised world. Particulation explores your relationship with the artwork and encourages you to behave in a manner not normally experienced within a traditional gallery environment.
In exploring how audiences react when their movements are rendered within the digital artwork they are viewing. Oliver has developed software that monitors the movements of the individual limbs and the position of the viewer’s body and uses this data to control and render particle systems that react to the speed of the viewer’s movements.
The exhibition also sees a film by Kim Stewart, Sigma 6 one of the emerging artists from the World Event Young Artists (WEYA). The viewer is taken on a journey through a virtual world via the eyes of the main character, as she attempts to attain a higher class. She does this by stealing the identity of a dead female character, but fails and is declassified to the lowest possible class. Sigma 6 is a computer animation combining virtual reality sequences and live action images. Within the virtual world, suggestions of physical reality appear in reflections (on glass, mirrors and water) and your suspension of disbelief is momentarily disturbed.
Throughout the year, along side the main exhibitions, Digital Stage also provides a space for emerging artists within the Film Programme at Nottingham Playhouse. The artists were asked to explore the ideas of dual identities whilst being experimental with film in new and innovative ways.
Emerging talent are given the opportunity to be featured in a film programme at Nottingham Playhouse. Throughout the year shortlisted artists will be automatically entered for the Best of CAST Commission where one artist will be selected to receive a £500 commission to produce a new film. Dual film programme features films by, Leila Houston, David Valentine,
Russell J. Chartier and Paul J. Botelho, who where shortlisted due to their inspiring use of contemporary film making and their unique interpretation of the dual identity.
5 September – 30 October. Monday – Saturday 1pm – close.