The Cutting Room at Nottingham Playhouse – Launching a new digital arts programme

the sound before you make it 2005

The Way Forward launched at Nottingham Playhouse last week was a huge achievement for 2010 Nottingham Trent graduates, Clare Harris and Jennifer Ross, who formed The Cutting Room; a curatorial organisation that produce free public art events across the city. For 2012 The Cutting Room present Digital Stage, a new digital art programme for the East Midlands.


The Way Forward (23 May – 8 July) is the first of three exhibitions to be seen throughout the year.  The launch of the exhibition coincides with Nottingham Playhouse’s production of Arnold Wesker’s Roots and examines the roots of our modern technology and looks at artists who bring technologies which are now considered old and redundant, back to life. The Cutting Room present  an interesting mix of artists who recreate technologies of the past in order to explore the possibilities for the future.

With a wide array of work on show there is something for everyone. The exhibition features a new artwork Skywriter, created exclusively for the exhibition by Institute for Boundary Interactions, a local group of artists. Come along and text your message to Skywriter to see your message transformed into smoke signals above Nottingham Playhouse!

All the way from Australia is a fantastic piece by Jaki Middleton and David Lawrey who have transformed the Zoetrope (the original device made to form the illusion of motion) into an impressive kinetic sculpture The Sound Before You Make It.  For all Michael Jackson fans this is a piece not to miss.

Interact with Escape a tree of robotic birds created from old mobile phones by Neil Mendoza and Anthony Goh. Each bird has its own number so feel free to try and call them, they can choose whether to answer your call or not!

With each exhibition, The Cutting Room offers a new Film Programme to give emerging artists the opportunity to present their work within CAST. Shortlisted artists will be automatically entered for the Best of CAST Commission at the end of the year, where the winner will receive a £500 commission to make a funded film.

After the excitement of last week’s launch The Cutting Room kicked off this week with a one day workshop for a local primary school and introduced the youngsters to contemporary digital artwork before showing them how to make their own stop frame animations before turning them into flick books!  For each exhibition Digital Stage will offer an educational workshop for local schools to come and engage with the show.

So if you have a few free minutes or are in the area, pop over to Nottingham Playhouse and see what The Cutting Room have been up to. For more details about the programme please visit our website:

Funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

featured image: The Sound Before You Make It by Jaki Middleton & David Lawrey

Escape by Neil Mendoza & Anthony Goh, image courtesy of V&A Museum

Posted on 06 June 2012
Featured author: melissa.gueneau

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