Future City brings the best contemporary digital artwork to Greater Manchester
Anybody who has visited The Quays knows it is an iconic location of both historical significance and technological innovation. This stunning festival, Future City, reflects that perfectly, with artworks that combine humour, current affairs, and awareness of place or refer back to Manchester?s history.
Audiences are invited to come and enjoy each of these artworks for free over four weekends, which kick-starts with the incredible light projection ?Thank You? by Craig Morrison on 21st March. A series of artists? talks will run alongside the series hosted by Future City?s partners and co curators, University of Salford. Look out for more information here and on our website thequays.org.uk
Thank You by Craig Morrison
21 - 28 March (7pm - 11pm), Lowry
TO FIND THE BEST VIEWS FOLLOW THE QUAYS LOOP FROM THE TRAM STOP, OVER MEDIA CITY BRIDGE, PAST IWMN, OVER LOWRY BRIDGE AND BACK TO MEDIA CITY AGAIN
Two of the most powerful display laser beams in the world will be mounted onto the roof of The Lowry beaming ?Thank You? in Morse Code across the night sky.
Morrison created ?Thank You? in memory of all the men and women who served in the First and Second World War, and to thank Alan Turing for the many lives he helped to save. The work was originally commissioned by the Arts Council of Wales to commemorate the centenary of Alan Turing who is credited with cracking Nazi Germany?s Enigma code. Turing was a mathematical genius and the father of the modern computer Turing spent the last six years of his life in Manchester, and Greater Manchester is the place where so many key events took place in Turing?s life. Much of his ground breaking work was conducted at The University of Manchester.
Tragically, Manchester is the place where he was arrested for gross indecency at a time when it was illegal to be homosexual, and later the campaign to clear his name began in Greater Manchester.
The display of this large-scale artwork is a homecoming of sorts for the great man, following his long awaited posthumous royal pardon on 24 December 2013.
The powerful lasers are programmed with rolling spheres, or ?Hyperboloids?, which emit beams of light over two miles and are visible to aeroplanes passing overhead.
Thank You was originally inspired by Turing?s poetic Epitaph, which will also be displayed as a neon art piece alongside the lasers.
Hyperboloids of wondrous light
Rolling for aye through space and time
Harbour there waves which somehow might
Play out God?s holy pantomime.
Thank You is also being exhibited as part of the Manchester Histories Festival
Chorus by Ray Lee
3 ? 5 April Thursday 3rd April 7pm, 9pm, 10pm. Friday 4th April 6pm, 7pm, 9:15pm. Saturday 5th April 5pm, 7pm, 9:15pm.
Chorus, by British Composer of the Year 2012 Ray Lee, is a monumental installation of giant kinetic sculptures, a celestial choir of spinning sound machines.
Towering above the audience, a series of giant metal tripods support rotating arms. At the end of each arm, loudspeakers emit precisely tuned musical pitches, singing out a siren call to all those present. Tiny lights create the effect of planets in motion, creating mesmerising orbits of colour. These intersecting lights trace rings above the heads of the audience, while the combined chorus of spinning speakers creates a hypnotic, harmonious whole that is both uplifting and transfixing.
Decorative Newsfeeds by Thomson and Craighead
14 - 20 April (from dusk)
Decorative Newsfeeds uses a live feed from the web to present up to the minute headline news from around the world as a series of pleasant animations. These ?automatic drawings? are then projected onto a large screen outside The Lowry, reaching beyond the locale while keeping audiences informed.
0°00 Navigation by Simon Faithfull
21 - 27 April (from dusk)
Projected onto a large screen just outside The Lowry, this film shows one mans obsessive and deranged journey exactly along the Greenwich Meridian from Peace Heaven in Hampshire to Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.
Always seen from behind this solitary person emerges from the English Channel, GPS device in hand and proceeds to walk directly north along the 0º00?00? line of longitude, one foot in the past the other in the future, one foot east and one foot west. Any obstacle encountered is negotiated; fences climbed, properties crossed, buildings entered via nearest windows, streams waded and hedges crawled through.
Vanishing Boundaries by Liz West
18 March until 29 April (9am ? 10pm) Open Centre, Media City
An array of reflective discs protrude above floor level in this striking light installation. The only indoor piece in the Future City series, Vanishing Boundaries will be brightening up the foyer of the studios at MediaCityUK for six weeks. The installation emits intense bursts of light from underneath the discs; the floor is transformed into a field of colour, connected by the trailing electrical wires.
About the Artists
Craig Morrison is an artist and curator as well as an award-winning designer. He is co curator for the Blinc Digital Art Festival in North Wales. http://cmd.co.uk/
Award-winning artist and British Composer of the Year 2012, Ray Lee is an artist who makes music that moves. Born out of a fascination for the invisible forces that surround us, his spectacular sound art works have transfixed and delighted audiences the world over. Chorus is produced by Simon Chatterton and commissioned by Newbury Corn Exchange, Brookes University and Oxford Contemporary Music. http://www.invisible-forces.com/
Thomson And Craighead are award winning-artists who have exhibited widely internationally. They are interested in live networks like the web and how they are changing the way we all understand the world around us. http://www.thomson-craighead.net
Simon Faithfull is a contemporary artist whose work has been exhibited extensively around the world. His practice has been described as an attempt to understand and explore the planet as a sculptural object ? to test its limits and report back from its extremities www.simonfaithfull.org
Liz West is an Associate Member of Mark Devereux Projects. For further information please visit www.liz-west.com
The University of Salford is delighted to be working with Quays Culture and the artists on the Future City Festival. By working in partnership we can bring some of the best artists working in the UK to Salford, and demonstrate to our students, staff and the wider public how artists can use new technologies in creative and innovative ways to help us make sense of the world around us. www.salford.ac.uk
Chorus is produced by Simon Chatterton and commissioned by Newbury Corn Exchange, Brookes University and Oxford Contemporary Music.