The immersive art show that blurs the boundaries of the physical and virtual

Anticipating the emerging “computer age” of the 1970s, American futurologist Alvin Toffler wrote groundbreaking book, Future Shock (1970) predicted the ways in which the pace and magnitude of technological change could lead to: “crushing stress and disorientation”, seeing the dramatic effect of becoming a “super-industrialized society”. Since then, the potential of technology has continued to grow exponentially as social media, the metaverse and VR continue to expand our experience.

The name takes its name from Toffler’s prescient text, Future Shocka new exhibition in 180 Studiosbrings together pioneering artists at the radical forefront of audiovisual technology, renegotiating the boundaries between the physical and the virtual and questioning our perceptions of reality.

The artists in the exhibition use technology to explore these themes in different ways,” explains curator and . from Vinyl factory founder Sean Bidder. “From the futuristic worlds created by Lawrence LekRomain Gavrasand Actual objects to the sensory physicality of UVA‘s perspective-shifting installations of Strange core‘s captivating series of rooms, soundtracked by Aphex twinsmaking it feel like stepping into a computer.”

Creating a “liminal space somewhere between dystopia and utopia”, Bidder characterizes the overarching themes of the various artists on display as generating “the collapse of creative silos … that merge art, music and technology”.

He tells us the experience of moving through this series of artworks occupying the vast gallery space in the monolithic building: “The show is an immersive sensory overload, designed to reflect the information overload of a given day. Hamill Industries – a collective from Barcelona – created a light and sound sculpture called ‘Vortex’ that blows a ring of smoke at you, accompanied by a new score of Floating Pointsnonotak‘Daydream v6’ reconfigures the space around you with a synapse-splitting light display; Tundra‘s ‘Row’ reuses holographic projectors to create a series of symphonic illusions; Caterina Barbieric encourages you to put your hand on her melting ice sculpture; Japanese artist Ryoichi KurokawaThe ‘sub-assemblies’ are like stepping into VR without the headset, with quadraphonic sound and strobe, the exciting dual-screen distorting images of urban and environmental ruins.” But in the end he says:You have to experience it for yourself…”

Future Shock (presented by Fact and 180 Studios) is on display at 180 Studios until August 28, 2022

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