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05 MARCH 2016

Simon McBurney: Complicite’s The Encounter

"Simon McBurney transports us into the humid depths of the Amazon, his storytelling served by the enveloping presence of binaural technology.

After premiering at Edinburgh International Festival this August, Complicite's The Encounter is currently play a sold-out run on our stage. We're delighted to support Complicite in their first live-stream as they broadcast The Encounter live online from our theatre to your home by watching through our website on Tuesday 1 March, 7.30pm GMT.

Audiences must wear headphones to watch the live stream, or the effect of the binaural recording will be lost. Any headphones will work, but playing the film out of speakers will not give the same effect. The live stream is free to watch, and will also be available to watch on demand for a week after the live broadcast, until Tuesday 8 March."

Streamed live on 1 Mar 2016

Watch The Encounter (sold out) live from the Barbican, London until 8 March. Headphones MUST be worn to experience the show's binaural sound design (3D audio). Directed and performed by Simon McBurney.

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2016 • 3D audio • Amazon rainforest • ambiophonics • Barbican Centre • binaural recording • binaural sound design • binaural technology • Complicites The Encounter • dummy head recording • Edinburgh International Festival • enveloping presence • headphones • immersive audio • immersive experience • immersive surround sound • Interaural Time Difference (ITD) • live audiovisual performancelive performance • live stream • mannequin head • Simon McBurney • spatialised sound performance • stereo audio • stereo effect • stereo sound sensation • stereophonic sound • storytellingtheatrical performance • three dimensional acoustic experience

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 JUNE 2014

How do we create things together in a shared environment?

"When critical thinking is at its strongest, it often comes from exactly the sort of fluidity of practice that does run through Digital Revolution. The London–based architect and artist Usman Haque has been creating innovative software products alongside interactive artworks for more than 15 years. In 2007, he founded Pachube, a global data–sharing network that anticipated by years the current buzz around big data and the internet of things. In 2011, Pachube enabled hundreds of Japanese civilians to quickly and easily share weather and radiation data in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, boosting monitoring and relief efforts. Haque's Umbrellium team has produced a new artwork for Digital Revolution, which takes up the entirety of The Pit, the Barbican's subterranean theatre space. Called Assemblance, the piece allows about 25 people at a time to physically shape beams of light with their hands, pushing and pulling them around the space–while also bumping into and potentially messing up the shapes created by other people.

Haque calls it 'a virtual reality', but not in the sense of a purely digital realm: 'It's there, it's responding to you, you can see it, but as you try and approach it you can't actually feel it. For me, the idea is to question this distinction between the physical and the virtual.' The process is akin to building a sandcastle on the beach, where you are building a structure that anyone else, or the elements, can destroy in a moment.

Assemblance attempts to answer the question: 'How do we create things together in a shared environment, where we can't always trust each other, but we need to act together regardless?' This, indeed, is the situation we find ourselves in now. In the modern digital world, the question of participation is crucial as our various networks–social, media, national–require us to constantly mediate between acting as individuals and acting as a group. For Haque, the digital has given us 'the capacity to have an effect on the other side of the world almost instantaneously', from news events and economic flows to disaster response and warfare. 'We can do things to other people in distant lands, and so the question of our responsibility, and our culpability, is thrown up in ways that it hasn't been before. On the other hand, we now have the capacity to connect with each other, and develop new ways to work together, rather than against each other.'

Assemblance asks the audience to see itself as part of a networked whole, where actions have consequences. It also points towards the fact that 'the digital' is not a medium, but a context, in which new social, political and artistic forms arise. After 50 years, at least, of digital practice, institutions are still trying to work out its relevance, and how to display and communicate it–a marker, perhaps, that it is indeed a form of art."

(James Bridle, 18 June 2014, The Guardian)

Fig.1 Assemblance, a 3D interactive light field by Usman Haque and Dot Samsen from Umbrellium. Photograph: Umbrellium.

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2014 • act together • acting as a group • actions have consequencesartwork • Assemblance (artwork) • Barbican Centre • beam of light • big data • capacity to connect • collaborative action • collective culpability • collective responsibility • creating things together • data sharing • data-sharing network • digital artdigital art exhibitiondigital art form • digital context • digital practicedigital revolutionDigital Revolution (2014) • Dot Samsen • economic flowsflowsFukushimaGoogle DevArtimmersive experienceimmersive worksindividual and collective activities • innovative software • interactive artworks • interactive light fieldinternet of thingslightlight artlight installationlight sculpturemediated interactionmediated reality • modern digital world • new ways of working together • Pachube • part of a networked whole • participationphysical and digital interactionPongresponsive light installation • sandcastle • shared environment • trustUmbrellium • Usman Haque

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 MAY 2014

Digital Revolution: an immersive exhibition of art, design, film, music and videogames

Exhibition: Digital Revolution at The Barbican Centre, London from 3rd July – 14th September 2014.

"Digital Revolution is the most comprehensive presentation of digital creativity ever to be staged in the UK. This immersive and interactive exhibition brings together for the first time a range of artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers, all pushing the boundaries of their fields using digital media. It also looks at the dynamic developments in the areas of creative coding and DIY culture and the exciting creative possibilities offered by augmented reality, artificial intelligence, wearable technologies and 3–D printing.

Contribute to new commissions including Google's DevArt, an installation by global music artist and entrepreneur will.i.am and artist Yuri Suzuki and works by artists Umbrellium, Universal Everything, Seeper and Susan Kare (Mac Paint designer). Experience Oscar–winning visual effects behind Christopher Nolan's Inception and Tim Webber's Gravity, or go back in time to play classic videogames like Pacman and Space Invaders."

Chris Milk The Treachery of Sanctuary, 2012 The Creators Project, a partnership with Intel and VICE photography by Bryan Derballa.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 MARCH 2014

The Barbican Centre Presents: Joy Batchelor - Life in Animation

An event and films curated by Vivian Halas and guests: 4pm / ScreenTalk with Vivian Halas, Clare Kitson, Jez Stewart and Brian Sibley, Thursday 13 April 2014. Barbican Centre, Silk Street London, EC2Y 8DS

"Joy Batchelor was one of the pioneering creative and commercial forces in UK animation with her output of witty public service short films after the second world war, as well as the BAFTA nominated Animal Farm adapted from the novel by George Orwell.

This event, celebrating the centenary of her birth, looks at Joy's life as both a professional co–running a creative studio and her role as a mother."

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2014Animal Farm (1954)animationBarbican Centre • Birds Eye View Film Festival • book illustration • Brian Sibley • British animation • Clare Kitson • creative studio • George OrwellHalas and Batchelorillustrator • Jez Stewart • Joy BatchelorLondonpioneering animatorpioneering womenpublic information film • public service short films • traditional animationUKUK animationVivien Halaswomen designerswomen illustratorswomen in animationwomen in designwomen in film

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 JULY 2012

Bauhaus: Art as Life (design exercises)

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a world in a painting • activity exercises • activity-based learning designsBarbican Centre • bare necessities • Bauhaus School • colour light play • creative exercises • creative thinkingcreative toolscreativity skillsdesign education • design exercises • hearing pictures • hearing pictures and seeing sound • learning resource • make a celebration • make a gift • make a sculpture of • make your manifesto • manifestomask-making • object was designed for • picturing the utopia • reflecting on utopia • remaking the game • reorganising reality • seeing sound • shadow maps • taking a line for a walk • the colour-shape test • the invisible tool • utopia • what voice do letters speak in • words without meaning • writing on the wa

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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