From Andrew Frost…
A lot of new media and electronic art claims to be ‘new’ on the basis of its cutting edge-tech or high falutin’ combination of collaborative partners, say scientists and artists. While that claim might well be true, there’s another kind of newness worth considering – the combination of a wide range of available tech into something genuinely different. Alex Davies is an artist working in the highly select field of ‘mixed reality’ art, an often-uncanny combination of projections, sound, elaborate sets, behind-the-scenes software and bit of good old-fashioned show biz. In essence, ‘mixed reality’ is true claimant to the idea of ‘expanded cinema’, a narrative art form that tells a story as the audience is inside the artwork.
For ISEA2013, Davies has mounted the wildly ambitious The Very Near Future, a mixed reality installation that welcomes the audience into a film set where crew are making a film noir movie. A sudden and strange event peels back reality to reveal a heaving multiverse where past, present and future intermingle in surprising and baffling ways. Davies is a master of spooky atmosphere, welding immersive sound effects and suggestive visuals that are self-aware, but committed to the illusion, just like the best magician.
Until June 15
Pic: Alex Davies, The Very Near Future, 2013. Courtesy the artist.