‘Technology: Past & Future’ (9 April-4 May) will feature artists from each of the region’s ten boroughs
From the bright lights of MediaCity to the pioneering research of The Christie and the upcoming Henry Royce Institute, Manchester is a truly digital city. And it’s not only the big institutions that are commanding attention: home to hundreds of innovative start-ups, Manchester placed in the European Digital City Index’s ‘Top 20’ cities for starting and scaling a new tech business.
Fitting, then, that Quays Culture celebrates the power of digital through arts and culture. As well as its popular winter Lightwaves festival - which sees MediaCity illuminated with everything from mirror cathedrals to daleks and light graffiti - the organisation has been commissioning a vibrant programme of free events since 2012.
Next up is Technology: Past & Future, a Greater Manchester-wide art exhibition that will feature one artist from every borough. Created in partnership with the University of Salford, the ambitious project will be free to view from Monday 9 April to Friday 4 May in the University of Salford's foyer at the Orange Tower in MediaCity.
Representing each of the ten boroughs are…
CROCKER ART | Bury
Crocker’s quick sketchbook drawings use traditional dip pen and ink, combined with modern digital techniques in collaboration with artist Matt Wilkinson, to reflect honest stories of everyday urban life. Bury Bustling is inspired by passers-by in Bury and overheard conversations at the time of drawing.
ED FLORANCE | City of Manchester
As in Human Bath, Florance’s work taps in to the computer-driven culture of the manmade world we live in; designed to provide for all our needs and keep us continually entertained, while the natural environment slips deeper into the realm of the imaginary.
DANIEL WILTSHIRE | Stockport
Inspired by photography and museum displays, Wiltshire combines Neo-Classicism and glitch aesthetic to create an unusual meld of ancient and modern.
RADO DASKALOV | Bolton
A photographer who uses unconventional approaches to create unexpected scenes, Daskalov was inspired by the loss of data when transformed from one format to another in Loss Generator. As a digital camera transmits live video to a screen, the continuous recording and transmission creates an abstract image that can be manipulated by visitors.
LOUISE ROBSON | Wigan
Comprised of a network of computers and Microsoft Kinect sensors, Flow continuously collects, transmits, and visualises data about the movement of people in space - reflective of Robson’s interest in using tech to create artworks in sync with their surroundings.
JOHN COOKE | Rochdale
Cooke’s love of photography, architecture and art inspired his ‘new Expressionism’ style, in which unusual angles and micro thin layers of colour transform everyday scenes from ordinary to extraordinary.
LIAM HOPKINS | Tameside
Owner of esteemed creative studio Lazerian - which combines innovative design with digital technology - Hopkins finds strength and beauty in the lightest and most ubiquitous of materials. Local Fish explores new concepts in multi-dimensional design; inspired by the inherent strength found in paper, wood and carbon fibre.
BEN ARK | Salford
A self-taught artist, fast gaining acclaim on the Salford urban art scene, Ben Ark will be showcasing two cityscapes featuring Salford Quays, The Lowry and MediaCityUK. The artworks combine artistic technologies - past and present - with photography and traditional painterly techniques.
VRON HARRIS |Trafford
Harris’ looping film was shot between March 2017 and February 2018 in Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses, a community garden in Lambeth. As with much of Harris’ work, Summer explores the representation of time and the materiality of different media.
BAZ ARMSTRONG | Oldham
Armstrong’s work has been created using a combination of architectural floor plans, digital photography and 3D mapping techniques frequently used in computer game graphics production. It’s based on Oldham’s disused Victorian library building, recently granted funding to be restored and transformed into a new heritage and arts centre.
Lucy Dusgate, creative producer at Quays Culture, said: “It is fantastic to be working closely with the University of Salford (to showcase) innovative digital artists from across the Greater Manchester region.
“Quays Culture introduces the public to world-class arts that utilise the latest digital technology, and this presentation is at the very pinnacle of this. We are delighted to be able to bring these pieces to a new audience in one space, and invite everyone to enjoy it at no cost.”
Technology: Past & Future will be in the University of Salford MediaCity campus foyer, 9 April-4 May