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What we've seen this month - digital and visual arts

  • Date: 17 May 2012
  • Area: London
People looking a huge screen displaying abstract artwork depicting a man sitting on a chair

Mat Collishaw, The End of Innocence, 2009. Video projection with computer hard drive. Credit: Photo: Artrecorders; Images courtesy of the artist, CGP London and Blain|Southern

Staff at our London office experience lots of great art every week. This month they bring you some of their digital and visual arts highlights. 

Being Social at Futherfield

Furtherfield opened its new gallery in Finsbury Park with an insightful and impactful exhibition which transformed the McKenzie Pavilion. The exhibition, Being Social, brought together work by a range of artists to explore how our personal and social lives are being shaped by mobile and internet technologies.

Highlights included Annie Abrahams' nine-screen networked performance, Angry Women, in which nine women met via their computer screens to communicate their anger. The work drew attention to the constraints of virtual networks and how we construct our identities within them.

Liz Sterry's accurate reconstruction of the bedroom of Kay, a young Canadian blogger, using Kay's blogs and posts on social networks was a powerful reminder to consider the information we give away online.

Lucy Sollitt, Relationship Manager, Visual arts

The Space - online, Freeview HD channel 117

With new content being added each week, The Space is fast becoming one of the internet's most distracting websites. Favourite bits include an ever-mounting range of gorgeous archive material including films from the vaults of the BFI, a virtual recreation of legendary DJ John Peel's record collection and the Arts Council's own archive of groundbreaking dance programmes.

There's also an absorbing - and occasionally hilarious - selection of videos from some of the UK's leading visual artists including David Shrigley, Gilbert and George and Tracey Emin. Add to that a series of live events broadcast directly onto the platform and there's plenty to keep any arts enthusiast clicking away.

Susan Simmonds, Officer, Digital and Print Media

Mat Collishaw: The End of Innocence at Dilston Grove until 27 May

The installation of Young British Artist Mat Collishaw's The End of Innocence makes for a seductive and mesmerising viewing experience. The work is a monumentally scaled projection of a manipulated video showing Velazquez's famous painting Pope Innocent X transforming into Francis Bacon's appropriation of that painting and back again.

The moving images are highly pixelated, drawing our awareness to the digital medium, and the use of cutting-edge technology contrasts beautifully with the historic setting and cavernous raw space of this Grade II listed building in Southwark Park. The exhibition is not to be missed.

Anna Mandlik, Relationship Manager, Visual Arts

Remote Control at the Institute of Contemporary Art until 10 June

An installation of redundant Channel 4 analogue transmitters stands proudly as the gateway to the exhibition which, in light of the recent analogue/digital switchover, comes as a timely signal for a moment of reflection on the invention of television.

Remote Control explores themes of consumerism, communication and modes of visual presentation over a period of rapid technological advancement, illustrated by carefully selected works from artists including Richard Serra, Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujică, Ira Schneider and Hilary Lloyd. The exhibition both critiques and celebrates the effects of TV on individuals and society raising questions about the viewing experience as well as examining aesthetic possibilities of the medium. 

Hannah Cross, Assistant, Visual Arts