UVA’s largest survey show to date opens at 180 Strand celebrating the studio’s 20th anniversary. This is London-based art collective United Visual Artists’ third appearance at 180 The Strand, following on from a successful solo show in 2019 and then an appearance in the ‘Future Shock’ group exhibition.
Eight new large-scale immersive works
The exhibition, curated by Julia Kaganskiy, features eight site-specific audio-visual works and sensory-heightening installations that explore advanced digital technologies with traditional media such as sculpture, performance and large-scale installation our perception of space and time and deconstruct the fundamental concepts that produce our reality.
An underlying theme of musicality and performance runs throughout new diverse collaborations with bioacoustician Bernie Krause (Polyphony), Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack (Present Shock II) and choreographer Dana Gingras (Ensemble).
The latter is a three-part study of the evolving relationship between bodily movement, gesture and our species’ sense of musicality, considering the concept of the body itself as an instrument.
Next door, a mesmerising soundscape inspired by field recordings from the Central African Republic, recorded by legendary bioacoustician Bernie Krause and ethnomusicologist Louis Sarno. Polyphony reimagines the connection between natural and cultural sounds and serves as a monument to the songs being lost to industrialization and species extinction.
Get lost in the data
One of the highlights of the exhibition is a barrage of statistical clocks displaying algorithmically generated news headlines based on current events, as well as data about the world sourced from the internet. It’s rather entertaining and hypnotising. You can find out the number of selfies taken by the average person this year, how many tonnes of chocolate were contained this year or artillery used by Russian and Ukrainian armies.
The final display of the “music of the spheres” in physical form and a room is filled with lights that spin around planets to the thumping soundtrack. It’s also a display worth lingering in the room, especially if you’ve arrived when it’s very white, as it soon won’t be.
If, like us, you are fascinated by the relationship between light, space and sound, Synchronicity, is a must-see.
UVA: Synchronicity runs until 17 December 2023 at 180 The Strand, London, WC2R 1EA. Please note that the exhibition entrance is not at the main entrance to 180 Studios, but around the corner on Surrey Street, and then down two flights of stairs. Tickets start at £20 and can be booked here.
Image credits: © Jack Hems and UVA