Next time you visit the Barbican, before you head to your seats, you may notice a familiar reflection projected above you…
In response to an open call to create work for our first commission for the Concert Hall Wall projection space, artists Alex Mead and Jack Wates were the winners with their idea, Find Yourself.
We find out more about the work and how it responds to this unique location within the Barbican’s public spaces.
How would you describe Find Yourself?
Find Yourself is a projected tapestry composed from a number of live video feeds that document aspects of the Concert Hall’s various adjacent spaces. Viewers are encouraged to explore the multiple levels surrounding the portrait wall in order to discover themselves in the work. With the textures and patterns of the ‘tapestry’ derived from the Barbican’s spatial context, the work is designed to augment the visitor’s architectural perception of the space. When spaces are vacant, the tapestry sits as a collage of abstract textures. Once spaces are inhabited however, the tapestry is transformed into a weave of people, colour and movement.
What inspired your idea for the Concert Hall Wall commission?
We were inspired by the exhibiting space and how people generally regard the famous palette of textures found in the Barbican. We want to encourage patrons to interact with the work and to see the space from a new perspective.
How does the work respond to the Barbican space?
The work is composed as a collage of textures that derive from a series of adjacent spaces via live video feed. Visitors can watch themselves animating the work as they move through these adjacent spaces. The composition appears to tie into its immediate physical context and aims to transform visitor’s architectural perception of the space.
Can you explain a little about the technical process of creating the work?
The installation of the work has been an interesting process. When creating interactive artwork the unpredictable nature of people introduces a random element that can be very rewarding. The process of finding the correct points of interaction, appropriate textures and creating the final composition has been informed by the reactions of the patrons to the work as they attempt to find themselves in the tapestry.
What other projects are you currently working on?
Jack currently works as an associate lecturer in BA Architecture at Oxford Brookes University and the University of Brighton. Alex is currently producing and directing a short film which he will be submitting to festivals later this year.
About Alex Mead and Jack Wates
Alex is a filmmaker and commercial director who trained in digital broadcasting at Ravensbourne College. After working for 15 years as a freelance video editor, Alex has moved into producing and directing. Jack is a spatial designer and lecturer. Jack graduated from the Royal College of Art in MA Architecture before going on to specialise in working with light.
Find Yourself is on display from 28 March
Projections by Christie.