Digital blooms

You might think you know your digital design, but even hardcore fanatics will want to visit Decode, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Onedotzero’s collaborative exhibition on ‘digital design sensations’. Showcasing more than 35 pieces of work from more than 40 artists in a combination of new and existing commissions, Decode conveys the notion of code as a raw material, the idea of how technology affects our everyday lives, and the fun factor of interacting with digital installations. Arranged under three themes (code, interactivity and the network), technologies range from a new piece from Daniel Brown’s On Growth and Form series, which uses complex mathematics to create perpetually growing digital flowers, to Golan Levin’s Opto-Isolator, a human-sized mechanical eye which follows the gaze of the viewer. Even the marketing material uses digital methods. The V&A commissioned Karsten Schmidt to produce an open-source art piece for the brand identity, encouraging visitors to use its computer code to recreate their own design. The best are displayed on London Underground’s digital screens. Putting on a show using this technology on such a scale would be difficult for any organiser. Onedotzero director and co-curator Shane Walter agrees ‘it’s hugely ambitious’. ‘It’s only worth doing if the work itself is good,’ he adds. ‘To have this calibre of work all together in one space is amazing.’ There are access points throughout the show – and not just in terms of age groups. ‘Someone who’s really interested in this area is going to be delighted, and if you’ve never experienced any of this work before it will be a delight as well. You get that juxtaposition between the knowledgeable and learning audience – I really like that.’

Decode: Digital Design Sensations is at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7, from 8 December to 11 April

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