Going underground

Walking down the steps of London’s Victoria House to the basement this weekend, you were greeted by the buzz of electronics and eerie waves of coloured fluorescent light. The reason behind it was Vice magazine and Intel’s cultural hook-up The Creators Project, which came to London for the second installation of its global programme.

Radical Friend's The Digital Flesh
Radical Friend’s The Digital Flesh

The project came about after Vice co-founder Shane Smith and Where The Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze had a chat about what projects they would work on if money was not an issue. Smith’s plan was to produce a multi-disciplinary community, who could bounce ideas off each other in one big conceptual studio, much like the artistic community of 1920s Paris. And so, with some funding from technology giants Intel, The Creators Project was born.

Descending into the basement’s depths on Saturday, visitors were greeted with a number of installations and films from leading international creatives. The first thing visible, and most visually striking, was the three LED panels of  United Visual Artists’ interactive Triptych. The large panels audio-visually responded to the people around them, changing from ambient soundscapes to nightmarish flashing beacons, depending on the movements in front of them.

Karl Sadler's Forest installation
Karl Sadler’s Forest installation

More impressive perhaps was another UVA project called Hereafter, which used a high-speed camera to record the space, which was then played back on to a screen in front. An unsettling feeling was created by the fact that at one point the screen relayed images in real time then moments later seamlessly switched to showing ghostly recordings from hours before.

Another interesting installation was Felix Thorn’s music-making sculpture, which translated electronic music into a moving machine made of xylophones, a piano and drums. Radical Friend’s hologram creator, which mapped your face and rendered in 3D above an overly elaborate pink pyramid, and Moritz Waldemeyer’s aura-emitting chair were also good for a bit of audience interaction.

Onedotzero film Ant Len by Duncan Rait and Jon Marsh
Onedotzero film Ant Len by Duncan Rait and Jon Marsh

As well as films from Spike Jonze and Onedotzero, the painfully hip crowd that stayed on until the evening were treated to live sets from Mark Ronson, Tinchy Stryder and Kele Okereke. But after seemingly causing two of the installations to crash inexplicably, the Design Week team felt that we should take our jinx elsewhere and left the hipsters to it.

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