Decode at the V&A

Decode Digital Design Sensations
V&A Museum - Decode

Yesterday I took a little trip down to South Kensington to visit the Victoria & Albert museum (V&A). The reason i took this slight de-tore from north London was to see an exhibition they currently have on called ‘Decode‘.

It consists of 15 – 20 different art insulations, some interactive, some not; and is a collaboration between the V&A and digital arts organisation onedotzero. Not all insulations seemed to be working which is a pity; I guess that’s a problem with digital art, the blue screen of death. The ones that were, were very inspiring. The interesting part for me was where these art insulations get there data from, be it from the internet, user input or even the wind blowing past the museum at that very moment!

My personal favourite was one called Weave Mirror (2007) by Daniel Rozin. It consisted of 744 semi-circles painted black / cream with a gradient running between the two extremes. Each one was motorised and rotates between light and dark. These semi-circles are then used to recreate a shadow on a wall that is controlled by the user. It’s quite hard to explain, the image above will give you more of an idea of how it works.

I noticed a few of the art pieces were using Proccessing, an open-source programming language ‘for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions’. Now since I have a great book by Daniel Shiffman called ‘Learning Processing’ I was very excited by this. It has been sitting on my bookshelf for a couple of months now, but I think it’s about time I dusted it off.

For anyone who is interested in interactive art or data visualisation, I’d highly recommend going to see it while it’s still on.