Other Spaces – immersive experiences feat. Massive Attack and James Blake


The Store X The Vinyl Factory will present a new exhibition by United Visual Artists called Other Spaces at 180 The Strand this autumn, in collaboration with the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris.

Other Spaces features three large-scale installations by the multi-disciplinary collective UVA – Our Time, The Great Animal Orchestra and Vanishing Point.

Vanishing Point is an immersive laser installation that uses perspective as a way to reshape and redefine a space. Inspired by Renaissance drawings by Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo Da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer, it features beams of white light that are projected into the space from an invisible vanishing point.

The Great Animal Orchestra is a soundscape of animal recordings, captured in their natural habitats around the world by seminal bio-acoustician Bernie Krause. UVA has imagined accompanying visuals featuring colourful abstract spectrogram landscapes of the environments where the animals live.

Featuring newly composed music by Mira Calix, Our Time is a site-specific evolution of the UVA’s 2013 commission for the Barbican called Momentum. The installation features kinetic structures swinging in and out of phase, while light and sound is projected throughout.

Other Spaces is the fourth major exhibition commissioned by The Store X The Vinyl Factory and will run from 1st October until 9th December 2019 at The Store X 180 The Strand, London WC2R 1EA. Entry is free, open Tuesday through Sunday, 12 pm – 7 pm.

The laser installation, inspired by the perspective tricks of the Renaissance, is a good example of what this collective (led by Matt Clark) does. Using light and sound, UVA create works that force you to consider and confront the spaces you inhabit.

First up is a rejig of UVA’s Barbican Curve show, a ballet of swinging mechanical lights set to a glittering, glitching electronic soundtrack by the brilliant Mira Calix. As the lights dance, the space goes from static to fluid, staccato to legato. The light shapes the feeling of the space.

Then comes the laser room with its brain-tickling beams of white and blue. But the best comes last. Using the vast sound database of ecologist Bernie Krause, UVA visualise the sounds of nature. Yukon gulls squawk at 2000khz, each screech registering as a blip of light scrolling past you, while elephants rumble at 100khz in an African nature reserve. All sounds create stuttering patters, like an electrocardiogram of nature: it’s the symphonic heartbreak of the planet, and it’s immersive, affecting, and beautiful.

The reason this all works so well as an exhibition is because it deals with the human body in three ways. One work explores how your body interacts with the space around it, another deals with how your brain can be sent tumbling by that space, and the final one considers your body as a thing in nature. It all makes you hyper-aware of your own skin, of the space around you, and the world we live in, and that’s a damn neat trick for a work of art to play.

Visitor information:

Dates: 2nd October – 8th December 2019
Times: Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 7pm, Sunday 12pm – 6pm
Address: The Store X 180 The Strand, London WC2R 1EA
Entry: Free