Art's Technology-Driven Future Showcased in New Exhibition at Music Venue Beams

by SHOWstudio on 8 February 2023

The East London venue which has played host to nights with Honey Dijon and Skepta is turning its hand to art with 'Thin Air', an exhibition exploring art and technology.

The East London venue which has played host to nights with Honey Dijon and Skepta is turning its hand to art with 'Thin Air', an exhibition exploring art and technology.

On the bank of the Thames lies a gargantuan factory space, re-birthed in 2022 as The Beams, a music venue imagined by the co-founder of the legendary London club Printworks. Cocooning thousands of ravers for sets by the likes of Honey Dijon and Skepta, now The Beams is turning its hand to art for a new exhibition opening this spring as it establishes itself as a cultural powerhouse. Still rooted in music, Thin Air will explore modern art's ties to technology in the form of light and experimental media installations by seven artists and collectives, set across the 55,000 square foot space.

Photograph Jesse Hunninford

Pivoting to become a cultural venue in all senses, The Beams' debut exhibition has been developed and conceptually delivered by Broadwick Live, who previously helped to bring Printworks and music festival Field Day to the capital city, and produced in collaboration with arts and culture consultancy, That Right There. Marking the start of Beams, Centre for New Culture, curator and digital artist and curator Alex Czetwertynski has brought together monumental works from across the world, with many site-specific. The cavernous roof will be lit up by a laser installation by Matthew Schreiber, whilst as artist James Clar uses sound frequencies in Cleanse/Mantra (110hz). Seoul-based collective Kimchi and Chips, - consisting of artists Kristina Karpysheva and Alexandr Letsius - digital artist Robert Henk, The UCLA Arts Conditional Studio in collaboration with Goldsmiths and International stage and lighting design studio S E T U P have all adapted existing works to respond to the warehouse space. Installations present temporary landscapes painted by ultraviolet light on phosphorous dust, visual representations of coding and film, amongst other innovative explorations.

Czetwertynski told press: 'The seven site specific installations use technology as material rather than subject matter. They explore the extent of our ability to see beyond what sits directly in our field of vision, creating an expanded realm of perception. As such, they prompt us to question what further hidden structures lay under the surface of our hyper complex societies. The installations are built with media instruments more common in the entertainment and nightlife industries, here used at counter-purpose. In these intricate media, light and sound pieces, ephemeral structures and shapes appear, almost literally, out of thin air.'

Photograph Dmitry Chuntul

Establishing a close relationship to the local community, with Newham London's poorest borough, Thin Air will be offering free tickets to local schools and neighbours, also directing job vacancies their way. Last year, they raised £10,000 for local community projects, including Community Food Enterprise and local food banks.

Photograph Jesse Hunninford

Thin Air runs from 17 March to 4 June 2023.

Photograph Jesse Hunninford



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