55,000 sq ft art space to open in London with Thin Air. - FAD Magazine

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55,000 sq ft art space to open in London with Thin Air.

A visual art programme, Thin Air will open at Beams, Centre for New Culture, featuring some of the biggest and most sought-after names in art & tech in a vast post-industrial warehouse space in the Royal Docks to inaugurate one of the UK’s largest and most significant new art spaces to open in recent years.

Thin Air’s opening chapter takes the audience on a transformative journey through the cavernous spaces of Beams. Taking advantage of over 55,000 square feet of vast interconnecting environments, the exhibition brings together works by seven global contemporary artists and collectives and explores the boundaries between art and technology, working with light, atmospherics, sound and experimental new media.

The show is curated by digital artist and curator Alex Czetwertynski and produced in collaboration with arts and culture consultancy That Right There.

Thin Air is an exhibition that brings together, in the vast setting of The Beams, some of the best New Media artists working internationally today. 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.

Alex Czetwertynski

Thin Air platforms the best in emerging, global contemporary artists, exploring the hidden complexities that shape the world we live in within the Beams’ cavernous setting. The selected creatives produce artworks on a monumental scale, with the exhibition layout shaped by their interaction with the space.

On display will be artworks including James Clar’s new installation Cleanse/Mantra (110hz), allowing stimulation, creativity and meditation through frequencies that induce trance and heightened imagination. Matthew Schreiber also presents new work in which hundreds of lasers connect all dimensions of the Beams with light, atmospheric haze and geometric space.

Other artists present site-specific adaptations of existing works. An installation by Seoul-based collective Kimchi and Chips features a film produced in collaboration with Rosa Menkman on site at Beams, inspired by spectacle, illusion and the semi-material mode of existence. 404.zero, consisting of artists Kristina Karpysheva and Alexandr Letsius, meanwhile fill a 26,000-square-foot room with a work
comprising 1,000 beams of light, which are programmed to create a series of existential experiences.

Digital artist Robert Henke presents an installation where rays of ultraviolet light paint temporary landscapes onto phosphorous dust, underpinned by software and mathematical processes developed by the artist, inspired by erosion and mutation, and The UCLA Arts Conditional Studio has collaborated with Goldsmiths on a new iteration of Impure Functions, a dynamic, visual index of code. International
stage and lighting design studio S E T U P will also be transforming the space using light, architectural design and optical effects, creating ever-shifting boundaries in light and shadow.

Thin Air marks the beginning of an ongoing visual arts programme at the venue. Matthew Johnston, Director Of Broadwick Entertainment, comments:

We’re excited to bring this exciting new Broadwick Live experience to The Beams. Thin Air is a collaboration with emerging and established contemporary new media artists, shaped by its interaction with a distinctive post-industrial space that embraces the power of experimentation, lending to The Beams’ aim of being a centre for new culture.

Thin Air (first edition), 17th March to 4th June 2023, Beams, Centre for New Culture

Broadwick Live and the Beams is dedicated to raising money for local community projects, including Community Food Enterprise, local food banks and other projects. Thin Air is partnering with local schools and offering tickets free of charge, as well as offering an allocation of free-of-charge tickets for the local community. Jobs will also be posted throughout Newham for new work opportunities for the local area. In 2022, £10,000 has been raised and Beams is committed to continue this work in 2023 and beyond.

Beams is a testbed for culture in all its forms. Supporting and giving a spotlight to music, culture, film production, brand events, activations and experiences that are in their beta form – still transitioning from what they did yesterday towards what they will do tomorrow. We are Beams that support new culture and music. @thebeamslondon




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