Review – Barbican Digital Revolution

Lauren went to check out this exhibition:

‘If you’re planning to head to the Barbican Centre to catch the Digital Revolution exhibition anytime soon, be prepared to set aside a few hours in order to make the most of this engaging, informative, and playful experience that takes you through the history and evolution of the digital age, and showcases some of the exciting projects we can expect in the future.

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The first section of the exhibit highlights a range of projects from the 1970s all the way up to the present day, with original hardware and platforms on display. Everything from games, film, music, art and design is used to show just how quickly changes in technology have taken place throughout the last few decades. Here you have the opportunity to pick up a Nintendo and play a game of Mario, or put on some headphones and dance along to The Human League whilst learning exactly how the sound was created.

You then move along, to explore the rapid changes in digital technology that are being used specifically to drive the Hollywood industry further in terms of the visual effects. Here you can play with a key scene from Inception, or take the time to understand what went into creating the stunning visual effects used within Gravity.

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Following this, there is a whole section which allows you to interact and immerse yourself into digital art. You can become an ‘artistic’ version of yourself, see smoke rise from your eyes, be eaten away at by birds, and even raise you arms in front of a screen to reveal a set of impressive wings.

For the gamer geeks, there is a room full of indie games where you can spend quite a long time getting lost in some very cool – and strange games (the first one I sat down to was Revenge of the Mutant Camels which was very surreal.) Then, moving on down to the lower floor and last part of the exhibit, you are escorted into a dark room, filled with lasers that are controlled by your movements and interaction with them. Depending on what you do, the lasers react differently – we were informed that if you’re too rough with them, they will essentially disappear, and run away from you. This is the room I enjoyed most… but I think that was partly down to the surprise bubbles that appear in the midst of laser beams.

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For me, the most fantastic element of this exhibit is witnessing a range of ages taking their time to reminisce with a host of familiar elements, and encountering things they may have never seen before. Ultimately, we now reside in a digital age, and all know where our first experiences with technology began; this is the chance to indulge in those fond memories, and start to understand where technology is capable of taking us from here.

This comprehensive journey of digital creation combines the efforts of film-makers, musicians, artists, game developers and designers all pushing the limits of technology.’

Digital Revolution is now on at the Barbican Centre and will run until September 14th.

www.barbican.org.uk

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