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  • Writer's pictureFrances

The Lowry: Right Here Right Now

“Big Brother is Watching You.”

The Lowry’s free digital art exhibition, Right Here Right Now is currently showing until the 28th February 2016. Alongside the established LS Lowry exhibit; 16 international artists are examining our personal relationship with digital technology and its influence worldwide.

The exhibit gives audiences the opportunity to engage with playful pieces of technology that highlight the multifaceted aspects of the online world. Taking inspiration from Google Earth, Facebook and YouTube to explore areas of voyeurism, surveillance and distortion.

The separated dark rooms, ‘Destructive Observation Field’ and ‘Dawingian Straw Mirror’ showcase the dreamy features of computer-generated visual interferences. Projecting images onto large screens; the computers abstract art is triggered by movement or light and offer a large-scale reminder of technologies capability to enhance our experience of the world around us.

Alternatively, the exhibition explores our impact on the world and its diminished humanness. Google Earth images are used to raise awareness of how the earth is being exploited. Highlighting how people motivated by profit can use technology to drain the earth’s finite resources for short term gain.

The paradox of technologies ability to be both globalising and self-defeating continue with ‘Planthropy’ and ‘A Charge for Privacy’. ‘Planthropy’ looks at the web-based approach to charity. The installation explores the mixing of real and virtual spaces by connecting Wi-Fi enabled hanging plants to a specific cause e.g. #donate refugees, #hunger and #climate change. Every time a person tweets a hashtag, the watering system for that plant is activated for the audience in the gallery to hear.

Scrutinising companies that offer free services while taking a user’s personal data, ‘A Charge for Privacy’ allows passersby to plug in and charge a phone or tablet into a computer for free. While charging, the computer uploads and projects all of your private images onto a nearby screen for the audience in the gallery to watch.

The ‘Lightwaves’ show that took place outside of the Lowry complemented the digital art with interactive lights, a light maze and surreal giant bunnies.

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