This summer at FACT Liverpool
, a selection of provocative international artists tackle some of the most pressing, controversial and literally ground-breaking political issues of today, as Turning FACT Inside Out opened on Thursday 13 June.
Exploring aspects of environment, architecture, capitalism and augmented reality, Turning FACT Inside Out is an exhibition that takes over the entire building and beyond, including recreating an indoor fracking site complete with earth tremors and flames.
As FACT celebrates the first decade of its building as one of the UKs primary centres for new media art, it has commissioned an artists take over, featuring bold, new or never before seen in the UK works from emerging and established artists, including HeHe, Nina Edge, Katarzyna Krakowiak, Steve Lambert, Manifest.AR, and Uncoded Collective.
Offering an opportunity to explore and debate the role and possibilities for the cultural institution and arts venue in a post-digital age, Turning FACT Inside Out is set to continue FACTs tradition of staging risky and exciting immersive installations such as Kurt Hentschlägers ZEE (2011) and Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinsons indoor fireworks (At 25 Metres, 2007).
HeHe (pronounced hay hay) are turning FACTs main gallery into an industrial landscape in their new piece Fracking Futures, a playful and provocative commentary on crises of global economy, threats of environmental catastrophe and struggles of public institutions in times of austerity.
The Prix Ars Electronica award-winners warn the drilling could result in unquantifiable subterranean noise as tectonic plates shift, minor ground tremors are a possibility, and diluted chemicals used during the fracking process are sprayed into the air
Meanwhile, American art collective Manifest.AR produced a series of playful augmented reality games to change the landscape of the FACT building and city. Examining the borders of the physical and the virtual, they use AR to enable visitors to write in the sky, see personal forests growing among the concrete and even delete cars and buildings from the landscape.
Acclaimed Polish artist Katarzyna Krakowiak turns the building into a listening device, eavesdropping on itself and revealing the inner life of the gallery. Following her recent success at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, Krakowiak also exhibited at the Istanbul Biennale this May.
American artist Steve Lambert known for his NY Times Special Edition made with Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men, a spoof newspaper that fooled many when it was distributed around New York in 2009 - brings his work Capitalism Works for Me! True/ False to the UK for the first time. The interactive, carnival-style signage has been installed outside FACT on Ropewalks Square and the public will be encouraged to vote true or false in response to the question.
Liverpool-based artist and activist Nina Edge created a project using the voice recognition system Siri, based around disrupted communication. Best known for her activist work in Liverpool, which has repeatedly made national news, Edge installed a nomadic tent within the gallery as part of her ongoing exploration of housing issues.
The project TranseuropeSlow by Uncoded Collective creates an alternative tourist map of Liverpool, bringing to life hidden corners of the city. Working with the local community to develop an authentic perception of Liverpool that moves beyond its international tourism credentials, the installation invites audiences to sit on a traditional park bench with bicycle pedals attached and explore visions of the city in a first person video game experience.
Mike Stubbs, director of FACT and co-curator of Turning FACT Inside Out, said: This exhibition is a continuation of our celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the FACT building. It will be provocative and it will ask some big questions, once again showcasing our commitment to making FACT a safe place for risky conversations.
Turning FACT Inside Out will run until August 25.