FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) is a Liverpool-based cinema and art gallery, and is the UK's leading organisation for the commission, exhibition and support of new media art-forms.
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Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age

Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:00 - Sun May 17, 2015

Liverpool, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Originating from FACT’s extensive work within mental health and wellbeing, the exhibition explores the complex relationship between technology, society, and mental health.

Works by artists, designers and researchers including new commissions from The Vacuum Cleaner, Katriona Beales, Kate Owens & Neeta Madahar and Quintan Ana Wikswo as well as restaged work from Ubermorgen will encourage visitors to rethink their understanding of mental health and wellbeing, by asking how far our personal wellbeing is related to the values of the society we live in and the impact of new technologies.

Vanessa Bartlett, who is co-curating the exhibition with FACT’s Director Mike Stubbs, says ‘Group Therapy proposes that art and the creative use of digital devices can challenge dated ideas about mental illness, helping to reduce stigma and encourage open discussion about our personal wellbeing.’

The exhibition design, created by researcher and PhD Student at Royal College of Art Benjamin Koslowski, is carefully considered to evoke self-reflection and introspection by highlighting the threshold between the private, individual experience of the exhibition and the societal dynamics behind mental health issues.

Supported by Wellcome Trust and the The British Psychological Society (BPS), the major new commission Madlove by The Vacuum Cleaner responds to the artist’s own experience of psychiatric hospitals as punishing rather than loving environments. A collaboratively designed asylum will be created at FACT as “a safe place to go mad", appropriate for a society where all of us experience emotional distress. Madlove features advisors from across the health, higher education and science as well as design sectors, including principal partner the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool.

Group Therapy explores the past, present and future of mental health, and includes Superflex’s video installation The Financial Crisis, which explores how modern economic systems have the capacity to leave us all feeling insecure and vulnerable.

The history of mental illness is highlighted from different perspectives. A photographic series of American asylum buildings by artist Quintan Ana Wikswo evokes the hyper-vigilant eye movements of post-traumatic stress disorder, offering viewers the opportunity to experience reality through the eyes of an individual marked as an outsider by the impacts of trauma or social injustice. By showcasing spaces formerly reserved for the mentally ill, she also provides insights into the historical context of mental illness and its surrounding power structures. Dora Garcia's film The Deviant Majority features an interview with Carmen Roll formally of the German Socialist Patient's Collective (SPC) who in the 1970s argued that capitalism is responsible for manifestations of madness. An electroconvulsive therapy machine shows how technology is not a new concept in mental health settings.

Part of the exhibition is also an interactive archive showing 20 years of FACT projects for participants with mental health issues, in which artists have been working closely with the community in creative projects as well as created digital tools that support mental health. These projects have been organised in collaboration with various mental health organisations, including Mersey Care NHS Trust.

Entry to the exhibition is free.


Type Motion

Thu Nov 13, 2014 18:00 - Sun Feb 08, 2015

Liverpool, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

This November, FACT is pleased to present the UK premiere of Type Motion, an exhibition featuring over 200 outstanding examples of text and typography being used alongside the moving image. The exhibition celebrates the creative possibilities of opening up uses of text far beyond print, and seeks to showcase not only the importance of writing, but how bringing it to life with movement is an artform in itself.

Co-produced with ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (Germany), the exhibition has been reimagined for FACT and features an archive of clips from over twenty countries, dating as early as 1897 and running right up to the present day. Charting the history of the moving image through the birth of cinema to television advertising and the creation of the music video through to the digital age, Type Motion is an exploration through our relationship with writing and moving images, alongside major cultural shifts. Referencing movements such as expressionism, impressionism, dadaism and fluxus, many of the films and videos also explore underground and experimental changes in the art world.

Well-known examples include: title sequences from Psycho, Gone with the Wind, Se7en, Alien and Star Wars and music videos including Muse, Kanye West and Justice.

The exhibition will also focus on artworks by Marcel Duchamp, Eduardo Kac, John Baldessari and Paul Sharits among others, extracts from silent movies, adverts for brands such as Audi and Maxell and works of the computer demo-scene, computer games, and websites will be presented.

In a deliberate contrast to traditional archive displays, Type Motion will be an immersive sensory experience. Gallery 1 will be constructed as a mirrored ‘infinity space’, surrounding the visitor with moving image. Gallery 2 will feature custom-built software and touch screen interfaces so that visitors can literally get hands-on with the archive and curate their own playlists of clips for other gallery users to see.

To complement the main exhibition, FACT will also launch a Development Lab in the atrium where the public will be invited to experience some of the techniques, technologies and inspiration behind Type Motion. Workshops, events and drop-in activities hosted by artists and experts will explore projection mapping, virtual reality, coding, data interaction and design. The space will also house FACT’s “Tweeting Typewriter”, 3D Printers and a new app from artist Suse Meisner which can be used to build your own ‘Liverpool Alphabet’. Australian artist Lauren Moffatt will be in residence for seven weeks to develop an ambitious new artwork for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of workshops, events, talks and screenings exploring the relationship between writing and moving image, typography and the future of type in an age of creative technology.

Entry is free.


Sharon Lockhart - Rudzienko (UK Premiere)

Fri Oct 17, 2014 18:30 - Fri Oct 17, 2014

Liverpool, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Liverpool Biennial and FACT are delighted to present the first UK screening of Sharon Lockhart’s new feature-length film, Rudzienko, shown on the occasion of her solo exhibition as part of Liverpool Biennial 2014.

Rudzienko is an extension of Lockhart’s relationship with a young Polish woman named Milena, as well as her research on the influential Polish-Jewish pedagogue Janusz Korczak, whose seminal essay ‘Rights of the Child’ celebrates the often-disregarded voice of the child. Lockhart first befriended Milena in 2009 during the filming of Pòdworka in Lodz, Poland. At the time a nine-year-old girl, Milena inserted herself into the film’s making as a sort of impromptu assistant director, helping with casting and choreographing. Now fifteen years old, Milena is currently living in a girl’s home outside Warsaw named the ‘Youth Centre for Sociotherapy Rudzienko’.

Rudzienko grew out of a series of educational workshops, for Milena and 15 of her peers, that Lockhart organised at a farmhouse near the home. The workshops were led by educator Bartek Przybył Ołowski, co-author of the Polish schoolbook Philosophical Education and Critical thinking. Together, the young women, Lockhart’s educators, and the film crew worked with this philosophical text, developing exercises and activities designed to empower their own voices, and emphasising the specific ways in which each participant chose to articulate their own perspectives about the world.

As a group, they all worked to create a script for Rudzienko, and to choreograph a set of scenes in which the young womens’ conversations interact with the surrounding landscape to address topics of children’s agency and selfhood. Notions of freedom, place, judgment and choice are often subject matter in these conversations, whose backdrop is at the same time idyllic and dilapidated. Lockhart’s non-narrative style allows viewers to meditate on the relationship of text to image, the girls’ body language, and to consider each voice that emerges: honouring Korzack and the child’s voice that he so valued.

Sharon Lockhart will be present at the screening for a discussion led by Liverpool Biennial curator Anthony Huberman. Young people are especially welcome.

Rudzienko is commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and FACT, 2014. Co-produced by the Kadist Art Foundation with additional support from neugerriemschneider, Berlin; Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels; and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles


We Buy White Albums

Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:00 - Sun Sep 14, 2014

Liverpool, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

New York based artist Rutherford Chang is relocating to Liverpool for one month this summer to display and expand his collection of over 1,000 first-pressings of The Beatles’ White Album.

Presented by FACT and Liverpool International Music Festival, We Buy White Albums will take over FACT’s loading bay space on Wood Street from 15 August – 14 September.
The seminal White Album – officially titled The Beatles – was the band’s ninth studio album, with a revolutionary cover designed by pioneering pop artist Richard Hamilton. Famously stark, the totally white design has provided a blank canvas for the coffee stains, doodles, mold and rips that have accumulated on the albums since its release in 1968, making every copy now unique.

Chang’s entire collection of over 1,000 White Albums will be displayed in the format of a record store with two vital differences, only one album is displayed, and records are only bought not sold. Visitors will be invited to browse and listen to copies of their choice.

Also featured is a vinyl album Chang created by layering 100 different copies from his collection, exploring the sonic and visual differences between the aged vinyl discs and covers.
Chang has been building his collection for eight years and says:

“The character of each copy is distinctly shaped by their individual histories, so this collection of intentical yet unique mutiples together forms a story of the past half-Century.

I hope to expand my collection while in Liverpool, so please bring me numbered copies in any condition!”

Chang will be present at FACT and visitors will be able to sell their first edition copy to him for inclusion in the collection. This will be the project’s debut in the UK and will coincide with International Beatleweek (20 – 26 August) when there will be special events programmed in and around FACT including acoustic performances in RopeWalks Square.

The full programme of events will be listed on when confirmed.


Liverpool Biennial 2014: Sharon Lockhart

Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:00 - Sun Oct 26, 2014

Liverpool, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

FACT and Liverpool Biennial are proud to present the first UK solo exhibition by artist Sharon Lockhart.

Known for creating film and photography portraying often overlooked subjects in everyday life, Lockhart’s practice is underpinned by a commitment to immersing herself in new environments and building intimate relationships with people and places. Perhaps the most significant of these is her friendship with a young Polish girl Milena, who Lockhart first met whilst creating her film Pódworka (2009), which will be presented in FACT’s Gallery 1. This film explores the courtyards of Łódź, Poland, and the children that inhabit them as their playgrounds. Nine years old at the time, Milena’s character was immediately noticeable to Lockhart who appreciated her energy and strong will.

Since filming Pódworka, Lockhart and Milena have formed a friendship resulting in several projects that span several media. Two separate photographic projects will be presented in the exhibition as well as a text-based work and a new film commissioned by FACT, Liverpool Biennial and Kadist, San Francisco. These comprise Lockhart’s latest collaboration with Milena, who is now fifteen years old and living in an orphanage near Warsaw.

The show is part of the 8th Biennial Exhibition A Needle Walks into a Haystack curated by Mai Abu ElDahab and Anthony Huberman. It will be accompanied by a series of films selected by the artist exploring themes of children’s agency and selfhood.