BIO
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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EVENT

Noisy Table


Dates:
Thu Dec 06, 2012 00:00 - Sun Feb 24, 2013

Location:
Liverpool, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Noisy Table
December 6 2012 – February 24 2013
FACT, Liverpool
Free entry

Noisy Table, an augmented ping pong table that will make music and sounds as games are played, will be available for the public to try at FACT from December 6.

It will be the first project and the launch of the FACT Connects programme, which is committed to reaching out to local artists, musicians, organisations and
independent businesses, allowing their presence to be felt in the FACT building
and, in turn, ensuring FACT has a supportive creative presence in the city.

Created by artist Will Nash, Noisy Table is programmed with a library of digital instruments and samples. The vibrations created when the ball hits the table are turned into sounds, which are then broadcast live back into the game. Buttons at either end of the table allow players to scroll through the library and change the sounds.

Nash describes Noisy Table as “an alter-table-tennis experience” that breaks down traditional barriers of art.

He says: “People can feel intimidated when they are asked to join in by an artist, but they don’t even think about that with table tennis. They just pick up the bat and start playing.”

FACT is inviting local makers, musicians and artists to alter the soundscape created by play on the table at its very source. In several planned hackspaces, local bands, creative collectives, artists and technological makers will invited to play with the coding which controls the soundscape, patching in their own audio samples and encouraging the public to join in with their twist on Nash’s work.

Liverpool artist Ross Dalziel will assist would-be hackers in accessing the software for Noisy Table, which can be patched with open-source software, making the possibilities for customisation endless: Illuminate the front window of FACT as games are played, use the sounds as a trigger for other activity, or simply make the table sing your own song…

So whether you just want to play a game, hack a work of art, or find out what an Arduino is and what it does, come get connected with FACT!

Will Nash’s Noisy Table will be available for public play from 12pm to 6pm daily (11am to 6pm on Saturdays). Outside of these times, it can still be used if players bring their own bats and balls.

It will launch on December 6 with live music and DJs, and a ‘battle of the bands’ ping pong tournament will run while the table is in situ. In association with Bido Lito! magazine, eight local bands will take part in customising the table and competing against each other.

Local technicians and hackers interested in customising the table’s play can contact lesley.taker@fact.co.uk.

Noisy Table is supported by Dunlop Table Tennis and funded by Arts Council England. It will remain in the foyer for the duration of the Winter Sparks exhibition, until February 23 2013. See it in action here.


EVENT

Winter Sparks


Dates:
Thu Dec 13, 2012 18:00 - Sun Feb 24, 2013

Location:
Liverpool, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Winter Sparks
December 13 2012 – February 24 2013
FACT, Liverpool
Free entry

FACT’s final exhibition for 2012 and taking the gallery into the new year is Winter Sparks, an interactive programme of works that promises to be electric!

Visitors to FACT will be able to trigger a personal light and sound show with electric sparks, interact with the dramatic charges from Tesla coils, and explore the mysteries of the Wilberforce pendulum, with work from four exciting international new media artists being seen in the UK for the first time.

The idea behind Winter Sparks is to turn away from the traditional understanding of the art gallery as a contemplative and over-cerebral space, instead seeking to engage visitors on a journey through impressive large-scale reactive installations. The selection of works will take over FACT’s building to ensure an immersive experience where the visitor becomes part of the different environments, experimenting with light, sound, space and motion.

Curated by FACT’s director Mike Stubbs, Winter Sparks explores the relationship between art and science through the works of Canadian artist and composer Alexandre Burton, Dutch artist and academic Edwin van der Heide, and Spain-based Bosch & Simons, known for their complex ‘music machines’.

Edwin van der Heide’s Evolving Spark Network (Gallery 1) consists of a grid of electric spark bridges across the exhibition space. The movements of visitors are detected by motion sensors to trigger electric sparks producing both sound and light, generating patterns with distinct visual and sonic qualities. This network serves as a metaphor for the human nervous system. For the artist, electric sparks represent beauty, purity and simplicity.

Alexandre Burton’s interactive installation Impacts (Gallery 2) is a ‘live’ sculptural installation consisting of Tesla coils fitted with a glass pane and suspended from the ceiling, where the presence of the visitor activates an impressive audio and visual experience. The visitor’s proximity to the works engages arcs of electricity of variable intensities as well as a rhythmic articulation, generated by the impact of the electrical arc on the glass.
Impacts has only been shown previously at the PHI Centre in Montreal, and FACT is honoured to re-stage it for new local, national and international audiences.

Bosch & Simons’s Wilberforces (atrium) refers directly to a scientific phenomenon known as the Wilberforce Pendulum. This pendulum is nothing more than a hung spring with a central weight and two eccentric weights for calibration below it, but it works in such a way that once set in motion, its movement can change from vertical motion into rotation without adding energy from an external source.

In this previously unshown work, produced by FACT, Bosch & Simons use pendulum springs for generating and processing video and audio data. Hanging a video camera, a microphone, and loudspeakers from the springs, images captured by the camera are projected in real-time, and at the same time motion data is used as a source for live electronic sound production.

The main interest of the artists is to create a complex system in which various frequencies influence each other. Alongside unstable balances and order and chaos, another theme of the work is the mystery of signal processing. Wilberforces raises questions about what is ‘real’ and what is manipulated by ‘tricks’ - an issue they say cannot be questioned enough in the era of mass manipulation we live in.

A full programme of events around the Winter Sparks exhibition, including artist performance on the opening day, will be announced on www.fact.co.uk in the coming months.

Winter Sparks is supported by the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec; the Québec Government Office, London; and Mondriaan Fund.



EVENT

Random Acts: Artist Interventions into Broadcasting


Dates:
Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:00 - Fri Oct 26, 2012

Location:
Liverpool, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

This forum celebrates the Random Acts series of commissions - including new commissions from FACT for the strand - and opens up a dialogue about the future of television as a shared space that has the potential to bridge new relationships between socially engaged audiences, curators, creative producers, and broadcasters.

Random Acts is a short form daily arts strand on Channel 4, late nights. It is television as art, rather than television about art. Created by established and emerging talent, without presenters, ignoring the clichés of the usual arts TV.

Using Random Acts as its starting point, this day long event will ask what is the future for TV as a shared space? How should artists use the medium? What should TV aim to be in the age of the Internet? How can television bridge new relationships between socially engaged audiences, curators, creative producers and broadcasters?

The forum will celebrate the Random Acts commissions (including 25 new films curated and co-commissioned by FACT) and discuss new models of broadcast and their dissemination in our increasingly networked culture.

Channel 4's Commissioning Editor for Arts, Tabitha Jackson, who is responsible for all arts programming on C4 and More4 as well as any cross platform and transmedia arts projects joins us to consider the future. She will discuss the potential impacts and opportunities for artist interventions in broadcasting with Director of FACT Mike Stubbs, and Lucky PDF, an artist collective from South East London.

International speakers include American performance, video, drawing and installation artist Marisa Olson, who in 2004 created 'Marisa's American Idol Audition Blog' where she documented and crowd sourced suggestions for her upcoming American Idol audition. Readers were asked to help choose her 'look', her song choice, whilst she practised walking in high heels, went tanning, campaigned in front of Fox HQ and took interview training classes with MTV presenter Tabitha Soren.

Chip Lord will be discussing histories of artist intervention with artist John Hill, of the ground breaking collective Lucky PDF. Chip Lord was a co-founder of Ant Farm, one of the most important and radical media collectives to come out of the United States.

Artist performances will take place including Jeremy Bailey's The Future of Television, a 'tele-presence augmented reality performance', and Roney Fraser Munro, who will be intervening throughout the day with a series of alternative personae that seek to create a DIY and punk aesthetic for the future of television.

Produced by FACT, and online with ArtPlayer TV, in partnership with Channel 4, Arts Council England and the Liverpool Biennial

Tickets cost £10/£8 (members/concessions) and are available online, from the Box Office or by phone on 0871 902 5737.


EVENT

Liverpool Biennial 2012: The Unexpected Guest at FACT


Dates:
Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:00 - Sun Nov 25, 2012

Location:
Liverpool, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Liverpool Biennial 2012: The Unexpected Guest at FACT
Saturday 15 September - Sunday 25 November

The Unexpected Guest is part of Liverpool Biennial. It is an exhibition that brings over 60 artists together across 19 sites in the City including galleries, museums and the public realm.

The exhibition begins with the idea of hospitality. Hospitality is the welcome we extend to others, as well as a metaphor encompassing issues of the body, territory, politics and commerce. In an age of unprecedented movement between both people and knowledge, different cultures of hospitality confront one another as never before.

Whilst each artist has chosen to respond differently to this idea, at the heart of the exhibition at FACT is each artist's desire to critique social and political hierarchies and to re-imagine hidden or untold histories. Spanning collaborative and cross-disciplinary practices, the works study and address contemporary cultures of exchange, violence, and the romance we might feel for a world that seems to have adopted an increasingly inhospitable façade.


EVENT

The Humble Market: Trade Secrets


Dates:
Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:00 - Sun Aug 26, 2012

Location:
Liverpool, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Humble Market: Trade Secrets
Friday 22nd June – Sunday 26th August 2012


Part performance, part experience, Trade Secrets presents us with an universe threatened with complete control. Using the lens of the marketplace to ask, "What do we really trade? What should be traded? And what cannot be bought?"

Trade Secrets is inspired by the spectacular rise of Brazil as an economic power and the trading cities of the Northwest in the UK and Southeast in Brazil. Through a choreographed journey of interactive vehicles expect intimate provocations that confront us with the follies of mass consumerism. The Humble Market: Trade Secrets is presented as part of the Abandon Normal Devices festival, which is taking place across the region in 2012.

For information about visiting Trade Secrets visit http://www.fact.co.uk/projects/the-humble-market-trade-secrets/.

The Humble Market is a co-production between Abandon Normal Devices, FACT and Derry - Londonderry - City of Culture 2013 and WE PLAY, commissioned by AND, FACT, WE PLAY Expo and Derry - Londonderry - City of Culture 2013 and London 2012 Festival funded by Legacy Trust UK and Arts Council England.