Synchronicity / UVA

Choreographed environments at 180 studios in London

Produced and commissioned by 180 Studios in London, ‘Synchronicity’  it’s now ongoing till 25 February. It blends kinetic forces, sound and visual art to craft a multi-sensory and conceptual experience.

In the heart of London stands “180 Studios,” a cultural and creative hub renowned for supporting emerging talents and offering diverse experiences. Currently, until the end of January, it is showcasing “Synchronicity,” the latest exhibition by the UVA collective. This exhibition, commissioned and produced by the studio, coincides with the collective’s 20th anniversary, marking their largest work to date.
Established in 2003 by Matt Clark, a British artist who now serves as the creative director for all projects, UVA’s mission is to transform abstract concepts into performative and visual artworks. The collective brings together talents with diverse skills, aiming to create something unprecedented.
UVA explores themes of relativity, the perception of reality, cognition, and scientific theories, visually expressing humanity’s quest for understanding the sense of the world. From artificial intelligence, software, and data to traditional tools like sculptures and martial arts, the collective employs a mix of methods.

In the case of “Synchronicity,” the exhibition results from the interplay between kinetic forces, spatial perception, and sound compositions. The title draws inspiration from Carl Jung’s work, suggesting that certain connections defy scientific explanation and require additional components, such as art, to expand the limits of reason.
The exhibition comprises eight distinct rooms, each delving into various techniques and exploring specific topics. Even if each space is an independent world, based on collaborations between more creatives and focused on clear themes, everything is connected by a unique file rouge: the human instinct to find meaning in this chaotic universe and everything within it.

The visual journey follows a conceptual progression. The initial space, “PRESENT SHOCK II,” aims to immerse the visitor in an overwhelming experience, reflecting the rapid reproduction of multiple codes mirroring our reality. Generated by software, these visuals don’t aim for factual statistics but serve to highlight the deluge of information we face. The deliberate order of presentation focuses on juxtaposing information from opposing topics to underscore the overarching theme of content loss. Accompanying the performance is an electronic sound designed to amplify the sense of anxiety.

The relationship between harmony and performance stands out as a central theme throughout the entire exhibition.

The core of our lives and our understanding of the universe revolves around a central point: time. The collective delved into the investigation of its relativity and perception, giving rise to the second room, “OUR TIME.” Here, space, light, kinetic forces and softwares collaborate to make visible an otherwise intangible concept. Three different pendulums swing following a specific rhythm (produced by the electronic musician Mira Calix) and trace a visible path through a beam of light. How the theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli said our being is being in time and, through this performance, UVA made concrete the meditation about this.

The exploration continued, prompting reflection on the evolution of species and human influence on surrounding habitats in the “POLYPHONY” room. Focused on a large circular structure reminiscent of the sound spectrum, it uses recorded sounds to illustrate how habitats may transform over time due to evolution and human impact. This collaboration among ethnomusicologists, composers, and artists exemplifies the synergy between science and art, breaking limits and making complex topics accessible to all.

“Synchronicity” analyses various aspects of our existence, ranging from concrete to abstract, such as the unpredictable course of events and the workings of our minds.
The “EDGE OF CHAOS” room delves into the unpredictable nature of events, presenting a machine capable of autonomous movement—an unprecedented achievement for UVA. With light spot serving as eye, the machine seems alive and looking for a focus in particular; this evokes a magnetic and enigmatic presence that delves into the irrationality of events.

Incorporating diverse tools, the “ENSEMBLE” room brings the human body into play, viewing it as an instrument for creating music and analysing how gestures have evolved over the years and how rhythm always been something inside our nature. The exhibition doesn’t confine itself to the tangible; in the “ETYMOLOGIES” room, artists explore the unlimited concepts within the human sphere, investigating language aspects using AI. Here, words and sounds concretise themes like memory, the subconscious, and poetry.

In the “CHROMATIC” section, the sense of sight takes center stage to convey something innovative: the sound spectrum is linked to the color one, and, driven by specific music composed by Daniel J. Thibaut, a software generates a chromatic sequence. Up to this point, everything explored has been intimately connected to our lives and the space that surrounds us.
To broaden our perspective and provide a circular conclusion, the collective introduces the overarching theme of the universe at the end. “MUSICA UNIVERSALIS,” the largest room in the exhibition and the culmination of a progressive concept, presents a hypnotic vision that stimulates multiple senses. Drawing inspiration from Kepler’s theories and harnessing the potential of light, sound compositions, and kinetic forces, the creatives express, through a sculptural performance of seven planets, how frequencies of resonance and synchronism on a cosmic scale are interconnected with harmony.

While there are countless aspects of the exhibition that could be analysed, the key message is to visit and stay updated on UVA’s projects. They demonstrate how blending unexpected objectives can create multi-sensory and innovative experiences, making information and concepts accessible in an artistic manner.

Synchronicity / UVA

Credits:

Artists collective: UVA (United Visual Artists) / @unitedvisualartists
Interview with: Matt Clark / @matt_clark_uva
Curator: Julia Kaganskiy / @juliaxgulia
Editor: Maria Abramenko / @mariabramenko
Words: Annalisa Fabbrucci / @annalisa_fabbrucci
Venue: 180 Studios / @180.studios

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