William Kentridge ‘Thick Time’ – Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Credit: William Kentridge, in collaboration with Philip Miller, Catherine Meyburgh and Peter Gibson. The Refusal of Time, 2012. Film Still. 5-channel video projection, colour, sound, megaphones, breathing machines. 30 minutes. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Lumen were asked by the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, to install William Kentridge’s ‘Thick Time’ – a large scale, audio-visual multi-installation.

The exhibition features no less than 23 projectors, from small 4000 lumen XGA projectors through to large 7000 lumen laser projectors and multiple sound systems, from stereo through to 8 channel surround, across 5 very different installations, with bespoke attachments and custom built sets. With such a large scale installation, the planning stages began back in December 2017. Before installation commenced in August 2018, there were 3 weeks of video encoding and testing at Lumen HQ, to ensure all of the video artworks played back correctly on the respective Brightsign media players, Blackmagic Hyperdeck studio pro 2 and on the multiple different models and types of projector in the exhibition.

Credit: Photo by Lumen.

5 weeks later, after many projectors and speakers being attached walls, hundreds of metres of cables laid and lots of tweaking, the exhibition is now open and well worth a visit. Lumen were also invited to the dinner after the opening, where William Kentridge remarked on the quality of the technical work and Whitworth director, Alistair Hudson, said ‘…this show is really about the technicians!’. We are humbled.

Credit: William Kentridge, in collaboration with Philip Miller, Catherine Meyburgh and Peter Gibson The Refusal of Time, 2012. Film Still. 5-channel video projection, colour, sound, megaphones, breathing machines. 30 minutes. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Credit: William Kentridge 7 Fragments for George Méliès, Day for Night and Journey to the Moon, 2003. 9-channel video installation with sound 16 mm and 35 mm film based on live-action, video and animated drawing, transferred to video, colour. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Credit: William Kentridge 7 Fragments for George Méliès, Day for Night and Journey to the Moon, 2003. 9-channel video installation with sound 16 mm and 35 mm film based on live-action, video and animated drawing, transferred to video, colour. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Credit: William Kentridge 7 Fragments for George Méliès, Day for Night and Journey to the Moon, 2003. 9-channel video installation with sound 16 mm and 35 mm film based on live-action, video and animated drawing, transferred to video, colour. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

It was a pleasure to work at the Whitworth again and Lumen feel very privileged to be involved in such an ambitious, large exhibition by a leading international artist.

“It’s been great to have you all here, the exhibition AV was in very good hands, thank you for being so committed and responsive to all the many, many changes.” Curator Poppy Bowers, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

Installation by James Islip, Joe Osborne, Kathryn Gray, Stuart Bannister, Ben Gwilliam and Tristan Clutterbuck.

Credit: William Kentridge O Sentimental Machine, 2015. 5-channel video installation with four megaphones, HD video, sound 9.55 minutes. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Credit: William Kentridge O Sentimental Machine, 2015. 5-channel video installation with four megaphones, HD video, sound 9.55 minutes. Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery. Image courtesy of Whitworth Art Gallery.

Sheffield Doc/Fest – Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard’s ‘DOUBLETHINK’

In June, Lumen were commissioned by artists Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard to install their new video work, ‘DOUBLETHINK’, at the 25th Sheffield Doc/Fest. The installation was of two video pieces, titled ‘HOPE’ and ‘HATE’, that were installed inside two long shipping containers. Each container featured a rear projection with bespoke screen and 5.1 surround sound system. The tricky part of the installation was taking a empty shipping container and turning it into a suitable environment for people to experience a video installation. This involved laying carpet, blacking out the whole space with heavy duty material, installing acoustic treatment, constructing benches and building a custom sized, rear projection screen that fit exactly into the almost square dimensions of the container. The results were excellent and presented the artwork in the best possible environment.

Installation by James Islip, Stuart Bannister, Kathryn Gray and Gareth Hustwaite.

Photo by Henry Rees / Helena Dolby, Sheffield Doc/Fest.

 

Flatpack Film Festival

At the end of April, Lumen worked on Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival. Flatpack is an eclectic mix of film screenings, performances and assorted film contraptions. This was Lumens 9th year working on festival, if memory serves us correctly. We’ve worked with the festival while it has grown and evolved to require a diverse array of technical requirements each year – from small and large pop-up film screenings, to full live music performances with simultaneous, multiple 16mm projections. It is always a very enjoyable festival with screenings across the whole of Birmingham’s central area, in many interesting spaces.

 

Photo by Jack Spicer-Adams / Haxan with narration by Reece Shearsmith

Christmas in Leeds 2017

Following on from last Christmas, Lumen were commissioned once more by Leeds BID to create innovative Christmas lights using projection. Students from Leeds Arts University worked closely with James Islip to create Christmas animations to be projected on the lifting tower in Wellington Place and around Leeds City Centre.

 

In addition to the lifting tower, Lumen projected these animations throughout the city centre using a mobile projection bike. The bike carried a leisure battery, a Panasonic laser projector and an Apple Macbook. Needless to say, it was very heavy, but it worked great!

 

We also used the company van to project out of onto the John Lewis building, Belgrave Music Hall and Leeds Arts University and many other locations.

 

Using Madmapper projection mapping software, we created a ‘video wall’ of the animations at the lifting tower.

 

Take a look at our Twitter feed for more images and videos.

Light Up Lancaster – ‘Dawn Chorus’ by Graham Tansley

In the autumn, Lumen worked closely with designer Graham Tansley and Niladri, to create an ambitious projection inside the Grade I listed building, Judges’ Lodgings, for Light Up Lancaster, 2017.

Amongst the kit, we used 12 projectors with 12 Brightsign media players, all networked together via Cat5, in different rooms, across 3 floors.

The project had several tricky restrictions, the building had very limited power and we weren’t allowed to touch any of the furniture in the building due to its historic nature.

It has been a rewarding process working with Graham, from advising him in initial discussions, helping provide technical support for previous less complex installations, to this showpiece! There were a lot of things that could have potentially gone wrong with a project as large and ambitious as this, but after a lot of careful preparation, the installation was a success. The final result was very impressive and well received. See the video below.

 

Steve McQueen, ‘Ashes’ – Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

We recently worked with the Whitworth, Manchester to install Steve McQueen’s ‘Ashes’ in one of the Whitworth’s newly built gallery spaces.

The work is a 2-channel video installation presented in 4K resolution via Blackmagic Hyperdeck and Sony 4K projectors. The audio is 8-channel ‘immersive surround’ via Fohhn Audio DSP system controller.

James Islip and Mark Rhodes were A/V technicians for the project, supporting Steve McQueen’s A/V designer Sue Macdiarmid.

The installation is open until March 2018. Please see The Whitworth for details.

Image: Steve McQueen, Ashes, 2002-2015. Video still.
Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris and London.

Many thanks to the Whitworth, Sue Macdiarmid, Samantha Lackey, Leanne Green and the Whitworth build technicians Ben Gwilliam, Gareth Hustwaite & Richard Shields.

 

RAQS ‘Twilight Language’ – Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Twilight Language is a new exhibition at The Whitworth Manchester by Raqs Media Collective from New Delhi, India. A multi-faceted show across multiple gallery spaces, including 17 video installations.

We spent most of September 2017 working at The Whitworth, with the artists, curatorial team and the gallery technicians. It’s been a fantastic project to work, and we are proud to have provided the A/V, both equipment and expertise, for what is a world class exhibition.

“We and Raqs think that the AV work has come out exceptionally well and that, very importantly, it was a pleasure having you around. You work with knowledge and experience and also with the ability to listen to the artist and get it right for them.”

Curator Mary Griffiths from The Whitworth.

Audio-visual installation by: Kathryn Gray, James Islip, Joe Osborne, Ben Gwilliam, Chris Woodward & Mark Rhodes. In terms of the gear, we mainly used WUXGA RZ range laser Panasonic projectors, with additional projectors from the DZ range. The playback is powered by Brightsign. In addition there are two audio installations, one a sound shower, plus several screen-based works.

Sincere thanks to Mary Griffiths, Leanne Green, Raqs and all of the staff at The Whitworth. ‘Twilight Language’ is open until March 2018, see The Whitworth website for details.

 

 

 

 

Rana Hamadeh: Live sound installation / performance

Lumen were asked by Kiff Bamford and Harold Offeh of Leeds Beckett University to provide the sound equipment installation for artist Rana Hamadeh‘s live sound play/peformance at The Tetley in Leeds, as part of the symposium ‘Performance and Uncertainty’. The performance is titled ‘Can You Make a Pet of Him Like a Bird or Put Him on a Leash For Your Girls?’.

The intention was to create an immersive and almost quite harsh sound environment, utilising the whole space of The Tetley’s South Bank room. The artwork featured 8 channels of discrete audio along with 3 live microphones, played back through 8 different speakers. The speakers used were two large subwoofers, six PA speakers, a small speaker facing the wall and a public address horn all fed from a laptop and audio interface, with mixing by audio engineer Joe Osborne of Lumen.

The performance itself was very powerful and moving, with live oration, singing and sound effects at high volumes. Earplugs were provided for the audience just in case!

 

 

Film Festival Production & ‘Pop-Up’ Cinema

Lumen have over 10 years experience of setting up film screenings in non-cinema venues and ‘pop-up’ spaces. We have worked with Leeds International Film Festival, Flatpack Festival, Leeds Young Film Festival, Holmfirth Film Festival, as well as many other organisations and events that have film content, such as Lawrence Batley Theatre, Hull2017, Recon, Bradford Literature Festival, Vespertine, Bradford Threadfest, Art Sheffield, Other Rooms Film Festival, Opera North, Henry Moore Institute.

We offer a wide range of services from full production for film events & festivals to hire of small film screening equipment and packages. We specialise in experimental film, audio/visual collaborations and unusual events in non-conventional venues.

Matthew Bourne live Moog performance with interactive visuals at Belgrave Music Hall. 

2016 saw the 30th edition of Leeds International Film Festival. Lumen provided 25 film screenings over 15 different venues and spaces, including short film programmes, immersive surround sound experiences, live music and live visual collaborations, Q&A discussions, documentaries and features.