Elizabeth Price: A LONG MEMORY – The Whitworth, Manchester

Elizabeth Price: A LONG MEMORY, exhibition at the Whitworth, 2019-2020. Photography by Michael Pollard. Images courtesy of the artist and The Whitworth, The University of Manchester.

Lumen were invited by the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, to install Turner Prize winning artist Elizabeth Price’s new exhibition, A LONG MEMORY. An exhibition which includes multiple, large audio/video works across two large galleries with a large central gallery between them featuring other works by the artist.

One of the galleries features three seperate, synchronised video works (The Woolworths Choir of 1979, K and At the House of Mr X) running from two synchronised Blackmagic Hyperdeck Studio Pro decks, remote controlled by a tablet for easy control of playback. Each video work has its own sound, so multichannel audio is extracted from the video feeds of the Blackmagic decks and into a Allen & Heath Qu-16 digital desk for DSP and signal distribution to the three pairs of speakers. The sound is an important factor of the works, so the two larger pieces each feature a pair of Yamaha DBR12’s. They are a much larger speaker than typically used in art installations, so coupled with a subwoofer, the sound is very immersive, playing an equally important part of the artwork as the video.

Elizabeth Price: A LONG MEMORY, exhibition at the Whitworth, 2019-2020. Photography by Michael Pollard. Images courtesy of the artist and The Whitworth, The University of Manchester.

For the video projection, four professional Pansonic DLP laser projectors were used giving excellent results as always, even though their power output was scaled down somewhat for the very dark gallery. They were flown from a large truss system, designed for the show.

Elizabeth Price: A LONG MEMORY, exhibition at the Whitworth, 2019-2020. Photography by Michael Pollard. Images courtesy of the artist and The Whitworth, The University of Manchester.

There was also a final video feed running through the entire gallery, through a wall, to a small wall mounted, digital signage screen. This screen displays a ‘countdown timer’ of when each video will start playing.

The opposite gallery also features three seperate, synchronised video works (The Teachers, Felt Tip and KOHL), but is very different from the works in the other gallery. Two works each feature four seperate suspended screens, making up one complete image each and one work features two screens on top of each other to create one complete image.

Elizabeth Price: A LONG MEMORY, exhibition at the Whitworth, 2019-2020. Photography by Michael Pollard. Images courtesy of the artist and The Whitworth, The University of Manchester.

Each set of four projectors (a combination of Epson’s and Vivitek’s) were mounted in portrait, on a custom made Unistrut system that was attached to the wall. One of which was high in the air. The custom made rear projection screens were suspended and weighted into position with magnets.

The third piece of work, ‘Felt Tip’, features two screens on top of each other with front projection from truss mounted Epson projectors.

Elizabeth Price: A LONG MEMORY, exhibition at the Whitworth, 2019-2020. Photography by Michael Pollard. Images courtesy of the artist and The Whitworth, The University of Manchester.

Due to the nature of the screen orientation in the three artworks, it was very tricky work to line up each projected video on each screen to a high standard, whilst at the same time not overshooting. As even a fraction of spill would show up on the other side of the dark gallery space and even on an opposite facing artwork.

The installation in this gallery was powered by thirteen, synchronised Brightsign media players, again with three seperate audio feeds into a Allen & Heath Qu-16 digital desk for DSP and signal distribution to the three pairs of Genelec speakers and subs. Again one video feed was sent through the walls to a ‘countdown timer’ screen in the central gallery space.

Elizabeth Price: A LONG MEMORY, exhibition at the Whitworth, 2019-2020. Photography by Michael Pollard. Images courtesy of the artist and The Whitworth, The University of Manchester.

The sheer amount of cabling in this entire installation and concealing it very neatly was staggering. A rough guess would be around 500 metres in total. All the cabling was hidden either in trunking that was mounted under the Whitworth’s old cornice, on a truss or under the gallery shadow gap. It was no mean feat fitting 30 metre lengths of XLR cable under the small shadow gap, for then a carpet fitter to cut through one…as this writer knows…

The exhibition has already been gathering excellent reviews in the press and really is a sensory experience, complimented with the further artworks and books that give historical context within the central gallery.

It was a pleasure to work with Elizabeth Price and Rose Goddard to achieve the best result for them and we thank curator Mary Griffiths and Whitworth A/V Technician Tristan Clutterbuck for having us work on this exciting exhibition with them.

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

M.I.F. – Ibrahim Mahama at The Whitworth, Manchester

Lumen were asked by The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, to install Ghanaian artist, Ibrahim Mahama‘s latest artwork for the Manchester International Festival. The video piece is within the exhibition titled ‘Parliament of Ghosts‘ and it compromises of 7 channels of synchronised video housed within a ‘concrete’ silo inside of The Whitworth Gallery.

Seven, 16:9 native, Vivitek DH4661Z laser projectors, were mounted with custom made brackets on the silo walls. This was quite tricky due to the textured ‘concrete’ type wall panels.

The 7 channels of synchronised video fed the projectors from our custom built AV rack hiding within the silo walls. This rack is a fully synchronised, 4k capable, 8 channel video system powered by a computer and 2 Blackmagic Hyperdeck Pro 2’s. It is a very high quality, stable, synchronised video playback system, whether for playing two synchronised 4K video files or eight synchronised 1080p video files at high bitrates in ProRes format. Or even just playback of one video in very high quality. Playback can be remotely controlled by any phone, tablet or computer.

Lining up seven videos right next to each other, so it looks all level, is not a simple task, but with a combination of physical bracket adjustment, mechanical lens movement and digital adjustment within the projectors themselves, the end result was very impressive. Also the lack of raster from the projectors, as they are 16:9 native, meant there was no additional light above and below the videos themselves, which gives a strong look coupled with the high contrast ratio of the projectors.

It is a privilege to be able to work on ambitious art installations such as this one. We thank the Whitworth for continuing to choose to work with Lumen.

Installation by James Islip, Michael Bryant, Tristan Clutterbuck, Joe Osborne, Kathryn Gray and Stuart Bannister.

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

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.

 

 

 

 

Christmas in Leeds

Lumen were commissioned by Leeds BID to create forward thinking, innovative Christmas lights using projection. We have come up with two projection installations running at different sites in Leeds City Centre.

RADIAL at O2 Academy. James Islip at Lumen, alongside Dave Lynch and Antony Kitson, are combining their talents to beam an eye-catching projection of winter themes and tones onto the O2’s window façade, one of the most impressive features of the amazing Grade II-listed Gothic exterior of the O2 Academy. The projection is live daily from 4pm until 8pm until Dec 31st 2016. Find out more here.

Photos by: http://www.facebook.com/tomjoyphotography • Instagram/Twitter: @tomjoyphoto

Waggon Lifting Hoist projections at Wellington Place. James Islip, working with 25 Leeds College of Art students have created festive light projections, has animated the historic lifting tower in Wellington Place. Many of these students had not worked with projection before. Find out more about James’s workshops with the students at Leeds College of Art here.