Tuesday, 23 March 2010

London BFI, V&A Decode

A couple of weekends ago I headed down to London for the day for a trip out with some friends. :) We were on a quite a tight schedule but managed to fit in lots of things we wanted to do. :)  It was a very nerdy day out with lots of interactive experiences, so I thought I would share some of them on here.  Our first stop was the V&A where we checked out the exhibition Decode: Digital Design Sensations.

Mehmet Akten, Body Paint, 2009
This exhibition was a lot of fun! ^-^ The exhibition shows the latest digital and interactive art works in development and looks at three themes, Code, Interactivity and Network

" Code presents pieces that use computer code to create new works and looks at how code can be programmed to create constantly fluid and ever-changing works.  Interactivity looks at works that are directly influenced by the viewer. Visitors will be invited to interact with and contribute to the development of the exhibits.  Network focuses on works that comment on and utilise the digital traces left behind by everyday communications and looks at how advanced technologies and the internet have enabled new types of social interaction and mediums of self-expression." 

We had loads of fun messing around with all the installations.  I generally love any kind of interactive thing, so I was in heaven.  Most of the pieces reacted to your movement, sounds or touch creating some really cool unique images.  There were also pieces that took advantage of the recent app culture using iphone applications and the internet to allow people all over the world to contribute to the exhibition. Below are some of my favourite pieces from the exhibition.

YOKE, Dandelion, 2009
Large projected Dandelion which you can "blow" using a hairdryer.
Ross Phillips, Videogrid, 2008
A video camera on a tripod captures a few seconds of footage at the press of the button.  It is then added on a loop to the screen on the other side.
I really loved this tree because it reminded me of some designs I had for my old website. :)  Its was so pretty and animated to sensors catching the wind outside the V&A. :) Very clever. 
The exhibition is on until 11th April 2010 so if you are around London or can find the time to visit then I really recommended you check it out.

So the next stop was the BFI Southbank where I finally got to see 'The Secret of Kells' on the big screen.  We had a mad run across London to the cinema though (stupid closed tube), and we missed the first ten minutes of the film.  However it didn't spoil the awesomeness, its one of the prettiest looking films I've seen in a long time.  I loved it! <3 I'm thinking of buying the DVD now which is avaliable from the Cartoon Saloon online shop.

After the film we had just over an hour before we had a reservation at the restaurant Inamo.  So we decided to have a quick stop at the Tate and explored this giant box of nothingness.  It didn't really feel like nothing to me though as there were lots of people in there and it was just darkness and noise... not very interesting.  The Tate shop though was a different story... had lots of fun in there looking at all the nice books I want to buy but can't afford. :)

So finally we got to eat! :)  Inamo is quite a new restaurant in Soho that provides and interactive dining experience.  Instead of ordering your food with a human everything is done through the interactive projected screen on your table.  

This was a lot of fun and I was really excited as I had been itching to go to this restaurant since I saw it advertised over a year ago!  You can preview all your food and drinks and as soon as you place your order it goes straight through to the kitchen.  Whilst you are waiting for your food you can play games on the tables, change the 'table cloth' decoration and watch the chefs preparing the food via 'chef cam'.

The food was delicious although quite expensive for what it was. I didn't mind paying a bit more though as it was great to have such a fun dining experience. I won't be going there to eat on every trip to London but would definitely like to visit again.

I had such a good day out even if it was some what rushed. It was so nice to see uni people again and spend the day being a little nerdy. We finished with some bubble tea from China town before heading back home which was yummy as well as satisfying. It was all in all a great trip, I can't wait for the next one now! :)

p.s. I am sorry if the layout for this post is displaying weird.  Blogger has recently updated the features for writing posts so I decided to give this new version of 'Compose' a try.  Instead of being easier than before I am finding myself getting very frustrated with the lack of control I have over the layout.  From my next post I will be back to writing using good old 'Edit HTML'. ^-^


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