United Visual Artists

United Visual Artists

BattlesUsing light as an artistic medium sounds simple enough. Almost every artist considers light when approaching their work. The London-based art and design practice, United Visual Artists, takes it a couple steps further. They create, manipulate and invite you to play with light. UVA melds lighting with sculpture, architecture and instillations. Quite a bit of their work is interactive. It draws you in and encourages you to explore.

One example of this interactivity is the video instillation piece titled Hereafter. This piece resembles a mirror but is actually a video screen coupled with a high-speed video camera. You walk up and gaze into it and see some action that happened moments earlier, not the one that is currently playing out in front of it. The artist statement for Hereafter says that its purpose is to help the viewer re-evaluate their perception of time.

In the past few years, UVA has started to produce music videos and live performance sets for¬†musicians. My favorite of these is the music video for the song “Tonto” by the band Battles. This video centers around an epic 11-hour marathon performance by the band in an abandoned slate mine in Wales. The set for the video consists of a field of upright LED light poles that flash in¬†synchronization¬†with the beat of the music. The effect this lighting has only compounds the eerie qualities of the surrounding slate mine.

United Visual Artists has been consistently putting out increasingly innovative instillations and videos. From Paris fashion show catwalks to ice sculptures that are meant to melt under hot lights and forever be lost as a physical piece of art. I see no signs of this trend slowing anytime soon. Photographs don’t quite do some of their pieces justice. I’m not even sure video does either.

All images and video provided by www.uva.co.uk.

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