Currently, the Barbican is hosting a fabulous exhibition called Digital Revolution. It’s a wonderful interactive exhibition which celebrates how far digital technology has come in a short period of time, and also leads voice to the great things still to come digitally.
The exhibition is divided into segments – some more impressive than others – but each incorporating a strong element of play. The first section devotes itself to historical items – older computer games, old operating systems, and such. There’s lots of games to play, and a very interesting section about digital trickery in modern films.
After that come three wonderful pieces that demand participation — my favourite is Daniel Rozin’s Mirror No. 10, 2009, which ‘mirrors’ your appearance and movements through streaks of coloured pixels. Here’s a ‘selfie’ from that piece.
You can also turn yourself into a winged bird – be prepared to briefly queue for this one, but it’s so worth it!
There’s also sections for playing more computer games from throughout the ages (the camel-shooting one is crazy hard, so good luck with that) and then downstairs there is the incredible light room. In this room, lights beam down from the ceiling that interact with your behaviour. Place your hand against the light stream, and as you pull away you can create your own streams of light which ‘dance’ and ‘move’ as you command them. It sounds and looks like magic, and must be experienced to be fully understood.
The show closes with an outstanding installation. It’s down the street from the main exhibition, but do not make the mistake of not going there. Marshmallow Laser Feast is a series of lasers on movable poles within a dark enclosure. As you move the poles, notes (as if from a set of choir bells) ring out and form a unique symphony.
The entire exhibition is wonderful, and surprisingly relevant to both big and little kids. A word of warning – it’s a bit daunting to see the computers you had as a child in a museum, but there’s so much joy to be taken from this exhibition! Go see it!
The exhibition is on until 14 September 2014, and tickets can be booked here.