The 2016 Liverpool Biennial is under way, and features an interactive installation by Sedition artists Walter Hugo and Zoniel. The Biennial, which has been running since 2009, is the largest festival of its kind in the UK and presents diverse public artworks in traditional and non-traditional art spaces across the city. The festival provides a platform for local and international artists as well as supporting the careers of emerging artists.
This year’s Liverpool Biennial runs from 9 July until 16 October 2016; some of the prominent locations in which to the discover the Biennale include Cains Brewery and Tate Liverpool. At Open Eye Gallery on Liverpool’s Waterfront, Walter Hugo and Zoniel present a large scale installation piece titled Spectra on the facade of the gallery.
The installation began as an interactive public work over the weekend of 8-10 July; during this time people of all ages were invited to catapult paint-filled balloons at the external wall of the gallery. The colours used were given to participants based on their responses to questions about their relationship to art and to the space. The resulting layers and sequences of colour can be read as a kind of encoding of the artistic interests of Biennial visitors.
Spectra follows on from Walter Hugo and Zoniel’s installation work The Physical Possibility Of Inspiring Imagination In The Mind Of Somebody Living, which was presented at the 2014 Liverpool Biennial. For this work, the artists filled a derelict building with jellyfish and opened the space to visitors every evening at sundown. Digital editions derived from the work are also available as digital editions on the Sedition curated platform. Explore the Echoes of Toki collection here.
Alongside the installation by Walter Hugo and Zoniel, Open Eye Gallery has hosted a number of events and exhibitions during the Biennial. Between 6 and 11 July Ben McDonnell was among artists presenting work in Telling Tales at 46-41 Duke Street. The exhibition, which explored the recreation of experience through diverse media including sculpture, photography and sound, was presented by Open Eye as part of the Liverpool Biennial Fringe programme. McDonnell’s work was among those presented by RCA, Subject Matter and Sedition at The Campaign in March.
Other artists to look out for at the Liverpool Biennale include Ian Cheng, whose installation Emissary Forks for You at Cain’s Brewery takes the form of a guided exhibition tour led by a small virtual dog, Susan Treister’s HFT The Gardener at Liverpool John Moore University and Oliver Laric’s 3D scans (and associated data) of statues from the Walker Art Gallery.
There is also plenty to explore at the Biennial for those interested in the intersection of art and the digital. FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) Liverpool are running a series of workshops introducing young people to electronics, co-design techniques and programming. FACT plays host to a panel discussion on the permanence and material cultural significance of data on 14 September; panelists include Jussi Parikka and Hannah Redler. As part of MakeFest 2016 FACT will be travelling to Manchester to present current maker projects (including an appearance from the Robot Orchestra) at the Museum of Science and Industry on 20 and 21 August.Curator-led guided tours of Cains Brewery, Open Eye Gallery and other venues are interspersed throughout the festival, while on 22 September the Another Version Of Events moving image programme presents Circuit Breakers, a series of film and video works made with new technologies.
Liverpool Biennial 2016 takes place at venues throughout Liverpool until 16 October 2016.
Spectra by Walter Hugo and Zoniel is presented at Open Eye Gallery, 19 Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool L3 1BP until 16 October 2016.