UVA's Volume on YouTube

December 18, 2006

I wrote a little while back about UnitedVisualArtists’ new work, Volume, that is being shown at the V&A; at the moment. Joel from UVA sent me a mail to say they have uploaded a clip on YouTube (the one here), as well as some videos of their other work.

There’s also a higher quality MP4 version on the UVA site if you would like to see it in all its glory.

UPDATE: 24.12.2006 I managed to go and see Volume at the V&A; whilst I was in London this week. So, I can confirm that the sound on the video is the audio that is being played by the installation, but I’m not sure it’s the live recording on the video.

It is reactive, more than interactive. You can definitely tell that you are affecting the installation in some way - mainly by bringing ‘dormant’ poles into life. I think I would have like to have had a bit more interaction, but I don’t think it would work so well in this particular installation. The reason is that I think a cacophony would be possible and this piece is all about mystery and beauty.

The main strength of it (apart from the very high production levels) is the slightly alien, mysterious feeling it evokes. As you can see in the video, some people stand and watch, others walk up to the poles and stand very close, looking at them intently, stroking them. Others walk through the ‘forest’ of poles and it does make for a strange social connection. I stood in one corner and watched the people for a while too - it felt very much like a scene from Close Encounters or watching the apes in 2001 encounter the monolith. It is very mesmerising and I could have stayed much longer just looking at the people.