The immersive, multimedia work of art, created by London-based art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast, uses an innovative fusion of art, science and modern technology to drop audiences deep inside the landscape of the body, following the flow of oxygen through our branching ecosystem, to a single ‘breathing’ cell. The event is held as part of this year’s edition of BMW Art Club. Future is Art.
EVOLVER presented in the Opera Gallery is a technologically advanced visionary experience for the senses. It begins with a ten-minute audio meditation in a specially designed relaxation space. Spectators are invited to decompress, guided by the voice of Cate Blanchett. In the next room, they proceed to take part in a VR experience, accompanied by a monumental, multidimensional video screening. With VR googles on, they embark on a twenty-minute virtual journey through the human body, following the flow of oxygen, as it is taken into the lungs and travels to its final destination – an individual cell of the body – a living microcosm, which reflects the structure of the whole universe. The third part of EVOLVER – the epilogue – encourages reflection over the recent experience. It takes the form of a gallery, presenting digital pieces created by the members of Marshmallow Laser Feast and a film expanding on the narrative of the exhibition.
ARTISTIC DIMENSION OF SCIENCE
Science and art give expression to the same human need – the need to understand and describe the world. EVOLVER is a free-roaming, immersive deep dive that takes viewers through the processes that sustain all life. The all-encompassing VR experience takes us on a journey through the microcosm of the human body, which simultaneously acts as the macrocosm of nature. Exploring structures hidden far beneath the skin, viewers are taken through a sequence of breathing, visualizing the very essence of life itself, as air travels from the mouth into the lungs, before circulating around the complex rivers of our cardiovascular system and back out into the natural world.
Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) seek to highlight the common denominator between scientific precision and the emotional experience of art. Placing audiences at the centre of these ecosystems aims to bring them closer to an understanding of our interconnectedness. Key contribution was brought to EVOLVER by invited artists and consultants from prestigious scientific centres.
The executive producer is director Terrence Malick, a living cinematic legend, the author of such classics as Badlands, The Thin Red Line, and The Tree of Life. EVOLVER features the powerful voice of actress Cate Blanchett. The work also features contributions from poet Daisy Lafarge and Radiohead’s guitarist Jonny Greenwood. EVOLVER’s score also features musical pieces by the vocal innovator Meredith Monk, Golden Globe-winning composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, the composer, pianist and accordion player Howard Skempton, and musician and electronic music producer Jon Hopkins.
The creation of EVOLVER would not be possible without the support of scientists from a range of centres researching the human body. They kept tabs on the quality of every detail of the scans of the human body used by the artists and reproduced in virtual reality. Scientific consultants of the project include Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS, The Allen Institute for Cell Science and Buck Institute for Research on Ageing.
When building EVOLVER, the artists from MLF were trying to strike balance between different dimensions: aesthetic, scientific, visual and auditory, to create a virtual universe which is both true and beautiful, which appeals to the senses and emotions, which opens a space for an intellectual reflection, points out Stach Szabłowski, the curator of BMW Art Club. Future is Art.
ADMISSION FREE. Please pre-book your >>> entry time
Pre-booking for the 11 December–17 December showings opens on 1 December at 11 a.m.
The VR goggles available at the gallery guarantee a good experience for adults and older children (ages 13 and above).