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Technology has changed art, and this is what it looks like

A major new exhibition looks at technology's effect on the creative arts

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This summer, London's Barbican Centre plays host to Digital Revolution, a major new exhibition that explores the impact of technology on art over the past four decades. It's a show high on visuals and low on exposition, aiming to entertain children more than enlighten adults.

The exhibition begins with a gallery called "Digital Archaeology" that highlights key moments in the UK's technological awakening. It features row upon row of ancient machines such as the Magnavox Odyssey, the Speak & Spell, an original Pong cabinet, and a Linn LM-1 Drum Machine. From there, a small section focuses on how computers have changed filmmaking with looks at Inception, Gravity, and How To Train Your Dragon 2.

With the history of "technology changing art" established, Digital Revolution then showcases a number of new works from contemporary artists and entertainers, culminating in a spectacular interactive laser exhibit from Umbrellium. Included in the exhibit is a new collaboration between Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki and, four interactive pieces from Google's DevArt project, and a small area showing indie games.

"The show is really artist-led, but also looks at technology, and the technology stories that are very important to the show as it progresses," curator Conrad Bodman tells The Verge. "It's the first show of its kind in the UK that explores the idea of digital creativity quite holistically."

Digital Revolution opens today and runs through to September 14th, and the Barbican will also be running one-off events linked to art and technology, such as the world premiere performance of a new audio-visual collaboration between The Velvet Underground's John Cale, architect Liam Young, and an orchestra comprised of drones.

All images copyright Matthew G Lloyd / Getty Images.

Digital Revolution photos


The exhibition opens with a gallery full of historic technology. A Magnavox Odyssey, Apple II computer, Nintendo Entertainment System, and ZX Spectrum are all present.