Digital Revolution is an exhibition at the Barbican Gallery with interactive art using film, music, technology and videogames. I visited at the end of August during an animation summer school with the cubit young artists workshop. I think that the content of the exhibition was amazing and very interesting, but the layout didn’t compliment it.
The first section of the exhibition was a semicircle of conjoining rooms. It began with old videogames, which was nostalgic, and ended with new technology that had recently been created. It was clever to format it like this as it felt like I was journeying through the development of technology.
However the layout overall was poor. There were multiple different parts to the exhibition but they were all in various different places. It was a small trek to see the whole thing and one part even had to be accessed from outside the building. The signs and map weren’t easy to read and I struggled to figure out where to go.
Also, the design wasn’t suited for how busy the exhibition was because the rooms were narrow and most of the pieces were only suitable for one persons interaction. There were queues for so many of the activities that I quickly lost interest and therefore missed out. As it wasn’t a typical exhibition, it attracted a lot of young children that would shove me out of the way. If I wanted to move on to the next thing I couldn’t because there was no space to overtake someone. There were a lot of labels to read but the people behind me were getting too impatient. I found it uncomfortable and I couldn’t go at my own pace.
Finally I found that the descriptions and explanations of some of the pieces weren’t worded very well so I had to work out what they did myself or watch someone else trying. This meant that I got fed up with the activities and moved on.
Although the layout was problematic, I enjoyed everything that I did get a chance to try. All the work was engaging and intriguing. All the videogames were playable and I especially enjoyed the Indie Game Space as there were some original concepts that caught my attention such as “FEZ”, an 8-bit 2D puzzle game set in a 3D world. There was also the Umbrellium Assemblance which was a dark room with smoke machines, bubbles and a ton of colourful 3D lasers that could be directed by a persons finger.
Last of all, my favorite thing was a piano where each key played a corresponding note from a live radio station in different counties around the world. It was exiting because I didn’t what to expect each time I pressed a key. Sometimes it was a baseball match in the USA or latin dance music, maybe even the news in India. Each time it was different and even if I played an existing song, it sounded more interesting. It also made me realise how much is going on in the world at any moment.