Crown x Kinetica Part III

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Crown x Kinetica Part III

Our third and final artwork as part of the Crown x Kinetica series is by Lauren Baker, a self taught multidisciplinary artist working with light, lithography and mixed materials. 

Transcending

2016

Materials: Mixed media (neon metals)

‘Transcending’, was dreamt up while the artist was meditating. She says: ‘When we are aligned with our inner self we can link with higher energy sources, and the lens or eye for creativity expands'. 'Transcending' represents that moment of connection and the new ideas that flow from this higher state. 

 

Lauren Baker is a British contemporary multidisciplinary artist who exhibits internationally. Her work explores the fragility of life, energy-fields, the after-life and other dimensions. She has created installations at The V&A and Tate Britain; recent works involve neon, infinity mirror and moving sculpture. Passionate about animals and conservation, Lauren is an ambassador for Save Wild Tigers.

We are also thrilled to have on display two of Lauren's framed crystal works which communicate the positivity of connection and the universe. 

All of the works are available to purchase and you can explore more of Lauren's art on her instagram @laurenbakerart and website http://www.laurenbakerart.com/

 

About Kinetica

For the past decade the former Kinetica Museum and subsequent Kinetica Art Fair have received both critical and popular acclaim for their dynamic and engaging curated exhibitions, exhibitor installations and innovative events programmes. Both have popularised and supported the development of artists who are leading the way forward into new artistic domains. Many of the artists shown through Kinetica have gained international success, with their work commissioned & collected extensively.

Since its first exhibition launched to critical acclaim at Spitalfields Market ten years ago, Kinetica has become a leading international platform for innovative artists experimenting with new media.  

Their recent anniversary exhibition featured over 50 performative and immersive artworks that challenged perceptions to question what is real, perceived or imagined. 

http://www.kinetica-museum.org/

 

 

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Crown x Kinetica Part II

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Crown x Kinetica Part II

The second featured artist in our month long exhibition in collaboration with Kinetica Arts is José Manuel González with Window to infinity, 2016

Materials: Wood, acrylic paint, LED's and Arduino

 

Mathematics and the intimate relationship between art and nature are the themes that most interest José Manuel. His works transform themselves, and can be seen as a metaphor for life. New hardware and software technologies have given him the necessary tools to create works of art which are capable of interaction, that generate sound and change colour, as in nature itself. 

He has received a number of grants and prizes, including the Pilar Juncosa and Sotheby’s grant at the Joan Miró Foundation. His participation in exhibitions has spanned over two decades and his work has been showcased extensively in galleries, museums and art fairs across Europe & the Americas. At present he is a resident artist at the Institute of Cultural Research in Malaga.     

A QR code accompanies the work, which viewers can scan in order to enjoy a free piece of music composed by Julian Calvo(Inspektor Gadjet), inpired by "Window to Infinity"

 

Following on from it's week long residency at Crown, Window to Infinity will be at sketch, London. 

Over the past decade sketch has hosted over fifty major exhibitions of moving image in the gallery. It's initiative is designed to contribute to 9 Conduit Street’s rich heritage as a destination for experimentation in design, art and architecture in a building whose previous incarnations over the past century include hosting the headquarters of RIBA and the Atelier of Christian Dior.  

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Crown x Kinetica Part I

Crown x Kinetica Part I

Our first profiled artist as part of the Crown x Kinetica collaboration is renowned light artist Chris Levine. Perhaps best known for his portraits of The Queen, The Dalai Lama and Kate Moss. Now showing at Crown Soho - pop in and see how quickly you can see the Infinty logo.

Chris Levine

Infinity

2006

Materials: Acrylic, LED lights

Chris Levine is a pioneering light artist who works across many mediums in pursuit of sensory experience through image and form. Levine’s work considers light not just as a core aspect of art, but of human experience more widely and a spiritual and philosophical edge permeate his work.

'Infinity' was developed specially for Kinetica 10 years ago and features Levine's innovative blipvert technique.  Using a vertical stripe of oscillating LEDs, imagery is projected into the viewer's peripheral vision.  If the viewer looks past the light source, the visual effect of the infinity symbol can be seen; however, it vanishes as quickly as it appeared, creating an experience in the eternal 'now'.

Levine’s work has been exhibited globally including at MOMA, New York, the National Portrait Gallery, London and countless other galleries worldwide.

A pioneer in his field, Chris's Persistence of Vision effect was produced by Lightvert technology. The company has now applied Chris's idea as an out-of-home (OOH) advertising medium, securing seed funding to expand the technology - see its innovative application here

http://chrislevine.com/

For more information or to view the works please contact Alwayscurious@crownbc.com

Crown x Kinetica

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Crown x Kinetica

Back in February we supported ground ground-breaking new art media fair Kinetica with their 10 year anniversary exhibition. We’ve long been fans and it’s a rich source of inspiration, showcasing pioneering performative, live performance and media art installations. Following on from this we are now proud to be collaborating on a month long exhibition, at Crown’s Soho office, showcasing the works of three artists featured at the 10th anniversary show.

The selected artists, who all work with light, are Chris Levine, José Manuel González and Lauren Baker. Their works will run consecutively, launching on 9th May with Chris Levine’s ‘Infinity’; followed by Jose Manuel ‘Window to Infinity’ from 16th May and culminating with Lauren Baker’s ‘Transcending’ from 30th May. All works are open to the public to come and view by appointment and are available to purchase or commission.

Crown's Creative Director Casey Evans explains, '……the synergy between each of the artworks, beyond their use of light, resonated with us. We interpreted how each piece explores the concept of expansion…..pushing ourselves creatively; exploring potential and possibilities; and the idea of how we see things. We're delighted to have these works with us and hope they'll inspire visitors, clients and our own team as they interact and enjoy'.

About Kinetica

For the past decade the former Kinetica Museum and subsequent Kinetica Art Fair have received both critical and popular acclaim for their dynamic and engaging curated exhibitions, exhibitor installations and innovative events programmes. Both have popularised and supported the development of artists who are leading the way forward into new artistic domains. Many of the artists shown through Kinetica have gained international success, with their work commissioned & collected extensively.

Since its first exhibition launched to critical acclaim at Spitalfields Market ten years ago, Kinetica has become a leading international platform for innovative artists experimenting with new media. Their recent anniversary exhibition featured over 50 performative and immersive artworks that challenged perceptions to question what is real, perceived or imagined. 

Full details on each artist and their featured work will be uploaded to our blog prior to their launch

 For more information or to view the works please contact Alwayscurious@crownbc.com

 

 

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The Eye of the Beholder

The Eye of the Beholder

How do you engage audiences beyond a live event? Crown's Senior Video Producer Bruce Todd provides an insight on cascading event messages on video.

Live events are a great platform for enabling organisations to engage directly with stakeholder audiences. Chief Executives can speak face to face to their people. Teams can explore ideas in seminars and workshops. Sales people can deepen relationships with agents and customers. Delegates can network across disciplines, markets and borders.

But what about the audiences beyond the live event environment? If the opportunities for direct communication that conferences and leadership events offer are so valuable, why limit their reach to invited delegates only? The event itself may reach hundreds, but the key messages are likely to be relevant to many thousands.

Careful consideration of whether and how to capture and cascade the content of an event should always be part of the event brief. The challenge is how best to do this when the special mood, the shared experience and the personal contact integral to the effectiveness of the live event have dissipated.

At Crown we argue that it’s not good enough to put a camera at the back of the venue, video record the event and distribute edited extracts on the intranet. This route may transmit the headline messages but can’t deliver the emotional and intellectual context – the mood music – that ensures those messages are fully absorbed and understood.

The ingredients of a successful video are different from those of a successful event. The viewing experience is likely to be a solitary one rather than communal or collaborative; the video canvas is smaller and compressed; the pace needs to be faster; the messaging sharp and focussed; the eye must be continually seduced into attention. Visuals, props and action that work in the event environment may well not work on the small screen.

So here are our top tips for successfully cascading event messages on video:

  • Plan ahead – cascading shouldn’t be an afterthought but integral to the event planning
  • Identify the key messages – there may be many and of different kinds
  • Identify the audiences for those messages – again they may differ and they may require different video styles, durations and moods for successful engagement
  • Think about distilling messages through interviews with key speakers, graphics and animation to complement the live event footage
  • Focus too on capturing the full delegate experience – think about showing the workshops, the networking, and record delegate feedback on the day
  • Consider telling some of the ‘backstories’ to the messaging through case studies and interviews with other key players in the narratives
  • During the event itself, use social media to reach out live to the wider audiences – so generating interest and priming an expectation for the delivery of the subsequent cascade
  • (for more on this click here see our atomisation blog on using social media to reach out to wider audiences)
  • Include a short, specially shot endorsement from the CEO or a senior manager – to be part of the invitation to watch and at the top of the video(s) emphasising: ‘this is why this is important …’

One of our main clients, a global corporation, holds an annual leadership event. Following the event, we produce a whole range of videos for them to cascade throughout the organisation, targeting different audiences with different levels of messaging and content focus.

Yes, there’ll be a cost to taking this comprehensive approach to cascading on video, but the incremental cost and effort against the overall event budget will be small, and the cost per head of engaging with thousands of people even smaller. In our experience the benefits, by contrast, can be huge.

Let us tell you a story...

Let us tell you a story...

Bruce Todd, Crown's Senior Video Producer, gives his take on Storytelling.

Fake news. Alternative facts. What is true? Why does it matter?

I’m a journalist by training, so I’m always on the lookout for a good story.  So are organisations, politicians and businesses. Right now, storytelling is cool and ubiquitous. And so are corporate storytellers.

Why? Because in our era of many to many communications, organisations want to use the story’s persuasive, narrative form to cut through the noise and make special connections with their audiences.

No-one can doubt that stories have special, emotional appeal. Myths, epics and parables have circulated across many cultures for centuries in spoken and written form, delivering stirring accounts of good, evil, triumphs and failures.

These stories appeal because they seem to make sense of the chaos inherent in the human condition. We hope that their simple structure will yield simple, and persuasive, truths.

But we all know that our real life stories are usually far from simple.  In order to shape and construct the story of an event or experience, the storyteller (just like the journalist) has to edit, compress and filter all sorts of complex detail. And in paring away this detail in the search for a simple meaning, they can erase the story’s more complex but even more rewarding truths.

Such complexity is often reflected in myths and legends, where heroes have failings, the ‘gods’ intervene to create mayhem and virtue doesn’t always triumph. It’s also worth remembering that some of Shakespeare’s plays are called ‘problem plays’, because the outcomes are enigmatic and perplexing - far from clear-cut.

In fact, today, the assumption that stories are the best way to make sense of events is by no means universally accepted. For example, post-modernist historians question whether any objective truths can be derived from a narrative. They say that writers of history inevitably intrude their own interests on their narratives, and, in any case, the only valid meaning is the meaning that we, as individual readers, impose on the story. Stories have a life of their own. All narratives are, in effect, fictions.

When corporate storytellers broadcast their narratives, they presumably hope their stories will have the opposite reception from the one the post-modernists predict. Far from allowing audiences to interpret the message however they choose, these storytellers are seeking to lead their audiences to a conclusion by telling supposedly authentic truths about brand experiences and brand values.

The other driver for the current vogue of corporate storytelling is the desire to exploit the opportunities offered by digital media. Now everyone can tell a story to anyone who will listen. No wonder Snapchat uses the idea of ‘Story’ as a channel for users to share their images and experiences.

In the corporate world, brands can now attach themselves to consumers’ own stories, and so promote themselves apparently disinterestedly. In doing so they can claim a special authenticity for the views expressed - especially when the stories are positive. This represents the latest stage in the increasingly sophisticated search for the most advantageous ways of connecting brands with consumers. And the journey has really only just begun.

Of course, telling the corporate story is nothing new. Over the years, many organisations have commissioned business historians and journalists to write their company history – partly as an ‘official’ record of how the business started and developed, and partly as a means of connecting the originating ethos of the business to its present day activities.

These are essentially instances of traditional reportage. Another example is Nike’s program of corporate storytellers begun in the 1970s, involving senior managers tasked with ensuring the original Nike values continue to impact the current business - essentially top-down message sharing.

One of the landmark moments in the development of online storytelling was the long-form narrative ‘Snow Fall’ published by The New York Times in 2012. This was a multi-media story about an avalanche in Washington State, which won a Pulitzer Prize for author John Branch. Microsoft picked up the concept in their ’88 Acres’ corporate story, the account of the greening of their campus in Seattle. Despite the media used, both these instances are still essentially one-way narratives.

Coca-Cola, in their Content 2020 Initiative, devised a 360° approach. They responded to the opportunities that new platforms offer by developing the idea of brand stories that contain ‘contagious ideas’. These ideas in turn provoke conversations between themselves and the consumer, and between consumer and consumer. Such stories are, in Coca-Cola’s phrase, both ‘liquid and linked’ – they flow freely but are interlinked and link the consumer to the brand.

Of course, when stories are let loose, they can have a life of their own. The dangers of corporate storytelling were potently revealed during the financial crisis of 2008 and beyond. The stories banks told about themselves, their culture and their relationship with their customers came to be entirely dislocated from their actions, and how those actions were perceived. And it goes on. There could scarcely be a more evocative corporate name in the United States than Wells Fargo. Not long ago Wells was the world’s biggest bank. Now it isn’t, and it’s setting aside millions of dollars to meet fines for improper and aggressive sales practices.

Lucy Kellaway and Andrew Hill of the Financial Times have highlighted the pitfalls of corporate storytelling. Apart from the fiction that everyone can tell a story, and the marketing-speak that dominates so many such tales, there’s the risk that the corporate story can become a trap. Businesses rarely move forward on a predictable vector. When a business’s CEO sets out the narrative of its ambitions and how they’ll be achieved, they can never be sure they can deliver a happy ending, however emphatic and positive their language. Frequently they don’t.

Of course, if the post-modernists are right, corporate storytellers will never successfully manage the messages they propagate. The judgements, preferences and needs of the audiences will always win out against the objectives of the authors. However sophisticated the research behind the narrative, and however expensive the production values, there can be no guarantee the audience will take home the message as intended.

As the prevalence of fake news demonstrates, just because we’re being told a story, doesn’t mean it’s true or believable, or even that it’s a coherent narrative. It’s the duty of corporate storytellers to treat their story content with honesty and rigour. It’s the duty of audiences to be equally clear-sighted in judging the merit and truth of the stories they’re being told.

Let’s all listen very hard.

 

References::

http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/#/?part=tunnel-creek

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/stories/88acres/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LerdMmWjU_E

https://www.ft.com/content/8114545e-9a72-11e5-9228-87e603d47bdc

https://www.ft.com/content/a2d3a650-a9d6-11e3-adab-00144feab7de

THOUGHT PIECE : Gender Equality in Tech is the Future

THOUGHT PIECE : Gender Equality in Tech is the Future

Tech is the future. It’s dynamic. It imagines the most exciting, complicated and unimaginable. And it makes them happen. It touches and infiltrates every part of life and every person. And, it is an industry with limitless potential.

It’s also an industry:

-        Where 98% of all tech companies are headed by men

-        Is struggling with a 600,000 skill shortfall in the UK alone

-        Globally employs less than 20% of women in technical and leadership

-        Which has seen the number of women studying computer science nearly half since the mid-80’s

Whereas its vision is absolutely forward its workforce recruitment is at times somewhat backwards.

We know (the evidence is there) that when it comes to intellectual capability, men and women are equal. There is nothing a man can do that a woman can’t. If we put to one side maternity, which again we know has a solution for equality by extending paternity rights, there simply is no skill that a woman can’t learn as well as a man. Intelligence is gender neutral and it’s only because of the patriarchy, societal prejudices, and the status quo that stereotypes continue to be reinforced. The vision of the future, for the benefit of society has to be gender neutrality.

Too few women are influencing product development or business strategy in Tech and that’s bad for business. Studies show that companies with different points of view, market insights and approaches to problem solving have higher sales, more customers and larger market share than their less-diverse rivals. Why exclude 50% of the population with the potential to further influence 50% of the buying power? Excluding women in Tech is not only out-dated and harmful, it’s poor economy.

Now is the time to really realize a gender balanced Tech sector and for it to be the leading industry in equality, because of what it represents and the spirit it portrays. Which industry is better placed to be the voice of equality? Which industry has a platform to engage with the very best talent across the world regardless of gender? Which industry offers so many opportunities and potential career avenues, many of which haven’t even been invented yet? And crucially which industry is witnessing a huge (and potentially grave) shortfall in workers that could be largely resolved by becoming more women inclusive.

Much positive action is happening at grass-roots with the likes of Code Club, Digital Mums, Apps for Good, Girls In Tech, 50/50 Pledge, Rewired State, Stemettes and many many more. But the glass ceiling is far from being smashed.

Our question to industry is how can you (we) elevate the impact of these grass-roots movements to inspire more young girls and women to explore careers in tech? How can we raise their combined profile and give a bigger, more powerful voice to their action and achievements so that Government and existing male dominated leading Tech networks start to pay attention? How can we engage leading industry Tech companies to fully support, champion and spearhead gender equality in Tech because it’s both the right and necessary thing to do? 

As this year's International Women's Day (IWD), 8th March rallied; #BEBOLDFORCHANGE. Tech companies should take heed and in their pioneering spirit embrace the theme for equality, as it's the bold that will prosper. 

 

ALWAYS CURIOUS : Kinetica Art

ALWAYS CURIOUS : Kinetica Art

Clarity, empathy and curiosity, are the values which inform our work and shape our relationships with clients and colleagues.  If clarity is in our response, and empathy our guiding principle, then curiosity could best be described as our spirit!

Always Curious evolved as an internal brand, giving a structure and platform to the cultural activities we explore as naturally curious people. Our programme is diverse and wide, and is growing organically through the contribution and passion of our team.  

Our latest exciting venture under Always Curious is our partnership with Kinetica. This ground-breaking new art media fair is in its 10th year and is a must see event on the arts calendar. We’ve long been fans and it’s a rich source of inspiration, showcasing pioneering performative, live performance and media art installations.

This year’s exhibition at UGLY DUCK in London Bridge opened on Friday 17th February and Crown were there to enjoy the show. Here are just a few of our highlights:

Gloop Tower One, Adrian Pritchard

A kinetic live evolving installation which uses time, gravity and a viscous substance known as gloop. A revolving tube spreads the viscous material over a net, making it fall randomly into thin veils of strings that snap, bounce or coil in the air before slowly sinking to the floor. The patterns and formations change due to the subtle differences in humidity and temperature and the movement in the mixture. The resulting work is something strangely organics yet artificial, contextualised within the apparatus space.

Window to Infinity 2016, Jose Manuel Gonzalez

Mathematics and the intimate relationship between art and nature are the themes that most interest Jose Manuel. His works transform themselves and can be seen as a metaphor for life. New hardware and software technologies, such as Arduino and Processing, have given him the necessary tools to create works of art which are capable of interaction, that generate sound and change colour, as in nature itself

Untitled, Tim Lewis

Playfully referred to in the Crown office as ‘the creepy bird’, Tim Lewis’s work raises questions around the boundaries between nature and fabrication and reveals creatures born of mechanics in the same way that genetics engineers use science. They hint to the artist’s imagination and his point of perception which lie beyond their creation, but are also autonomous, new beings that require their own comprehension.

DIE FALLE, Gregory Barsamian

DIE FALLE is the German slang word for ‘Trap’. In this piece, a small human body spills out of the head of a sleeping man. The liquid image of the character alludes to the struggle between the spirit and the body. Applying mechanical know-how, 3-D animation techniques, and what he calls Industrial Revolution-style technology, Barsamian sets his dreams in motion. Strobe lights, synchronised to sequentially sculpted objects, create the illusion and metamorphosis.

Mobile Sphérique 5, Lionel Stocard

A suspended kinetic sculpture in which articulated arcs move in space. The slow and precise movements fill the space with hypnotic beauty. Stocard is a creator of dream machines, his contraptions create a universe to explore the dream state, lucid, floating, without the presence of time, magical and gravity defying. 

The Wave of Kinetica, Jiayu Liu

Liu is a media artist interested in physical visualisation and interactive code. Her challenge has always been to provoke behavioural responses and emotional resonance from audiences without giving away any instructions or explanations. The Wave of Kinetica acts as the divide between two worlds; the land and the sea, heaven and earth, it is constant and always in flux. The work consists of 50 slide rails. Camera identification and computer processors control the motion of 50 motors to realise real-time data transmission of this ever changing wave.

Later this year Crown will be temporarily housing a number of the art pieces from the Kinetica show in our Soho offices, which everyone is welcome to come and experience. Watch this space for more information coming soon ….

 For more information please contact alwayscurious@crownbc.com