Alan Warburton - Spherical Harmonics

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The Photographers’ Gallery in collaboration with Animate Projects present a major new commission for the Gallery’s media wall by artist Alan Warburton.

Various 3D rendered objects and bedroom views on a grid

Alan Warburton - Spherical Harmonics

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The Photographers’ Gallery in collaboration with Animate Projects present a major new commission for the Gallery’s media wall by artist Alan Warburton.

This event is part of our Past Programme

For Spherical Harmonics Warburton draws on his background in fine art and commercial visual effects to produce a short experimental animation. The title of the piece refers to mathematical equations applied in CGI software which compute the behaviour and appearance of light within each scene. This is an example of how modern imaging software attempts to mimic the massive complexity of photographic ‘reality’.

In Spherical Harmonics Warburton presents a sequence of surreal episodes activated by and centred around various bodies of light. Inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the film hints at a fragmented but elusive narrative which references fetishisation, systems, games, control and memory. The protagonist, Maya, a stock CG figure purchased online, inhabits a generic hotel room, responding to texture, colour and movements which are controlled and transformed by the appearance of each new source of light.

Created especially for the Gallery’s media wall, the film responds to its unique characteristics. Sized at 2.7 x 3m the Wall is comprised of eight high definition screens with a combined resolution of 8 million pixels per frame. With over 7,500 frames Spherical Harmonics features a total of 62 billion pixels created for this project alone.

View Spherical Harmonics

Biography

Alan Warburton was born in Scotland and lives in London. He works with software and computer generated imagery. He previously worked in the commercial visual effects and animation industry and this experience is reflected in his work, which often deconstructs and critically reflects on cutting edge software technology. His moving image work has been screened and exhibited extensively internationally, including The Photographers' Gallery, Ars Electronica in Austria, Art on the Underground and the Austrian Film Museum.

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Alan Warburton, Happenstance Project Awarded Artist will speak in conversation with Gary Thomas, Associate Director of Animate Projects and Katrina Sluis, Curator of Digital Programmes.