Digital Zoo at Trinity Leeds

If you’ve been to Trinity over the weekend, you might have noticed a few interesting additions to the usual shoppers fare. That’s because, until the 23rd February, the shopping centre is hosting an exhibition from London’s Furtherfield Gallery.

Digital Zoo: Life from the World Wide Web is a series of pieces that explore links between people and wildlife, and draw similarities between our online presence and a specimen in a zoo.

The piece that emphasised this the most was Kay’s Blog, by Essex based artist Liz Sterry. Sterry followed Canadian blogger Kay’s posts over a few months, printing out pictures and taking notes, and eventually she was able to perfectly recreate the girl’s bedroom. This physical manifestation of Kay’s online presence sits in a wooden box outside H&M, and the swarms of people stopping to stare through the window, peek in the door and gawp at the scruffy bedlinen resemble nothing more than daytrippers at Chester Zoo.

Just down the nearby escalator is another physical representation of human life to be examined, in the form of Leeds Wall. Thompson and Craighead have amassed two weeks’ worth of social networking traffic from within a 2 mile radius of Trinity. The wall must be 15 feet high, but you almost don’t notice it. Yet, once you do see it, you can’t stop looking! Each tweet or status or comment is a tiny snapshot of human thought, activity or behaviour. The life and vibrancy of Leeds bursts off the wall in all its highs and lows

Animacules, by Genetic Moo, is the last thing you’d expect to see in the middle of a shopping centre. Five people at a time are handed torches and ushered into a dark tent, where a dark blue circle is projected onto the floor. Shine your torch into this circle, and suddenly it’s transformed into a deep pool crammed with sealife. The animations are based on real sea creatures, but made up of human body parts, so a starfish is five beckoning fingers. It’s a little creepy but incredibly absorbing, and you could watch it for ages.

The last two pieces are living in the Customer Service Lounge. Mary Flanagan’s [borders] is inspired by Henry Thoreau’s theory that walking around is the best way to really get to know your environment. Flanagan has applied that theory to Second Life, and has spent hours walking around real places in a digital environment. Flanagan is interested in the edges of this world, where the coding falls short or the illusion collapses, so her film stutters around looking into gaps where you can almost see the strings holding the experience up.

Finally, we have Crow_sourcing. This fun, interactive piece looks at the way nature has influenced human language. Scan the barcode on one of the many animals hung on the board, and on the screen a list of idioms associated with that animal flashes up. These idioms have been crowd sourced via social media. It gets even more exciting behind the installation, where you’ll find a blank wall, a handful of black markers and some stickers. No-one’s ever asked me to draw on an artwork before, and I doubt it’ll happen again, so I got involved despite my furious lack of skill!

Along with CultureCode, Furtherfield are hoping to challenge the idea that art belongs in galleries by bringing their pieces to shopping centres around the country, including the White Rose Centre and the Bridges in Sunderland. But if you’re in Leeds then don’t forget to catch this at Trinity before it leaves on the 23rd!

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In other news…

After checking out the exhibition, we hopped over to Trinity Kitchen for some lunch. I had Pizzaluxe for the second time which confirmed that I love their pizza! The wedges are equally droolworthy.

I’ve been doing the 100 Happy Days challenge! Learn more about it here and follow me on instagram to see my posts.

I love this Cracked article about the roles men never play in movies.



1 Comment

Filed under Art, Culture

One response to “Digital Zoo at Trinity Leeds

  1. That sounds amazing! I’ve still never actually been in Trinity, I really hope something similar comes to Notts.

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