Saturday, 23 September 2017

Slave/Master at the V&A Museum

I recently had the pleasure of working with two friends, Moin Roberts-Islam and Brooke Roberts-Islam of London-based innovation studio, BR Innovation Agency (BRIA), when they called me in to help design and to build the wooden elements of the set for their latest project, Slave/Master - which runs until Saturday 24th September as part of London Design Festival at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Slave/Master combines contemporary dance, cutting-edge robotics and interactive projection graphics in a collaborative performance, with the audience able to roam freely around the installation space, viewing it from all angles.

The time allocated for the construction of the set was pretty tight but the 'innovation destination', Plexal (at Here East, on the Olympic Park site), kindly provided space for the dancers to rehearse, the robotics guys to do their thing, and for me to build the set. I build the two circular dance platforms, the framework for the 7.2 metre by 5.5 metre tall projection screen, the computer desk, and the 4.5 metre wide projectors platform at the back.

On our last day at Plexal the dancers gave a last preview of their routine with the robots (which is where I shot this little video) before we dismantled everything and shipped it all over to the V&A, ready for the following mornings' install. Unfortunately I had to head up to Shropshire straight after reconstructing the set at the V&A, so didn't get to see the performance at the V&A, and the dancers in their costumes, but from what I've seen online it looks amazing.

The concept, costumes and production were devised by BRIA, with projection graphic technology and creative support from Holition and dancers and choreography from the London Contemporary Ballet Theatre. Robotic arms, software, engineering support and sponsorship were provided by KUKA Robotics UK Ltd, Autodesk, Adelphi Automation and SCM Handling.

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