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Five things not to miss at 'Digital Revolution'

The Barbican's latest exhibition showcases digital art, futuristic technology and much, much more. Here's what you should check out first

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Using the same motion-sensing camera as the one attached to your Xbox One, Chris Milk’s stunning monochrome triptych gives you the chance to find out what you’d look like as a massive,razor-winged birdman. Don’t get too carried away, though – this is a piece about life and death, so after you’ve spent a few minutes squawking like a rowdy owl, have a go on the second and third panels. Here you’re transformed again, first as your limbs and torso disintegrate into a flock of birds, then secondly as you’re pecked to pieces from above by a swarm of sharp-beaked avian assassins. Hitchcock would have been proud.
This interactive piece has been described by creators Umbrellium as ‘like building sandcastles on the beach’, which seems a bit weird since there’s no sand, no sea, no deckchairs and definitely no buckets or spades involved. Instead, you’ve got a dark, smoky room with lights and lasers coming out of the ceiling, which react to your movement to create luminous shapes in the air. Presumably a musclebound bully then marches over, kicks the whole thing over and struts off with your other half.
Any Londoner who’s ever wanted to caress a set of giant, phallic, luminous, robotic tentacles (all of us, surely) should not miss this beguiling piece by design studio Minimaforms. Each of the dangling appendages is kitted out with sensors that react to light, sound and touch, which lead to them developing unique, artificial personalities based on visitor interactions. Keep your ‘interactions’ decent, though. The last thing London needs is a murderous uprising of emotionally damaged robo-cocks.
One of four ‘DevArt’ pieces (installations that use computer code in creative ways) commissioned for the show by Google, this project by Zach Lieberman turns the world’s millions of digital radio stations into a gigantic, cacophonic keyboard. Tap the keys and it’ll return musical notes from chart hits, traffic reports, jingles and whatever else happens to be floating across the airwaves at that moment. Expect queues to be considerably shorter when Chris Evans is on the air.
French techno-fashion house Cutecircuit has designed togs for Katy Perry and Bono, among other famous bods, but by far its most blogged-about creation is the fully functioning Twitter Dress. This heady collision of hashtags and haute couture displays 140-character messages tagged with #tweetthedress on a shimmering LED display embedded in the fabric, albeit via a brief vetting process to make sure that nobody says mean things. Things like ‘Your bum looks so big in that dress it’s on the global trending list’, for example.

More about the Barbican Centre

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