“Everything here reprises art (or life) with such mesmerising ingenuity that it’s like being in at the dawn of a new kind of magic lantern.” ★★★★★ – The Guardian
Commissioned by 180 Studios, Lifeforms is a collection of characterful and generative moving image artworks inhabiting the vast spaces of 180 Studios at 180 The Strand, London.
Constantly unique, Lifeforms is an amalgam of installations that mirror and shift with time and the public’s interactions. No visitor will see the same show twice.
This exhibition brings together 14 of our digital ‘lifeforms’, existing in individual habitats created by Ab Rogers Design. Our biggest UK solo show to date fuses architecture, projection, generative video, sound and interaction to spawn vibrant ever-evolving characters. Looping video experiences create curiously mesmerising parades of future humans, micro-organisms and plants – a subterranean world of hyperreal lifeforms.
Premiering three new works – Primordial, Maison Autonome, and Into the Sun – Lifeforms embraces and subverts the power of emerging technologies, from high-end visual effects and real-time game engines to physics simulations and computer vision. Through stylised body movements, diverse appearances and mass behaviours, digital soulful life emerges.
The artworks draw from the history of visual culture – from the Futurists’ attempt to depict the body in motion to Eadweard Muybridge’s sequential 19th-century film experiences.
We created many of the lifeforms in this exhibition with generative software. We design the computational systems that grow characters, plants or abstract lifeforms – yet personalities emerge by themselves.
Lifeforms is at 180 The Strand, London, 10 October–30 December 2022. Open Wednesday–Sunday, 11am–7pm.
We have calculated the display of artworks will use 7500kWh of electricity, resulting in 2 tonnes of CO2 emissions (2tCO2e). This is the equivalent of air freighting four large paintings from London to LA. We have carbon offset these emissions with Solar Aid.
Primordial (World Premiere)
Infinity (UK Premiere)
Maison Autonome (World Premiere)
Superconsumers (UK Premiere)
Live Forever (World Premiere)
Into the Sun (World Premiere)
Nature Always Wins (UK Premiere)
Music for Lifeforms by Simon Pyke is available now as a digital EP.
Artworks by Universal Everything
Curated by Universal Everything in collaboration with 180 Studios
Ab Rogers Design
Universal Everything, Asuka Kawabata and Ab Rogers Design
Beam Lighting Design Ltd
Sam Forster Associates Ltd
Bolton and Quinn
for Universal Everything:
Creative Director: Matt Pyke
Executive Producer: Claire Spencer Cook
Animators: Chris Perry, Joe Street, Matt Frodsham
Lead Interactive Designer: Chris Mullany
Sound Designer: Simon Pyke
Creative Developer: Adam Samson
Senior Producer: Amalie Englesson
Studio Manager: Simon Thompson
Interactive Creative Director: Joel Gethin Lewis
Creative Director: Sam Renwick
Generative 3D print design: Karsten Schmidt
Studio Technician: Spike Thompson
PR and Marketing: Sam O’Brien, Kat Hall