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Bruntwood announces internationally-acclaimed Brendan Dawes as first artist for Neo’s digital art space


Renowned designer and artist Brendan Dawes has been commissioned to create Fermata, the first interactive installation for the digital art space at Bruntwood’s Neo building, launching early 2017.

Bruntwood has invested a quarter of a million pounds into the media wall, which is made up of 30 55” screens. It will be a permanent digital art space on the ground floor of Neo, its new collaborative, community-led workspace in Manchester city centre and will also be open to the public during office hours.

Following the launch of the space with Brendan Dawes’ Fermata, it will feature a dynamic series of regularly changing exhibitions from established and emerging artists, initially curated in-house, and later by guest curators and those working at Neo. There is currently an open call for submissions across moving and static image, live or data streams, or sound and VR.

Brendan Dawes, is an artist exploring the interaction of objects, people, technology and art. This year his work toured Singapore, Lima Peru and Santiago as part of Centre de Cutura Contemporania de Barcelona’s Big Bang Data exhibition, and his 2004 piece Cinema Redux has been housed in the permanent collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art since 2008.

This opening installation takes its inspiration from the musical symbol for holding notes, a fermata, transposing this to holding moments that happen in and around Neo, replicating the vitality of creativity of the new workspace.

Fermata will consume real-time digital inputs of data including social media feeds, weather reports and feeds from sensors within the building itself and translate them into compelling, abstract, digital artwork that will capture these ordinarily fleeting moments and visualise them as something beautiful and engaging.

Brendan said: “I was excited by the challenge of designing a system to visualise the creativity of such a forward-thinking and evolved workspace. As the building’s community grows and creates its social commentary, so will the art, creating a beautiful cycle of creativity.”

Fermata is experienced primarily through the screens in the Neo building, however every week during the running of the installation, Fermata creates an image representing one week’s worth of activity which will be shared digitally.

In addition, Neo’s workspaces will be occupied by a diverse mix of forward-thinking, creatively-minded businesses, who are driving innovation and are socially and digitally connected. These businesses who will also be invited to participate in the curation of the art space, and submit digital or moving image pieces for display.

Kate Vokes, Marketing and HR Director at Bruntwood comments: “We have a strong commitment to supporting the vibrancy of our cities of which art is an important part. Fermata will be an inspiring beautiful and apt launch of the digital art space at Neo. This will then be followed by a host of new media artworks and exhibitions from emerging and established local talent and international artists.

“We’re also delighted to have such an incredible space to showcase work from the other creative partnerships we support, including The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting with the Royal Exchange Theatre, and Manchester International Festival (MIF), plus work from the Manchester School of Art.”

To submit work or find out more about the art space email: hello@bruntwood.co.uk

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