Virgin Media: Speed of Light – Borkowski PR/United Visual Artists – 12.038

To celebrate ten years of broadband internet, PR agency Borkowski persuaded its client Virgin Media to steer clear of traditional media in favour of a spectacular laser installation created by United Visual Artists.

The installation, Speed of Light, took over all four storeys of the Bargehouse on the Thames riverside in central London for a period of ten days during April of last year. Visitors to the space were invited to immerse themselves in a labyrinth of laser sculptures, built on the idea of, UVA said, “speed being light, and light being data”.

“Stripped back to its materials, fibre optic is a thin strand of glass, with nothing more than a flickering beam of light. UVA have used this beam as the starting point for their work. The installations dramatise the experience of using fibre-optic communication, re-imagining it as an immersive environment”

“On entering the space, visitors were asked to speak into a suspended microphone to answer simple questions displayed on the wall in front of them. Their answers followed them around the building as they explored the various installations. These sounds and others, as well as light, were carried around the building using fibre optics, tying in with the broadband theme.

The finale, at the top of the building, was a spectacular sound and light show that brought the whole experience together. UVA’s Dan Ferner described the studio’s approach as “like a group exhibition with a series of sculptures on a common theme”. The labyrinthine nature of the building meant the sculptures were “leading people through a maze” where they were “unsure of what to expect at each step”.

See vminstore.com/speedoflight.

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