IRIS - a unique digital art installation comes to The Lowry

The Lowry is set to dazzle theatregoers with IRIS: a unique, digital art installation by Marshmallow Laser Feast.

By Steven Pankhurst | Last updated 24 May 2017

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The Lowry’s vast 1,700-seat Lyric theatre is set to be taken over by a visually stunning feast of light, sound, colour and technology specially commissioned from Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF), one of Europe’s pioneering digital art collectives and supported by researchers at the Interactive Architecture Lab UCL.

Before select theatre performances, audiences will experience IRIS – a unique digital art installation, created using the latest in robotic and laser technology. This technology is manipulated to form a mass of light that creates moving shapes out of the darkness. A performing light sculpture that will mesmerise audiences with its hypnotic beauty, it is by one of Europe’s pioneers of digital art, Marshmallow Laser Feast – a London-based creative studio that harnesses technology to launch visually striking and emotionally charged installations.

IRIS draws upon principles from psychophysics and perceptual research to explore how the eye gathers depth, form and motion cues to construct our sense of space. In the darkness of the theatre, a field of robotically positioned lasers will be choreographed to create compelling sensations of sculptural form, rendered by light alone. Installed within the vast auditorium, these projections will create spatial illusions of architectural scale, that transform to a supporting musical score.

To make complex form out of light, the team have harnessed the mathematics of ruled surface geometries to create the sensation of curved form, out of linear laser projection. Sinusoidal techniques previously harnessed by Antoinio Gaudí in his design of Sagrada Familia’s, will be combined with the latest in robotic and laser technologies to create architectural volumes out of light. Hyperboloid, Helicoid, paraboloid forms, alongside Moebius bands with appear, shift, twist, and dissolve.

IRIS is a Week 53 commission by The Lowry, the latest in an impressive programme of newly-commissioned artworks specifically for The Lowry’s biennial Week 53 Festival and interim years.

The decision to present Marshmallow’s work in the void of The Lowry’s main theatre auditorium is part of The Lowry’s commitment to introducing new art forms to its visitors.

People wishing to view the artwork that are not attending another show at The Lowry can do so at special, free viewings on:

  • 27-28 May (11am – 4pm)
  • 10, 17 & 24 June (11am – 12pm)
  • 8 & 14 July (11am – 12pm)

The piece lasts for approximately seven minutes and will be shown every 15 minutes.

The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ
0843 208 6000