The V&A museum always houses beautiful exhibits, but most are full of riches from the past. It is refreshing that it has decided to commission a showcase for digital artists in collaboration with onedotzero in order to display new methods of expression and fresh talent in ‘Decode: Digital Design Sensations’.
The initial displays lack a certain excitement for those unfamiliar with coding and the like, appearing as if this may be just a display of some interesting screen savers. However, once through the small entrance passage, it as if you have tumbled through the rabbit hole into a 2010 wonderland.
From the art of conversation with fluorescent lines connecting tweets to a pictorial clock; around every corner was something to delight. Children were particularly thrilled by the interactivity of the collection and it was positively charming to see them genuinely excited by art, as opposed to bored and whiny.
A piece that piqued a lot of interest was the hypnotic ‘Dandelion’, by Danish collective YOKE, whose beautiful, giant flower’s seeds were dispersed by infrared hair dryer. Other enjoyable pieces included ‘Videogrid’ and ‘Digital Zoetrope’. The former an ever evolving documentation of visitors to the exhibit, allowing a real feeling of ownership for the observer; the latter a wheel of code that briefly aligned to form words before melting back into ambiguity.
Running until the 11th April, Decode is not just a computer geek’s wet dream but a new frontier of art that should be explored and wondered at in the same way as the brushstrokes of Renoir or Matisse. Who knew binary code could be so beautiful?