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Marcus Lyall – Test Subject

Thu 16 Jan 2020 - Sat 29 Feb 2020


Marcus Lyall is an artist based in London.
For his first exhibition Marcus looks at how our intimate data can be (and often is) extracted from us and how it quantifies and exploits the human condition.
Marcus Lyall grew up in a house steeped in architecture, science fiction and hobby electronics. The geometric forms in the show are based on his memories of a set of Buckminster Fuller-style geometric forms made from matchsticks, in his father’s home office.
His previous artworks and public commissions have been based on capturing and amplifying bio-data and performances from members of the public. This began in 2008 with his CAS/Becks Futures commission “Pitch Control” where he made a musical instrument entirely from human voices. Further commissions include “On Your Wavelength” a site-specific installation in Canary Wharf that maps human brain waves in light, and music.
For this exhibition, he has captured his own bio-data including heart activity, movement and an EEG scan session at UCL’s Neuroscience Lab. This data contained gestures and patterns of behaviour that he was not ever consciously aware of. It is brought to life by the use of vintage oscilloscopes and through the application of bespoke written software.  All of these works are essentially self-portraits that use software to interpret and amplify signals, which are then made fleetingly physical by using lasers and electron guns as drawing tools, resulting in unique photographic prints
Visually, the work builds on the experimental animation techniques of Mary Ellen Bute, John Whitney and Larry Cuba and makes direct reference to Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s photograms.
The simulacrum of this ground-breaking exhibition consists of a unique laser installation where the artist invites you to control a laser-based composition by handing over your own data. Your hand gestures will be recorded into an archive of body movements that will dictate the movement of the laser (and may be used for training purposes………)
Notes for editors:
As well as a remarkable series of public commissions, Marcus Lyall’s artistic skills have been utilised by The Chemical Brothers, Metallica, Adidas, Deadmau5 and Calvin Klein. He lives and works in London and is represented by New Art Projects.
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