Museum of London
Dates from 7 October 17 – 17 January 18
Part of City Now City Future
A virtual, future London: what would your version of a utopian city look like? Green, open space? A perfect transport system? Housing for everyone?
In the first display of its kind at Museum of London, Bonus Levels by visual artist Lawrence Lek dramatically re-imagines our capital through a series of video games that depict virtual worlds. Gamers are confronted with a transformed city, brought to life by Lek’s unique mix of art, architecture and sound.
The three video games are set in a barely recognisable capital. Appearing at first as a utopian simulation, participants are invited to become travellers, explorers and gamers as they witness London’s most recognisable landmarks against the backdrop of a dramatic, virtual landscape.
Artist Lawrence Lek said, “Bonus Levels invites people to explore, first-person, an environment that appears surreal and yet familiar, subverting and questioning real-life locations. It is based on the places I know, that we all know, and seeks to imagine a virtual future London.”
A floating Olympic stadium rises above mountains and green space; an imaginary tube hovers, becoming the skyline of a futuristic London. The viewer and gamer are transported into an endless game that plays with the boundaries between reality and fantasy.
Foteini Aravani, digital curator at the Museum of London, said “As part of the City Now City Future season, these digital environments will invite people to reflect on the impact of the virtual on our perception of reality. We want Londoners to come on a journey with us and re-imagine our city. We are the only museum in London actively collecting video games and these three games will become part of our permanent collection.”
The three games include:
Sky Line (Tube Strike Edition): a 3D animated virtual environment that serves as an interactive map of independent art spaces around London. Travellers are given unlimited access to a floating railway line, which snakes between idealised galleries, hovering skyscrapers, mountain tops and other fragments of a make believe city in the sky.
Delirious New Wick: 3D animated virtual environment of the zone surrounding London’s 2012 Olympic Park. As regeneration strategies and commercial property developments spread over East London, the player is invited to witness the conflict between the areas past and its future.
Europa, Mon Amour (2016 Brexit Edition): a site-specific 3D simulation that brings together multiple histories of the area around Dalston into a single zone. Based on the physical maps of the area, the level brings together three histories into a single zone: primorial forests, deluxe architecture, and artist-run colonies.
The display forms part of City Now City Future, the museum’s year-long programme exploring urban life in London and around the world. The City is Ours, the museum’s major, free exhibition, is also open and uncovers the joys and frustrations of city living.
Further information: www.museumoflondon.org.uk