International artists explore how our relationship to images, sounds, and interactivity is
transformed by technologies.
A new exhibition of work by international artists exploring game engine cultures will mark
the launch of Modal, a new digital gallery at the School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester
Manchester Metropolitan’s pioneering School of Digital Arts (SODA), a £35m investment into
the next generation of creative content, offers industry-informed courses and state-of-the-art
spaces equipped with the latest technologies. It provides a unique teaching and research
environment supporting Manchester’s ambition to be a leading powerhouse of the UK’s digital
Delivered in an innovative partnership with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority
(GMCA) and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), SODA promises a
revolution in how we conceive the future of storytelling. The school was formally launched by
Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle at a special event last week.
It will also host Modal, a digital gallery that will showcase artists working at the forefront of
digital technology. Its dynamic production centre includes a large LED façade, cinema and
open plan gallery space, allowing the exhibiting of innovative work in traditional and
Slip.Stream.Slip: Resistance and Velocity in Game Engine Culture
The first exhibition to be shown at Modal, Slip.Stream.Slip : Resistance and Velocity in Game
Engine Culture (June 24-September 18), explores the concept of game engine culture and how
our relationship to images, sounds, and interactivity has been transformed by technologies
such as the Unity and Unreal engine software.
The exhibition features work by the nine prominent international artists Alexandra Daisy
Ginsberg, Auriea Harvey, Cécile B. Evans, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Jenna Sutela, Joshua Citarella,
Juan Cortés, Lu Yang, Rachel Maclean, and DIS.
Slip.Stream.Slip: Resistance and Velocity in Game Engine Culture focuses on game engine
culture and the shift towards gamification as a model for understanding our lived experiences.
The game engine sits behind processes that go beyond creative production and into other
industries such as healthcare and manufacturing, cementing its place as the central authoring
tool of our time.
Through video installations, audiovisual works, multiplayer experiences and virtual reality
videos, the exhibition “explores the tensions and contested spaces that open up when the
micro politics of everyday living meet complex, simulated words”.
Highlights of the works on display include Cécile B. Evans’ video installation What the Heart
Wants which “explores the person-to-machine exchanges that have come to define the
contemporary human condition”.
Jakob Kudsk Steensen’s environmental multiplayer experience Liminal Lands is shared by four
people at the same time which sees each person transform into the basic elements controlling
life across the landscape.
Rachel Maclean’s virtual reality work I’m Terribly Sorry is set in a “dystopian British urban
landscape filled with oversized Union Jack emblazoned tourist merchandise”. Alexandra Daisy
Ginsberg’s video installation The Wilding of Mars “simulates the growth of a planetary
wilderness, seeded with Earth life forms”.
Valentino Catricalà, Curator of Modal at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Modal is a
unique project, not only because this is a new gallery looking at the future, but because it aims
to invent the future. Modal is the new exhibition space of SODA, a space that unites exhibiting
with producing and educating. This is evident in the first exhibition based on one of the most
contemporary topics, game engine culture.”
Professor Toby Heys, Head of SODA, said: “We’re delighted to be launching our new digital
gallery Modal at the School of Digital Arts (SODA) with a fantastic exhibition on game engine
cultures featuring work by international artists. SODA, a £35m investment into the next
generation of creative content, supports Manchester’s ambition to become one of the world’s
leading digital cities. We’re thrilled that SODA will host Modal and we’re looking forward to
showcasing some fantastic artists who are working at the forefront of digital technology.”