Since their inception in early 2003, UVA's pioneering approach to performance creation, combining art direction, production and custom software development, has seen them work on a wide variety of projects in areas such as live band visuals, site-specific installations, music videos, fashion shows, live performance and permanent architectural installations.
UVA's first project was the creation of stage visuals for Massive Attack's '100th Window' world tour in 2003. The show used a large LED screen as a digital information display board rather than a video screen, displaying real-time information drawn from a number of sources such as news tickers, virus reports, junk emails, stock market readouts, real-time statistics and travel bulletins. Each show was rendered in real time, translated into 36 languages and tailored to its local environment, creating a heightened sense of intimacy between the band and the audience. The show created the template for what has become UVA's trademark mixture of precision, rhythmicity, minimal design aesthetic and sympathetic, sculptural use of lighting and LED.
UVA have continued to champion a real-time, generative approach to their work, going on to work with artists such as Colder, Kylie Minogue and latterly on U2's Vertigo tour, while continuing to evolve the show they created for Massive Attack. At the same time, they have continued to diversify into other arenas. In 2004, UVA accepted its first commission for a permanent architectural installation, designing and creating a curved LED wall for the Kabaret's Prophecy nightclub in London. One of the first installations of its kind, it helped the club win Wallpaper magazine's 'best designed club of the year' award of 2004 and has led to other similar commissions that are currently in development.
Although they are comfortable working for large commercial projects for clients such as MTV, Prada, BMW and Adidas, UVA's major interest lies in original work that pushes the boundaries of technology and interaction. To this end they have produced gallery installations (Mirror, at the Kemistry gallery), site-specific installations and live performance (for the Victoria and Albert museum and the Tate Modern gallery, both in 2006), and continue to do their own research and development.
UVA's live show is the chief manifestation of this research; it is a space where they are able to experiment 'without constraints', and explore new ways of creating connection between music, light and generative graphical content. The show is in continuous evolution; the performance at ArtFutura will be its eighth incarnation. Where previous shows have taken a 'DJ' approach to music, this will be the first UVA show to use a significant degree of original music and real-time audio synthesis, in collaboration with ScanOne (Jude Greenaway).
UVA (http://www.uva.co.uk) is a multidisciplinary art and design collective based in London founded by Matt Clark, Chris Bird and Ash Neru. Their approach combines three disciplines: art direction, production design and software engineering. Their philosophy is to tightly integrate these elements to deliver real-time, immersive and responsive experiences.