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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Fearful Symmetry

Fearful Symmetry
  • On August 19, 2012

Tomorrow I go into the Tate Modern to install my new interactive work that has been a year in the making. That among other things is the reason this blog has been so quiet in recent times but I thought I’d post something for those who are still subscribed to this blog. Its certainly time to bring it back to life and thats the plan following the Tate. For now the focus however is on assembling the worlds largest Delta Robot as part of what I hope will be a dramatic 2 days within the newsly commission Tanks space at Tate Modern in London.

As you might imagine things are little hectic for me right now so to save time I’ve just pasted the press release below along with photos from the final days of preparation.

Within the subterranean bowels of The Tanks, something primitive animates the darkness of Tate Modern’s dramatic new gallery space. A glowing tetrahedron glides through the air, suspended above peoples heads from a 21-metre motorised rail holding the world’s largest delta robot. As the only light source in the room, the tetrahedron acts as entertainer and guide to the space, dancing with the audience, and playfully encouraging them to become an active part of the performance. Through the interplay of luminous form and motion, ambiguity in visual perception is explored and manipulated in an unfolding interactive performance between the public and a kinetic installation.

“This work is a direct reaction to The Tanks space itself,” says Glynn. “We will fill the space with the sounds of this living machine, mixed live by our team of sound artists. The movements have been choreographed by master puppeteers with a lifetimes’ experience breathing life into inanimate objects. The entire installation will be constantly creating a different environment from one moment to the next, and is completely reactive to the audience in the space.”

The work builds on Glynn’s earlier pieces, Motive Colloquies (2011, Pompidou Centre Paris) and Performative Ecologies (2008, National Art Museum Beijing). Both of these examined the way in which audiences react to differing roboticised dances – but this is his most ambitious project to date. Taking its title from William Blake’s “The Tyger”, the installation returns visitors to a primal state of hyper-awareness through advanced computer vision, robotics and interactive choreography, the sum of which creates an intense, visceral and primal way to experience the Tate’s Tanks.

Motive Colloquies – Centra Pompidou Paris 2011

The work is part of the Tate’s Undercurrent programme directed at young audiences through a series of events, installations and interventions by audio, visual and performance artists. Glynn describes how “the installation engages with a treasure of a youthful mind, the ability to wilfully suspend disbelief, often a faculty lost slowly and imperceptibly with age. Young audiences of my installations care little for the technology that animates the work. So ever-present in their lives, they take it for granted, focusing instead much more on experience. They, in this respect, are my greatest critics. Equally, they are my greatest allies in their wilful suspension of disbelief at the perceptual boundaries between analog and digital, creature and machine, life and death.” Release yourself from civilized thought, suspend your disbelief and play, perform and explore the Tanks with Fearful Symmetry.


  1. Good job man! Congratulations on bringing something so wondrous to life. Wish I could be there in person.

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