Universal Everything's Advanced Beauty

The audio visual arts fest onedotzero took over the BFI and IMAX and sent people on "adventures in motion".

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The awe-inspiring audio visual arts fest that is onedotzero recently invaded London’s BFI and IMAX, their tagline “adventures in motion”, setting precedent for a brave new world of the most innovative cinematic arts. Alongside the smaller scale workshops such as the DIY electronics and hacking of the Oystercard orchestra and credit card xylophone from Tinker.it! or Doodlearth (a live interactive illustration installation) sat the premiere of “Tokyo!” by Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong Joon-Ho. Then there were the onedotzero family favourites, the music video series “Wavelength” and a shorts compilation of new British talent. It is luxurious, visual design porn for freaks and geeks. All good though, and even amongst this A-class smorgasbord, one screening stood out – Universal Everything’s “Advanced Beauty”.

Universal Everything is the design studio led by Matt Pyke and “Advanced Beauty” is a series of video sound sculptures inspired by synesthesia, created in symbiosis to a soundtrack by Freeform aka Matt’s brother, Simon. Together with contributions from a global host of artists, “Advanced Beauty” manages to invent a stunningly new aesthetic. One that Matt has evolved into a newly opened installation at the V&A, entitled “Forever”.

DazedDigital: The screening was a sell out, what is it about “Advanced Beauty” that makes it so globally popular?
Matt Pyke: I think it is the diversity of the project. It’s not just one studio, it’s bringing together so many people from different backgrounds with so many different approaches - from artists to architects. That’s probably why it appeals to so many different people.

DD: You’ve almost created a whole new aesthetic.
MP: That’s always my motivation, personally. Exploring and finding things that are totally unique and hopefully haven’t been done before. You can spearhead it into something fresh. The people that we invited were all doing that already in their field – such as architects who do animation, really unusual ways of making images.

DD: So has music always been a big inspiration in your design work?
MP: I’ll have to say I’ve always liked music more than design. My brother immediately went down the route of making hip hop, dance and electronic music and I was always pushing to do the sleeves and the visuals, I guess it was always a family business. Even now I’m always interested in finding new music that I’ve never heard before, like medieval or Korean music. It’s always about searching for new things. That’s the inspiration.

DD: Can you explain “Forever” at the V&A?
MP: “Forever” is a large scale video wall in the garden, a generative piece of film where it’s all completely programmed and it’s generating this continuously, flowing upwards audio visual sculpture. The sound is generative too, so it will evolve over time. The idea is that the beautiful animation and music can only be seen once, it will be lost forever. It’s a transient sculpture that never repeats itself.

DD: It must be great to be able to takeover unique spots such as the V&A garden?
MP: That’s absolutely the best thing. I’m not interested in designing for TV in any way. It’s about mobile phones that you can fit into your pocket, or a huge, large wall, like the Nokia installation on Regent Street, you’re surrounded by the visuals. The context, I like unusual formats, like animation on fabric, much more interesting.

“Advanced Beauty” DVD is available online and physically at Warpmart, BFI NFT and the Design Museum.    

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