The spring season programme at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) explores the intersection between ancient geology and new technology. It grows from the exhibition Liquid Crystal Display (21 February – 16 June) which proposes that we live in a crystal era in which the images we share are supported by prehistoric mineral technologies.
Liquid Crystal Display
Historically associated with mystical healing, gazing and alchemical practices, crystals are prevalent in everyday technology including computers, mobile phones and state-of-the-art medical equipment. At the heart of a laser-beam is a vibrating crystal. Touch-screen technologies and the optical cables that keep us connected are all enabled by this extraordinary material substance known for polarising light and conducting electricity.
Travelling from Sheffield’s Site Gallery, the exhibition has been expanded to include minerals from the Middlesbrough area and works from the Middlesbrough Collection held at MIMA. New additions draw on themes of extraction, mineral exploitation and the sensual appeal of sparkling objects from the deep. Following several years of research, the show is co-curated by MIMA’s new Director Laura Sillars with Angelica Sule from Site Gallery.
MIMA produces a wide-reaching range of activities with the community. A public programme of talks and events developed around the overarching themes of minerals, magic and machines in relation to the environment, draws together artists, scientists and technologists.
A book, available for £5.00, accompanies the exhibition. It includes an introduction by Laura Sillars, an extract of an interview between academic and curator, Jussi Parikka and Jeanine Griffin and a text on Liquid Crystal by Professor Esther Leslie.