Volcanoes, lava landscapes, ash clouds and minerals: FACT announces the first major UK solo exhibition of Semiconductor

Semiconductor: Worlds in the Making
FACT, Liverpool
01 July – 11 September
Galleries 1, 2, Media Lounge and Public Spaces
FREE Entry

FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Liverpool presents the first major solo exhibition of Semiconductor, aka Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt. The British artist duo has earned critical acclaim for short films, including Magnetic Movie broadcast on Channel 4, as well as exhibitions at the Venice Biennale, and The Royal Academy, London. ?Combining film, scientific data, performance and animation, Semiconductor make moving image works, which explore the material nature of our world and how we experience it.

Worlds in the Making is an ambitious exhibition inspired by the artists’ travels to the volcanic regions of the Galapagos Islands and mainland Ecuador in South America. Working closely with volcanologists and scientists at the Smithsonian Mineral Sciences Laboratory, Semiconductor has created a series of installations that transport the viewer through dystopian landscapes, strangely exquisite animation and archive volcanology footage, to a world between science fiction and science fact. ??The exhibition features the UK premiere of Worlds in the Making, an epic three-channel installation bringing together landscapes of active volcanoes. Blending real footage of volcanologists at work with animation and layered audio from field recordings, interviews and seismic data, it creates an imaginary understanding of the physical, conjuring up images of the earth’s distant past.

Also premiering is The Volcano Film Archive. Using a 16mm volcano film archive unearthed at the Mineral Sciences Laboratory at the Natural History Museum in Washington DC, the artists have created a multi-channel exploration of our complicated relationships with natural phenomena. The installation reveals spectacular occurrences and the curious, obsessive and sometimes absurd process of observing these extraordinary phenomena.

In the Mineral Crystal Animations, three video installations depict jewel-like animations of mineral crystals. The movement and growth of these imagined formations respond and react to sound recordings of melting ice.

The exhibition at FACT includes a collaboration and new commission with multi-instrumentalist, Oren Ambarchi.

The exhibition at FACT is curated by Omar Kholeif in partnership with Jacqui Davies


Notes to editors:

Semiconductor’s awards and prestigious fellowships include: Nature Magazine’s Scientific Merit award from Imagine Science Film Festival, New York 2009 and Best Film at the Cutting Edge award from the British Animation Awards 2008.

Semiconductor’s exhibitions and screenings include: Royal Academy London, Hirshhorn Museum Washington, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art Sunderland, Venice Biennale, Sundance Film Festival and Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Worlds in the Making is commissioned by Jacqui Davies and FACT and supported by Arts Council England.  Jacqui Davies and FACT worked together previously on Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Primitive Project, exhibited at FACT in autumn 2009.

Worlds in the Making was made possible in, part, by the The Gulbenkian Galapagos Artists’ Residency Programme and Smithsonian Artists Research Fellowship:
• The Gulbenkian Galapagos Artists’ Residency Programme has enabled up to 12 leading artists to spend time in the Galapagos archipelago to reflect on its unique nature, its historic value and current importance, and the human and conservation challenges it faces. Artists have been invited to engage with the Galapagos on their own terms, to mix with both the local and scientific communities on the islands, feel inspired to make work connected to their experiences and encouraged to share it with a wide audience. An exhibition of work will be touring in 2012/13.
• The Smithsonian Artists Research Fellowship (SARF) offers visual artists the opportunity to spend two to three months working among the vast collections of the Smithsonian Institution and with experts on the Smithsonian staff. The programme brings artists together with Smithsonian experts in a variety of disciplines at museums and research centres in the United States and abroad, to explore cross-disciplinary connections between history, art, culture, and science.