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Alan Warburton on RGBFAQ

Alan Warburton



Alan Warburton talks about the making of  RGBFAQ, his experiential exhibition at arebyte.

RGBFAQ ran from 17 October 2020 – 30 May 2021. It was part of arebyte’s 2020 programme systems.

RGBFAQ is a research-led experiential exhibition in which the audience navigates a “black-box” set populated by gigantic geometric sculptures. Warburton’s ambitious new video essay was projection mapped onto this sculptural background, expanding the form of his popular video essays (Goodbye Uncanny Valley, Fairytales of Motion) into an immersive 3D space, with a soundtrack by David Kamp.

This post-photographic origin story bridges x-rays and z-buffers, radar and Pixar, video games and machine learning, concluding with insights into how synthetic data is changing the nature of vision forever. Informed by the latest development in machine learning and computer graphics, as well as Warburton’s ten years working in animation, RGBFAQ puts viewers inside software, and inside software history.

“My process is like a comedian developing a set, but without the laughs,” says Warburton, who describes this spatial video essay as “a cross between a software tutorial and a ghost train ride that channels an episode of late 80s Tomorrow’s World”

Alan Warburton’s work was most recently seen at Somerset House, where he was an artist in residence until 2019. As part of 24/7, which explored the non-stop nature of modern life, he presented a series of 3D-scanned self-portraits depicting his worktime naps in a visual effects studio in Beijing. Since then, RGBFAQ has been developed as part of Warburton’s PhD at Birkbeck, and has been workshopped around the world (Fiber Festival, Mutek Montreal, Carnegie Mellon, the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Architectural Association and the ICA).

RGBFAQ was Alan Warburton’s first UK solo exhibition.

All clips, where known, are credited and linked on the artist’s website alanwarburton.com. This video essay falls under the guidelines of fair use. If you think something is missing or would like a video to be credited differently, then please get in touch with the artist via their website.

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