Lawrence Lek + Kode9
Nøtel – Drone Walkthrough
From 2018 Programme – Islands
Lawrence Lek + Kode9 - Nøtel - Drone Walkthrough
Lawrence Lek + Kode9
arebyte Gallery presented Nøtel in 2018, an immersive, two-chapter, multimedia installation by London-based artist Lawrence Lek created in collaboration with electronic musician Kode9 (Steve Goodman). The project installation transforms the gallery into a marketing suite for the fictional Nøtel Corporation, advertising future plans for a global expansion of the hotel chain. The exhibition uses similar conventions of property marketing, including a video trailer and virtual reality, to conjure an image of a future luxury hotel as if it will be developed on site.
Set in a future London, where elite society no longer requires permanent housing but rather stays in temporary accommodation, Nøtel speculates on critical issues surrounding the newly-regenerated areas of the capital, including London City Island, where the exhibition’s first iteration is situated. Nøtel uses speculative architecture as a tool to imagine the future of these developments, and to address ideas around the politics of labour and an automated workforce, juxtaposed with notions of alienation and belonging.
Nøtel proposes a globalised, standardised way of living. Its alternative approach would alleviate the overpopulation of cities and the struggles of obtaining property, promoting an economic model that saves money by replacing humans with AI to complete menial tasks. Nøtel exposes the fine line between cost-efficiency and hyper-luxury – after checking in at the Nøtel, residents are left alone, broaching the question of hypothetical social-realism and what luxurious lifestyle means for future generations.
The project was co-commissioned with Stroom Den Haag in the Netherlands, integrating ideas about European globalisation and the city’s political culture of international justice and conflict mediation, as well as its cybersecurity industry. The project relocated to Stroom in September 2018. In this iteration, Nøtel is upgraded with militarised architectural features and high-tech surveillance, referring to the billion-euro industry under the moniker of Hague Security Delta
Lawrence Lek (b. 1982, Frankfurt, Germany) lives and works in London. Lek uses computer generated imagery and advancing technologies such as VR to develop digital environments described by the artist as ‘three dimensional collages of found objects and situations’. He creates site-specific virtual worlds using gaming software, 3D animation, installation and performance. By rendering real places within fictional scenarios, his digital environments reflect the impact of the virtual on our perception of reality. He is represented by Sadie Coles. .