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Lawrence Lek + Kode9 - Nøtel - Drone Walkthrough

Lawrence Lek + Kode9
Nøtel – Drone Walkthrough
From 2018 Programme – Islands

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. .

…by arebyte showcases material created by the arebyte team and educational partners, relating to our physical shows in the gallery, as well as previous screen based works by alumni artists. For this strand of AOS arebyte will curate and create content in relation with the physical shows taking place in the gallery space, as well as feature arebyte’s alumni work commissioned by the gallery since 2013. This visual material will allow arebyte to expand on the theme addressed by its physical exhibitions and will be a place for art audiences to further explore, interact and engage with the arebyte programme.

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