Media Space – New 1,800m² purpose-built venue to open in Science Museum in June 2013

31/10/2012

Under embargo for publication until 1 November 2012

  • Based on the 2nd floor of the Science Museum, Media Space, a £4m capital project, will comprise of a 500 m² exhibition space, a 290 m² flexible studio space for installations and events, and a café/bar.
  • Media Space will showcase the National Photography Collection from the National Media Museum and use this as a starting point to explore, exhibit and discuss works by contemporary artists across a variety of disciplines.
  • The first exhibition, Revelations: Experiments in Photography, will explore contemporary artists’ responses to scientific photography from 1850 to 1920.

Principal Founding Sponsor: Virgin Media
Principal Founding Donor: Dana and Albert R Broccoli Foundation

Media Space, based on the 2nd floor of the Science Museum, will open to the public in June 2013. A collaboration between the National Media Museum (Bradford), and the Science Museum (London), Media Space will present two major exhibitions and a series of free installations in its studio space each year.

Media Space, 2nd floor Science Museum, before construction © Kate Elliott

Media Space, 2nd floor Science Museum, before construction © Kate Elliott

Media Space, 2nd floor Science Museum, before construction. © Kate Elliott

The first major exhibition in Media Space will be Revelations: Experiments in Photography, and the inaugural installation in the Virgin Media Studio space will be by digital art/design collective, Universal Everything. Hyundai is Presenting Partner of the Universal Everything installation and further details will be announced in early 2013.

Revelations: Experiments in Photography will explore contemporary art photographers’ responses to scientific photography made between 1850 and 1920. The exhibition of nearly 80 works will draw upon important historical photographs from the collections of the National Media Museum and the Science Museum. Scientific photographs can have psychological and emotional power, revealing the world in new and surprising ways. The creation of these images and their dissemination among different audiences has changed over time as have their uses, impact and status.

The Betterment Room - Devices For Measuring Achievement, 2005. Clare Strand. © Clare Strand

The Betterment Room - Devices For Measuring Achievement, 2005. Clare Strand.  © Clare Strand

"Insect wings, as seen in a solar microscope". c.1840. William Henry Fox Talbot. National Media Museum collection.

Calotype negative of Insect wings, as seen in a solar microscope, c.1840 by William Henry Fox Talbot. National Media Museum Collection

The exhibition will include photographs made with the assistance of microscopes, telescopes and aircraft. It will look at the ways in which photography has opened new fields of vision, charted the effects of invisible energy, demonstrated the passage of time and captured moments too brief to be seen by the naked eye. It will include works by a broad spectrum of photographers including William Henry Fox Talbot, Joris Jansen. Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton, Sarah Pickering, Clare Strand, Etienne-Jules Marey and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Hannah Redler has recently been appointed Head of Media Space and the Science Museum Arts Programme. First joining the Science Museum Group in 1998, Redler has been Head of Arts Programme at the Science Museum since 2004. Revelations is co-curated by Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs from the National Media Museum along with Dr Ben Burbridge of the University of Sussex.

The capital cost of the project is £4 million and the funding has been raised from a combination of corporate sponsorship, private donations and fundraising initiatives. The Principal Founding Sponsor of Media Space is Virgin Media after whom the Studio will be named. Virgin Media has made this long term commitment, building on their current support for the National Media Museum, which includes the Bradford International Film Festival and the Life Online gallery; the sponsorship of Media Space is a further demonstration of this developing partnership.

A major donor to the project is the Dana and Albert R Broccoli Foundation set up by the family of the late Bond producer ‘Cubby’. A photography auction at Christies in May 2012 raised £370,000 towards the project and the recent James Bond 50th Anniversary auction raised a further £47,000 through the sale of the Tom Ford dinner jacket worn by Daniel Craig in Skyfall. Media Space has also received generous support in the form of donations or artworks from a large number of individuals, companies and artists including Ed Burtynsky, Luc Delahaye, Rineke Dijkstra, Mary McCartney and Taryn Simon. The Science Museum Group has also invested significantly in the capital project.

Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of Science Museum Group, says, ‘Media Space is a project that is long overdue. The National Photography Collection ought to be widely known and exhibited because it really is astonishing in quality and scale. We hope to reach diverse audiences and the dynamic, innovative and compelling programme at Media Space will make this happen.’

Hannah Redler, Head of Media Space, says: ‘Media Space is a really exciting project that in many ways realises the original vision for South Kensington to be a place where the two cultures of art and science coincide. We’ve enjoyed a long history at Science Museum of bringing contemporary art interventions into our science galleries, but Media Space offers an unprecedented opportunity for our audiences to encounter photographers and artists’ own investigations into our collections.’

Luke Southern, Virgin Media’s Head of Brand Activation and Partnership says, ‘We’re immensely proud to support this incredible new exhibition space. Both the still and moving image can have a powerful impact on people so, whether online, on TV, in the cinema or in a gallery, we care passionately about bringing that to life in a positive way. Media Space will provide the perfect platform to champion and showcase emerging talent as well as established artists who will inspire every generation.’

Revelations: Experiments in Photography will run from June –September 2013. Further information will be announced in December. Gift Aid ticket price £6.60, standard ticket price £6.00. Media Space is based on the 2nd Floor of the Science Museum on Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD. www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/mediaspace

Notes to Editors

Hannah Redler is the Head of Media Space and Science Museum Arts Programme. A contemporary art curator with a specialism in media art, the main focus of her practice is in working on cross discipline projects that bring together art, science, architecture, people and technology. After studying Fine Art at Camberwell and Norwich Schools of Art in the late 1980s, Hannah co-founded and for 5 years co-directed one of London's first 'interactive backbone' companies, Studio Fish, in 1993. She completed the Masters in Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art in 1996 and joined National Media Museum in 1998 working as an Assistant Curator on an artist-led gallery about digital technologies. This led to a role as Commissioning Art Curator for the Science Museum’s Wellcome Wing (1999 – 2000). Between 2000 – 2003 she was Curator for the emerging Jubilee Arts c/PLEX project Gallery (now The Public) in West Bromwich, where she worked with the organisation to develop a curatorial vision based on collaborative arts practice, indicative programme for a successful multi-million fundraising bid. Redler returned to the Science Museum in 2003 and was appointed Head of Arts Programmes in 2004 prior to taking up her current position.

The Science Museum’s collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past. Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science, engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise. The Science Museum’s Contemporary Arts Programme, now in its 16th year, commissions artists to respond to the past, present and futures of Science and technology through interventions, exhibitions, research and events. Past artists have included Tacita Dean, Dryden Goodwin, Cornelia Parker, Conrad Shawcross and David Shrigley and media art pioneers such as David Rokeby and Mark Hansen & Ben Rubin. www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/smap

The National Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened as the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford in 1983 with the remit to explore the art and science behind images and image-making. With the aim to be the best museum in the world for inspiring people to learn about, engage with and create media, it draws from more than 3.5 million objects in its National Photography, Television, Cinematography and New Media Collections to create special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults. It also organises a variety of film events every year including Bradford International Film Festival and Bradford Animation Festival, and is home to Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen. Comprising of approximately 3.2 million images, the National Photography Collection includes work by Julia Margaret Cameron, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Dorothea Lang, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Larry Burrows, Martin Parr, Paul Graham. Nick Knight and Luc Delahaye amongst others. www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk

Virgin Media is the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK. The company’s cable network – the result of a multi-billion pound private investment – delivers ultrafast broadband connections to over half of all UK homes, with speeds of up to 120Mb, and is being expanded to reach thousands more people across the country. Virgin Media has developed the most advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box powered by TiVo. The company was the first to offer HD TV and 3D on demand to millions of UK households. Virgin Media also operates the most popular virtual mobile network in the UK which, when launched, was the world’s first such mobile phone service. It is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country. Virgin Media Inc. is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and the London Stock Exchange (VMED). For more information, go to www.virginmedia.com

The café/bar will be run by Benugo - http://www.benugo.com

For further press information and images please contact Eleanor Macnair, Press Office, 020 7 942 4357, Eleanor.Macnair@sciencemuseum.org.uk