Self-generating Digital Installation for Covent Garden

Self-generating Digital Installation for Covent Garden

Famous for delivering unique cultural firsts, Covent Garden has partnered with award winning director and visual artist Martha Fiennes' SLOimage and world leading VFX and digital studio MPC to create 'Nativity', a completely self-generating technological art-work based on the Christmas Nativity scene, which will live on the Piazza from November 10, 2011 through January 5, 2012.

MPC, the company behind the visual effects of blockbuster movies including Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and X-Men, and global advertising campaigns for brands such as Evian, Cadbury, Coca Cola and DIRECTV worked alongside software developers Existential to create the unique software (100% bespoke) which drives 'Nativity.'

The image self-generates both randomly and perpetually; its changes unknown to both the makers and viewers as it transforms through a vast range of images or 'manifestations.' In this way, the piece could be said to possess its own intriguing level of consciousness. The element of chance generates meanings in new and unexpected ways.

The process is unlike the conventional film-making in which decisions are made and then fixed; here, bespoke coded software prompts 'random' decisions as to what to show, generating a compelling, spontaneous and continually evolving image experience.

"It has been one of the most creative, mathematical, logistical and exciting challenges for MPC to provide the means for Martha Fiennes to create and produce her art piece "Nativity," commented Mark Benson, Global MD of MPC. "Working in partnership with Martha Fiennes and producer Peter Muggleston and with the company, SLOimage, has enabled us to push our interactive installation code writing to another level, and I am enormously proud of the MPC team's work and results that I believe has enabled us to deliver Martha's wonderfully imaginative, inspired and creative expectation."

Martha Fiennes' brother, composer Magnus Fiennes, created an original piece of music that will cycle alongside SLOimage for its duration. Situated in the heart of Covent Garden's traffic-free shopping area, 'The Nativity' will be joined by a hand-picked, British grown Christmas tree that will light up the West Piazza.