From the void of their blue screen special effects studio, UK artists AL and AL probe the infinite possibilities of technology. Their spectacular computer generated videos radically re-appropriate contemporary pop culture through an inventive use of celebrity icons, live action performance and animation special effects. The artists’ immersion into this environment is a proposition of a possible future for all networked living rooms where mass self-representation is imagined and realised as a blue screen inertial vehicle into simulated environments with virtual communities. AL and AL’s future living room blue screen studio is a space without a context, without a ‘you are here’, a disembodied space where they perform and construct fantasies and alternative realities, taking the contemporary world’s strategy of self representation and escapism to an extreme.
Eternal Youth, 2008 charts the murder of a superstar, the desire to be immortal and how the technology of mediation on one hand gives us greater power, but on the other leaves us open to manipulation. Using the defining characteristics of the special effects movie genre and presented in the context of a deconstructed cinema experience, the piece explores Norman Klein’s observation that those who have the power, control and produce the spectacle of ‘scripted space’.
Eternal Youth was commissioned by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Liverpool
“Al and Al’s films investigate the shaping forces of fantasy and reality, plunging the spectator into a virtual world of dizzy dimensions” Marina Warner
AL and AL met in chance encounter whilst visiting Derek Jarman’s Garden in 1997. Having subsequently graduated together in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins School of Art in 2001, they received studio awards from ACAVA and ACME to build a live-and-work blue screen performance studio in London.
From this blue screen void, AL and AL have programmed and produced a body of video work that uses computer generated environments to provide simulated contexts for their studio performances. They have exhibited internationally in galleries, site-specific installations, film festivals and television. In 2006 AL and AL moved their blue screen studio to the first passenger train station in the world at Edge Hill in Liverpool to make a major new video installation work for their solo exhibition at FACT in 2008.