Friday 21-Friday 28 March, 6.00pm-11.00pm
Anybody who has visited The Quays knows it is an iconic location of both historical significance and technological innovation. This stunning festival, Future City, reflects that perfectly, with artworks that combine humour, current affairs and awareness of place or refer back to Manchester’s history.
Audiences are invited to come and enjoy each of these artworks for free over four weekends, which kick-start with the incredible light projection ‘Thank You’ by Craig Morrison on Friday 21 March. A series of artists’ talks will run alongside the festival hosted by Future City’s partners and co-curators, the University of Salford.
Two of the most powerful display laser beams in the world will be mounted onto the roof of The Lowry, beaming ‘Thank You’ in Morse Code across the night sky.
Morrison created ‘Thank You’ in memory of all the men and women who served in the First and Second World War, and to thank Alan Turing for the many lives he helped to save. The work was originally commissioned by the Arts Council of Wales to commemorate the centenary of Alan Turing who is credited with cracking Nazi Germany’s Enigma code.
Turing was a mathematical genius and the father of the modern computer and he spent the last six years of his life in Manchester. Greater Manchester is the place where so many key events took place in Turing’s life, with much of his ground breaking work conducted at The University of Manchester. Tragically, Manchester is the place where he was arrested for gross indecency at a time when it was illegal to be homosexual, and later the campaign to clear his name began in Greater Manchester.
The display of this large-scale artwork is a homecoming of sorts for the great man, following his long awaited posthumous royal pardon on 24 December 2013.
The powerful lasers are programmed with rolling spheres, or ‘Hyperboloids’, which emit beams of light over two miles and are visible to aeroplanes passing overhead.
Thank You was originally inspired by Turing’s poetic epitaph, which will also be displayed as a neon art piece alongside the lasers.
Hyperboloids of wondrous light
Rolling for aye through space and time
Harbour there waves which somehow might
Play out God’s holy pantomime.
Thank You is also being exhibited as part of the Manchester Histories Festival.