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Serpentine Pavilion Intervention by United Visual Artists

British studio United Visual Artists created an "electrical storm" inside Sou Fujimoto's cloud-like Serpentine Gallery Pavilion using LED lights during a performance at the temporary structure last month (+ movie).

United Visual Artists (UVA) inverted the pavilion's similarity to a white fluffy cloud by using flashing lights to imitate lightning, making it look like a thunderstorm was taking place inside it.

Serpentine Pavilion Intervention by United Visual Artists

"This piece specifically aimed to energise Sou Fujimoto's architecture, which is representative of a somewhat serene cumulus cloud," said the studio during a question and answer session last week. "Our intervention aimed to evoke a terrific and comparatively overwhelming electric storm in the architecture, kind of simply aiming to bring it to life."

Serpentine Pavilion Intervention by United Visual Artists

To create the effect, LED strips encased in clear plastic tubes were attached to the temporary pavilion's steel grid with magnets. Lighting effects were accompanied with thunderous noises, created by a combination of audio samples of the hums and buzzes from electric power stations and synthesised sounds.

The performance took place on the evening of 26 June in collaboration with creative agency My Beautiful City.

Serpentine Pavilion Intervention by United Visual Artists

Fujimoto's design is the latest in a series of pavilions redesigned each year by a different prominent architect, on the same site in London's Kensington Gardens next to the Serpentine Gallery - see our guide to previous Serpentine Gallery Pavilions here.

Other movies about lighting installations we've published show a wooden cabin filled with coloured light and smoke and Troika's large-scale immersive light pieces.

See more stories about Serpentine Gallery Pavilions »
See more installation design »

UVA sent us the following information:

United Visual Artists Serpentine Pavilion Intervention

On the evening of 26th June, UVA, in collaboration with My Beautiful City, transformed Sou Fujimoto’s Pavilion, bringing the cloud-like structure to life with an electrical storm.

UVA take inspiration from the transparent, undefined attributes of the pavilion, which changes form depending on perspective, shifting as your eyes travel across it.

Serpentine Pavilion Intervention by United Visual Artists

Their performative installation aims to make the architecture “breathe”, awakening a character and energy, seemingly from within. For this piece UVA reference their past works which, similar to Fujimoto’s, rely on geometric foundations and interests.

One reference could be J.M.W. Turner’s paintings, which rather than being representative evoke the sensation of an overwhelming natural phenomenon. UVA’s transformation aims to capture the essence of being inside an electrical storm, exploring the similarities between what is digital: electronic and the awe-inspiring natural world.