Founded in 2005 by Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass, the art collective Random International, based in London and Berlin, shot to fame with its immersive environment Rain Room, first shown at the Barbican’s Curve gallery in London in 2013, where people queued for up to 12 hours to get in. Taking a step back out of the limelight to focus on more research-based projects in the aftermath, the collective is about to show the results of its two-year residency in Harvard at Le Laboratoire, a one-of-a-kind culture lab exploring the intersection of art and science. During the residency, Random witnessed groundbreaking robotics research in partnership with Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ biomimetic robotics division, which inspired the artists to translate their research into the physical form of a sculpture series. The first sculpture in this series is a kinetic artwork made of 15 points of light, which can be recognised as the human form in maximally 150 milliseconds. “It’s all about precision,” explains Koch. “If you move a point to another point in space, it just doesn’t work. It has to be like Swiss clockwork.”
• The 150 Milliseconds research exhibition is open to the public at Le Laboratoire, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 22 April to 25 June 2016.
• Random International will also be showing new site-specific work as part of the exhibition Wonder Materials: Graphene and Beyond at The Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, from 23 July 2016, and they have an exhibition at Pace Art & Technology (Menlo Park) opening in September 2016.
• Their public sculpture commission at Nine Elms, London, will be installed in 2017.
Interview by ANNA McNAY
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY