Future Pace

Message from the Unseen World \ UVA

Message from the Unseen World \ UVA

Project lead: Rachael McNabb

In 2014 Futurecity was appointed by British Land to develop a Culture & Placemaking Strategy for Paddington Central in London.  Futurecity identified a number of cultural opportunities including the Victorian Bishops Bridge Road underpass, which spans Regent's Canal. 

A sculpture competition proposed a significant intervention for the site, intended to improve the navigation experience of thousands of commuters. Arts collective United Visual Artists (UVA) won the competition with their proposal Message from the Unseen World, inspired by Alan Turing, one of the founding fathers of modern computer science, mathematician, and WW2 code-breaker who was born in Paddington.

The LED and perforated aluminium panels display a hard-coded version of extracts from Turing’s ground-breaking paper ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’. Within the software lives a commissioned poem by Nick Drake, inspired by Turing’s work and untimely death. The artwork gives viewers a sense of witnessing a machine trying to write like a poet, whilst thinking like a machine.

  • Client: British Land
  • Partners: Nick Drake
  • Location: Paddington Central
  • Photographers / Image Credit: Photography: UVA \ Film: Ron Bambridge