9 June 2014: Artliner, an organisation which stages art experiences around the world, is delighted to announce the opening of The Wind Tunnel Project, at the wind tunnels of Farnborough Airport, Hampshire. Open to the public for the first time, these Grade I and II listed buildings have been revived as an exciting arts venue, with a 6-week long artistic and educational programme.
Once a unique testing facility for aircraft, including the world famous Hurricane, the site was used into the 1990’s for Grand Prix vehicle wind tunnel tests. The wind tunnels and the hangar were restored by Julian Harrap Architects, who were awarded the RIBA Awards in 2007 and 2008 for their work on both buildings.
In redefining the space, Artliner’s founder Tatiana Ojjeh consulted the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust, a UK charity dedicated to preserving Farnborough’s priceless aviation heritage. She says “What struck me immediately about the buildings was their narrative. Their distinct but now distant past is embedded in every corner and on every surface. Artliner’s small and dedicated team is proud to open the doors to these historic buildings and to showcase art installations that honour their history while heightening the experience for the visitor.”
Curator Salma Tuqan has commissioned artists, James Bridle and Thor McIntyre-Burnie, to produce site-specific responses that would bring the space and its story to life. “The wind tunnels have their own stories to tell” says Tuqan, “we’ve asked the artists to highlight this through subtle interventions, responding to this incredible space as well as archival material from the FAST museum and the Royal Aeronautical Library.”
Bridle, whose uncle had worked in the wind tunnels has produced Rainbow Plane, a full scale ground installation under the 1910 airship hangar. The image stems from an artefact of satellite imaging that captures fast-moving objects, to produce a spectrum effect. Bridle commented on the piece “it reveals the way in which technologically-augmented ways of seeing from satellites to surveillance, and our own use of electronic prostheses from smartphones to the internet, change our perception of the world, and the way we behave in it.” The work can be viewed from a look-out tower, created for the installation.
The 24 foot Wind Tunnel in building Q121, acts as a unique platform for McIntyre-Burnie’s sound installation, which responds to its architectural, historical and acoustic qualities. His work here replaces the test plane with a moment captured in the skies and airwaves of 1942, when the BBC’s annual live Nightingale broadcast, which premiered 90 years ago last May, picked up a whole fleet of Bombers on their way to Germany. Incorporating new choral work devised and recorded within the wind tunnel, his piece fills the vast space with the voices of men who used to work here. This 1942 story then feeds into 3 further works in building R52, which further explore the physical properties of the spaces and contemporary ideas of both the airborne threat, as well as play.
As well as an educational programme for local schools running from 9th-27th June, the 6-week programme includes a series of activities such as film screenings, performances, lectures and culinary events to complement the sensory experience of The Wind Tunnel Project. For a full list of events please see our notes to editors.
The Wind Tunnel Project is generously supported by Bombardier, the Canadian multinational aerospace and transportation company and leader in the manufacture of civil aircraft, Breitling, the world’s only major watch brand to equip all its models with chronometer certified movements, and owners of the Farnborough Business Park, Harbert Management Corporation.
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Notes to Editors
Founded in 2011 by Tatiana Ojjeh, Artliner stages art experiences around the world, bringing unique art projects to international and local audiences. Artliner has organised world-class art exhibitions at Dubai International Airshow, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva, Bahrain International Airshow, the Middle East Business Aviation, as well as a show of Damien Hirst works during the London Olympics at TAG Farnborough Airport.
The Wind Tunnel Project has been a culmination of eighteen months work, produced in partnership with BKKR London and through collaboration with some fantastic people and talent, no less the sponsors and supporters who truly believe in what we’re aiming to achieve.
About Salma Tuqan, Curator
Salma Tuqan is the Contemporary Middle East curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She previously worked at Art Dubai since its inauguration in 2007 as Head of Artists’ Projects as well as Artistic Director of Contemparabia. She curated exhibitions at Art Dubai including Desperately Seeking Paradise (2008) in collaboration with Salima Hashmi. She has contributed to many other projects as an independent curator and facilitator, including Palestine c/o Venice at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009) and Future Movements at the Liverpool Biennial (2010). She is an active board member of ArtSchool Palestine, The Khatt Foundation, Artistic Committee for the Marrakech Biennale, Trustee of the Crossway Foundation, Strategic Advisory Panel member of the Delfina Foundation and chair of the Young Committee for the Barakat Trust for Islamic Art, London.
About James Bridle
Based in London, the young artist, writer and technologist James Bridle is quickly becoming one of the most important voices of his generation. His work, which looks at the impact of new media and technology, has been exhibited internationally and he has an extensive online following. Currently artist in residence at the White Building in Hackey Wick, he was Technologist in Residence at the Lighthouse Gallery in 2012 and his online project Dronestagram received an honorary mention from the Prix Ars Electronica 2013. He has been commissioned by leading organisations including Artangel, Mu Eindhoven, the Istanbul Design Biennial and the Corcoran Gallery,Washington DC. He writes a regular column for The Observer, and is a contributor to influential publications including Domus, Wired and The New Statesman.
About Thor McIntyre-Burnie
One of the early artists to pioneer sound as a tool for site-specific public art. Working largely outside the gallery system, Thor has a depth of experience, transforming public sites and forgotten architectural spaces. He creates immersive experiences, which invite the viewer to enter the peculiar space between the tangible and audible realms. - A Bandstand re-awakened as an ear to an historic mound - a flock of speakers ‘occupy’
a square, giving voice to the Arab Spring - an exploded orchestra re-activates a Victorian mill - a derelict pier’s Starling colony becomes a sonic Ghost Roost. His Art Interventions have appeared in public sites world wide. His collaborations cross the disciplines; opening the Sydney and Singapore Int Arts festivals with TWF; European award winning ‘Sound Space’ for Eureka! Museum; broadcasts for BBC Radio. This year see’s commission’s for the 2014 Colombo Art Biennale, and four key European Arts Festivals (Oeral, La Strada, Samhain, Placcc.)
About Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art (RCA) is Britain’s only solely postgraduate institution in arts and design, offering masters and research programmes in architecture, design, materials, fine art, communications and humanities. The School of Humanities offers the following programmes: V&A/RCA History of Design, Critical Writing
in Art & Design, Curating Contemporary Art and Critical and Historical Studies. These programmes
offer students the opportunity to develop their own practice in the fields of history, theory, writing and curating. The School has a distinctive and highly innovative research culture based upon its extremely close relationship to art and design practice.
Bombardier is the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation. Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada.
Since 1884, a specialist of technical watches, Breitling has played a crucial role in the development of the wrist chronograph and is a leader in this complication. The firm has shared all the finest moments in the conquest of the skies thanks to its sturdy, reliable and high-performance instruments.
From the implementation of a circular slide rule on the iconic Navitimer in 1952 for pilots which became the official watch of AOPA, through to product development alongside the prestigious Italian Frecce Tricolore resulting in the famous Chronomat watch. Breitling is firmly established as the leading supplier to aviation world.
The world’s only major watch brand to equip all its models with chronometer-certified movements, the ultimate token of precision, Breitling is also one of the rare companies to produce its own mechanical chronograph movement, entirely developed and manufactured in its own workshops. This family business is also one of the last remaining independent Swiss watch brands.
About Harbert Management Corporations
HMC are the owners of Farnborough Business Park and are supporting The Wind Tunnel Project with business partners XLB Property, one of a new generation of asset managers focused on generating enhanced returns from commercial property. Established in 2009 it has proved itself as one of the leaders in the sector.
FAST (the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust) was founded in 1993 to safeguard Farnborough’s aeronautical heritage and its museum is Arts Council accredited.. FAST works to preserve and promote Farnborough’s great heritage in aviation science - an important educational resource and an internationally significant
part of the nation’s scientific progress. FAST is a registered charity and is entirely self-funded through the activities of its Trustees and supporting members’ association (FASTA), and supplemented by donations from the general public.