Toxteth Reservoir will become the stage for one of the highlight events of Liverpool 2018 after the city’s FACT was awarded £250,000 Arts Council funding.
The money, from ACE’s Ambition for Excellence scheme, will help the Wood Street venue to produce Rewire, a magical and technological adventure. Funding is also coming from the city council.
FACT is teaming up with Leeds-based interactive art experts Invisible Flock, Culture Liverpool and the local community heritage group Dingle 2000 to stage the inventive installation next autumn.
The work will use cutting-edge technology to “conjure dynamic and digital landscapes”, transforming the Internet of Things in to a “participatory rIoT”. Expect robotic lights to interactive storm clouds overhead – and the action promises to play out over Liverpool’s famous skyline.
The 19th century sandstone reservoir was built to supply clean drinking water to the people of Liverpool.
It is currently only accessible to the public on Heritage Open Days, and also proved popular when it became the setting for Rita McBride’s Portal artwork during the 2016 Biennial.
Above: Inside Toxteth Reservoir, pioto by John McLoughlin courtesy of Liverpool Biennial
Top: Toxteth Reservoir exterior, photo by Clive Haynes
FACT chief executive Mike Stubbs says: “FACT isn't about being a venue which is a cathedral for art. It’s about creating new spaces for genuine encounter, whether that’s reimagining how digital space can be reclaimed for critical dialogue, or making public realm work that speaks not only about the heritage of a place, but also its future.
“Working with Culture Liverpool, Invisible Flock and Dingle 2000, Rewire will do that rare thing of creating something spectacular which will leave a legacy in Liverpool for a long time, particularly as we’re inviting the people of Liverpool to help us create it.
“I can't think of a more fitting celebration, or a more skilled team to deliver this new commission.”
Ambition For Excellence is funded through the Heritage Lottery.