UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery ‘The Reel Store’ to open as part of the UK’s Coventry City of Culture celebrations


UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery ‘The Reel Store’ to open as part of the UK’s Coventry City of Culture celebrations

UK's first permanent immersive digital art gallery 'The Reel Store' to open as part of the UK's Coventry City of Culture celebrations

UK – The Coventry City of Culture Trust has announced that the UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery, The Reel Store, will open in Coventry in April 2022, becoming a new permanent attraction for visitors to the heart of the city .

Following the enormous popularity of immersive art spaces around the world, this new state-of-the-art space will feature innovative experiential art commissions and will be an important part of the City of Culture’s spring program. / summer 2022.

The Reel Store is located in the former home of the Coventry Evening Telegraph newspaper, a distinctive post-war building in the heart of the city. Work is currently underway to transform the old reel store, which once housed the paper rolls, on which the city’s stories would be printed.

The main exhibition space is an 800m2 Fixed projection mapping canvas with 14 4K laser projectors accompanied by an adaptive audio system in space.

The first major exhibition will be Machine Memoirs: Space, by internationally renowned artist Refik Anadol. The result of a long-term collaboration with NASA, this exhibition uses artificial intelligence (AI) to reimagine two million publicly accessible images of space taken by NASA’s satellites and telescopes and the Space Station. international, capturing the deepest regions of outer space. Through machine learning, the computer sorts and categorizes these photographs to finally understand them. Then he creates amazing new digital interpretations of space that exist only in the mind of the machine.

Machine Memoirs: Space delivers a 360-degree cinematic experience of rich, futuristic visuals accompanied by 3D audio, allowing audiences to experience the beauty and spectacle of space science, created entirely through AI.

Refik Anadol is a pioneer in data aesthetics and artificial intelligence. His work intersects at the crossroads of art, science and technology. It uses cutting-edge technology and big data advancements to creatively tackle the most pressing challenges of our time and what it means to be human in the age of machines.

Refik Anadol’s projects have been presented in more than 50 cities, on six continents, and experienced by millions of fans. In 2021 alone, works were exhibited at Art Basel Miami Beach, at COP26 in Glasgow, at ARTECHOUSE in New York, Abu Dhabi, China, Japan and South Korea, as well as in major cities. Europe, including Istanbul, Milan and Venice.

Refik Anadol said, “Machine Memoirs: Space invites us to dream of an alternate universe where machines collaborate with humans to speculate about our existence and create an alternate future. It is a hopeful future where machines and humanity, in combination, are healing agents. A collaborative relationship with machines can give us new perspectives, knowledge and the power not only to dream, but also to create a better world.

Martin Sutherland, Managing Director of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “The Reel store is an extremely exciting business, with Coventry becoming home to the UK’s only permanent truly immersive digital art gallery, a major draw for retailers. Coventrians and visitors. We are delighted that our partners have supported the vision of this new permanent visitor attraction, turning old media into new media, as part of the legacy of our year as the UK City of Culture.

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “After attending some truly magical immersive art exhibitions in Tokyo, Paris and London, I am delighted that Coventry, a young and pioneering city, is launching The Reel Store with Machine Memoirs. , a new way to discover the wonders of art. Right now Refik Anadol is leading the way in this area and we are proud and excited to be working together to bring their first longtime show to the UK. In 2021, Coventry hosted the Turner Prize, the world’s largest art prize. In 2022, Refik Anadol and Machine Memoirs will truly solidify Coventry’s status as a major destination for revolutionary visual arts experiences.

Whitley Bay Minister of the Arts Lord Parkinson said: “Coventry’s year as a British City of Culture is a great demonstration of the power of the arts to improve and enrich communities. The Coventry program is making a real difference – and The Reel Store, an immersive new digital art gallery store in the heart of the city, will help ensure it leaves a lasting legacy.

As the first of its kind in the UK, I am sure this exciting gallery will be a hit with visitors, and I look forward to seeing it for myself. “

Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for the Arts at Coventry City Council, said: “The digital gallery will be a great addition to the city’s cultural offering. We are investing in many of the city’s cultural assets, generating over £ 40million in funding, and I look forward to visiting it when it opens.

The key for me is that while we know this will be a fabulous attraction for visitors, all of our communities in Coventry will also have a very unique art venue on their doorstep.

The fact that it is located in a building that housed the Telegraph newspaper for 50 years makes it the perfect location, underlining the shift from print to digital media.

Sarah Windrum, President of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Cutting-edge innovation is one of the key priorities of the CWLEP Strategic Reset Framework and this fascinating digital art gallery initiative emphasizes the strengths of our region in the creative sector. The Getting Building Fund was set up for projects that would immediately make a difference and help attract visitors from across the UK and boost our economy.

Tickets will go on sale for The Reel Store in early 2022 at

The Reel Store was made possible by the generous support of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Coventry City Council, The Patrick Trust, The Linbury Trust, Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust and Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

It is funded by the Government Building Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Business Partnership, Midlands Engine and West Midlands Combined Authority.

photos: Refik Anadol

UK's first permanent immersive digital art gallery 'The Reel Store' to open as part of the UK's Coventry City of Culture celebrationsUK's first permanent immersive digital art gallery 'The Reel Store' to open as part of the UK's Coventry City of Culture celebrations

December 14, 2021

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