24/7 header image
Exhibition
Coming soon

24/7

A wake-up call for our non-stop world

31 Oct 2019 – 23 Feb 2020
£14.00 / £11.00 concessions
Under 12s free
Embankment Galleries
South Wing

A major exhibition exploring the non-stop nature of modern lives. 

A host of international contemporary artists and designers will hold a mirror up to a world in which we are sleeping less, complex systems are exerting control, and the pull of the screen is disrupting our instincts to daydream and pay attention to the world around us, and each other. The exhibition is inspired by the book of the same title by art critic and essayist Jonathan Crary (Verso, 2013).

Contributors include Marcus Coates, Mat Collishaw, Harun Farocki, Pierre Huyghe, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Kelly Richardson, Pilvi Takala, Addie Wagenknecht, and ten artists and designers from Somerset House Studios, including Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard.

It is estimated that Britons worked 37 more hours in 2017 than in 2010 (the equivalent of one week’s extra work for many people)1, with 200,000 working days lost annually to insufficient sleep.2  Living in the glow of blue light, people in the UK now check their smartphones, on average, every 12 minutes, and half of all UK adults say their life would be boring if they could not get online access.3

Curated by Somerset House and Sarah Cook, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey from the cold light of the moon to the fading warmth of the sunset through a series of interactive installations and interrogations of 24/7 life.

Installations include:

Tatsuo Miyajima’s meditative isolation chamber Life Palace (tea room), in which individuals can climb inside, shut the door and bathe in the blue glow of LED countdowns

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg’s new immersive orchestration of a machine generated dawn chorus, highlighting the impact of 24/7 urban lifestyles on bird populations

Daily tous les jours’ I heard there was a secret chord, where visitors can unite with listeners around the world to hum the chorus of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah at the end of the exhibition.

Other exhibition highlights include Nastja Säde Rönkkö’s project 6 months without, in which she spent 6 months living and working from Somerset House Studios without the internet; Roman Signer’s Bett, where the artist attempts to sleep with a drone helicopter hovering above his head; Thomson & Craighead’s Beacon, a railway flap sign continuously relaying live web searches as they are being made around the world; Tega Brain’s unfit bits, where the artist fools fitness tracking tools into thinking she is taking exercise, and Alan Warburton’s series of 3D-scanned self-portraits depicting his worktime naps in a visual effects studio in Beijing.

24/7 is supported by world renowned lighting company Signify and will include new work commissioned as a partnership between Somerset House and design hub A/D/O by MINI. Daily Tous Les Jours’ I Heard There Was A Secret Chord is supported by the Québec Government Office, London.

Quebec