The Tate Modern’s main turbine hall has been filled with large floating aliens, and it’s an art installation.
The installation is by the artist Anicka Yi, and it’s her largest and most ambitious project to date, transforming the Turbine Hall at the heart of Tate Modern with her vision of a new kind of ecosystem.
Moving through the air, her floating machines – called aerobes – are said to “prompt viewers to think about new ways that machines might inhabit the world.”
Although the work is supposed to be an exploration of the merger of technology and biology, in truth, the turbine hall has been filled with floating aliens that drift around the space.
Two species of aerobes explore the Turbine Hall, exhibiting individual and group behaviours in response to different elements of their environment. ‘Xenojellies’ have semitransparent bodies each with a different coloured top and patterned tentacles, while ‘planulae’ are bulbous and covered by short yellow hair. Both species are filled with helium, propelled by rotors and powered by a small battery pack.
In addition to the floating aliens, the hall is filled with scents that are specific to Bankside over the centuries, and will change each week. You might smell spices thought to counteract the Black Death in the 14th century, marine scents related to the Precambrian period long before humans inhabited earth, coal and ozone conjuring up the Machine Age of the 20th century, or vegetation from the Cretaceous period.
But mainly, it’s floating aliens.
The exhibition, Anicka Yi: In Love With The World is free to visit and open until 16th January. It’s recommended to book tickets in advance, but some may be available on the door if you are in the area and want to pop in.