Liverpool is internationally known for its culture and creativity. One of the city’s most loved arts venues is FACT. Funded by Liverpool City Council and Arts Council England, it’s global reach is extraordinary. To find out what the team have produced over the last sixteen years and what’s coming up, take a look here.
FACT stands for and celebrates the talents of film, art and creative technology. Imagined and made in Liverpool, we make internationally exceptional art, science and technology projects that radically explore society and its most pressing issues. FACT began in 1985 with the launch of Merseyside Moviola — an occasional project for screening independent, experimental film and video works. When our award-winning building and home on Wood Street opened in 2003, it was the first purpose built cultural institution to be built in the city since The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall — over 60 years prior.
An organisation with an international outlook, throughout our history we’ve worked with artists from all over the world and toured our artworks to destinations as varied as China and Panama. Over the past two years, FACT has commissioned 24 brand new artworks by non-UK artists to be shown in our galleries, as well as having 23 artists-in-residence here at FACT from outside of the UK. We’ve shown a wide range of global artists in our galleries — from The USA to Japan, Indonesia to Colombia.
We continue to explore ways to engage and collaborate with local people, whilst retaining our national and international outlook with our exhibitions, events and partnerships. This international element is reliant on the dedication and support of our visitors. Every year, we welcome over 250,000 people into our building and engage with over 10,000 young people and adults from across the Liverpool City Region — working with people in schools, prisons and in the community.
Our critically acclaimed exhibition Broken Symmetries, which ran at FACT from November 2018 to March 2019, sums up the international spirit of our programming. A collaboration with Arts at CERN in Geneva, one of the largest and most-respected worldwide centres for scientific research, the exhibition brought together artworks by 10 international artists who had spent time producing their works at the lab at CERN. Following the exhibition’s premiere at FACT, the artworks toured to CCCB in Barcelona and has been visited by almost 100,000 people to date. The next stops on this international tour include iMAL (Interactive Media Arts Laboratory) in Brussels, Belgium and le lieu unique (Center for Contemporary Culture) in Nantes, France.
Our global outlook is continuing and will also run throughout 2020. This year, we welcomed two exhibitions called Oceans 4.0 and no bodies welcome | all bodies welcome, featuring works by artists involved in the European Media Arts Platform. Artists from countries such as Italy, Belgium and Slovenia were included, showcasing artworks like Italian artist Marco Barotti’s Clams — a kinetic sound installation triggered by water quality. Real-time data is streamed by a sensor and converted into an audio signal, which generates a live evolving soundscape, triggering the opening and closing movements of the Clam sculptures.
In 2020, our exhibitions and events will focus on the planet’s unfolding environmental disaster, presenting new framings and suggesting ways in which we can respond to the challenges that face us. These will not present a hopeless scenario, but explore creative and adaptive ways of thinking about the dramatic changes in our ecological world, the animal kingdom and our local environment. Rooted as always in a global, outward-looking context, we’ll look at how we can change our behaviours as individuals and help to enable change both in Liverpool and globally.
FACT is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and is funded by Liverpool City Council.
Broken Symmetries is curated by Mónica Bello and José-Carlos Mariátegui, and is co-produced by ScANNER (the Science and Art Network for New Exhibitions and Research), composed of Arts at CERN (the arts program of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, Geneva); FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool); CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona); le lieu unique (Center for Contemporary Culture — Nantes) and iMAL (interactive Media Arts Laboratory, Brussels).
Additional support from The University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University.
ScANNER was initiated through the Collide International residency Award 2016–2018, a partnership programme between Arts at CERN and FACT.