Watched by 25 million viewers in the Middle East and North Africa, BBC Arabic’s weekly 4Tech programme discusses technology, innovation and cyberspace.
Invited to take part in this week’s episode, Tagsmart demonstrated its unique triple-lock solution directly from Mat Collishaw’s studio. Our Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Steve Cooke introduced our technology by tagging Collishaw’s Insecticide 28 print.
Tagsmart has developed a unique, secure genetic “stamp” to identify, seal and verify the authenticity of artworks. Following an extensive collaboration between leading artists, surface chemists and conservators, every component of the Tag is part of a complex web of security measures, using revolutionary label technology featuring the latest synthetic DNA taggants and inorganic compounds.
Alongside presenter Anees Alqudaihi, Collishaw also talked about his exhibition Thresholds, using the latest in VR technology.
Thresholds is a fully immersive portal to the past, restaging one of the earliest exhibitions of photography in 1839, when William Henry Fox Talbot first presented his photographic prints to the public at King Edward’s School, Birmingham.
Presented in London and Birmingham, the show is now relocating to Lacock Abbey, in Wiltshire, where it will open on September 16.
Every year contemporary sculptures by internationally renowned artists are taken out of their natural habitat and placed in surprising corners of London’s financial district, Square Mile. With this year being the largest to date, with 16 artworks taking up residence amongst some of London’s most famous buildings, our team had a little wander around the city and picked our favourite pieces.
Nathaniel Rackowe’s Black Shed Expanded at Bury Court
This piece, which recently featured at Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, is a large-scale urban shed structure, seemingly mid-explosions upside-down, exposing its illuminated interior. It stands out amongst the London skyscrapers which surround it, the force of the light emanating from within, it seems to be ripping it apart. This work is in line with Rackowe’s usual practice, combining light and movement with urban infrastructure and industrial products.
Gavin Turk’s Ajar at the St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Gardens
This random open doorframe in the middle of a park has been left on display from last year’s Sculpture in the City and is rather intriguing. Why a door frame in an open space? Is it opening or closing? Do we walk through the door frame? Why is the handle so low down? Why has it been left open? Is it a portal through time? The door leads to never-ending questions and possibilities, and yet, it also leads to nothing. It is a playful homage to William Blake’s famous doors of perception as we are invited to walk through Turk’s door into the enchanting realms of the imagination and beyond. So, if you need a time out of the office head down to Bishopsgate!
Kevin Killen’s Tipping Point at The Leadenhall Building
Using the city streets to guide him, Killen has mapped out the urban landscape of Belfast with a series of light arrangements. The artist captures accidental, unexpected, spontaneous and playful fleeting moments of movement with his camera. He then deconstructs and visualises these images with the use of neon lights. The intricacy and experimentation of his work are highly impressive. When looking at this colourful installation, you would never guess that such thought has gone into its creation, would you? His translation of urban settings into kinetic light pulses is just beautiful!
Damien Hirst’s Temple in Cullum Street
The anatomical model of a male torso, with the musculature and organs exposed, stands 21-feet high near one of London’s oldest markets, Leadenhall Market. This piece, made in 2008, is reminiscent of many other Hirst sculptures, such as The Virgin Mother, which was one of the largest bronze statues in the world at the time. The famed artist’s obsession with anatomy and death is clear throughout his work, whether with people or animals. Standing under this sculpture, you come to realise that we are human and beneath our skin, these organs reverberate keeping us alive. Quite scary!
Karen Tang’s Synapsid at Fenchurch Street Station
Reminiscent of a mutated, radioactive monster, this piece is rather playful and interactive. But what is it actually? An alien, some animal form, a monster? The neon greens and blobby segments evoke some kind of sci-fi evasion where extraterrestrials descend from space and rampage through London’s city centre. Tang’s works often reference science, sci-fi, architecture and city life.
He took the opportunity to discuss Tagsmart’s journey, which began with Steve Cooke, our Chief Innovation Officer, and renowned frame-maker Mark Darbyshire. Led by Tom, in the past couple of years we gradually assembled an esteemed board of advisers formed of the UK’s foremost security, art conservation, software and materials science experts.
Throughout Tagsmart’s evolution, we have endeavoured to create a solution which appeals and conforms to our clients needs and wants. We have worked extensively alongside scientists and conservators ensuring our Tag does not interfere with the artwork and is applied with ease. The outcome is our triple-lock solution for authentication encompassing the DNA Tag providing proof of origin, the Certificate sealing ownership and our digital Provenance Record acting as a digital passport over time.
After a year since Tagsmart’s launch, we are pleased to be working with some of the UK’s leading artists including Mario Testino and Gary Hume and to have tagged over 5,000 works of art.
We are honoured to have shared our story with other professionals in the field, discussing the challenges of establishing authenticity and how we believe technology is leading the way forwards in addressing this issue.
Tagsmart is honoured to introduce its Advisory Board comprising some of the world’s leading experts in the fields of arts and science. Its purpose is to assist Tagsmart in meeting its mission by sharing insights and knowledge on the art market needs and trends, as well as contributing to the latest scientific developments and applicable research.
We are proud to be supported by Dr Matthew Baker, Mike Triggs, Dr Carinna Parraman, Professor John Watts, Dr Melanie Bailey, Graham Bignell, Professor Bill Redman-White, Joanne Wilson, Aino-Leena Grapin, Amy Todd Middleton, Colette Loll and Mike Adam and grateful for their crucial insights and distinctive expert advice.
This dedicated trusted group of individuals shapes our business and is vital to our performance and engagement, ensuring our overall success in establishing a new standard for authenticity in art.