Phoenix Exhibitions and Events

As part of my on-going documentation of digital arts in Leicester have been compiling a list of past exhibitions and events at Phoenix (known as Phoenix Square from November 2009 to September 2012). Much of this content has come from the Phoenix website at, but I am also adding my own archival materials and annotations where appropriate. If you spot any omissions or errors please let me know.

Events pre-November 2009 took place at the Phoenix Art Centre on Upper Brown Street and have been included to show how the 'old Phoenix' began to engage with digital arts prior to its move to the Cultural Quarter in November 2009. This part of the archive will be incomplete since I tended to only document the digital arts events I was involved in.

Sat, 21 Sep 2013
Retroactive 2013
Retroactive 2013

Sat 21 Sep 2013
12pm - Late

Tickets: £30 - CLICK HERE TO BOOK or call 0116 242 2800
(Day Ticket covers entry to 6 films and all gaming events in the building)

The UK's only retro movie and gaming festival returns to Phoenix!

We're rolling out another 12 hours of classic 80's and 90's cinema plus masses of video games from the last 4 decades. Import Systems - Classic Systems - Traders - Arcade Machines - and Tournaments!





4) TBA

5) TBA

6) FILM NUMBER 6 WILL BE VOTED FOR BY YOU! Visit when the vote opens at the end of June!

Fri, 28 Jun 2013 - Sat, 20 Jul 2013
An Indian Summer - Digital Kite Flying
An Indian Summer - Digital Kite Flying

Digital Kite Flying

Brendan Oliver
Concept & exhibition design by Gurdeep Sian

28 June – 20 July

Cube Gallery

Digital Kite Flying is an interactive artwork that whisks you away to the rooftops of the Indian city of Udaipur.

Using body tracking sensors that respond to your hand movements, you can fly digital kites high above the city.

You can also design your own kites that will become part of the artwork. Go to on your computer, tablet or smartphone to create your own design.

All of the saved kite designs will be ready and available to fly as part of the installation in our cube gallery.

Digital Kite Flying draws on the rich history of the kite and its relationship with Indian culture. It has been commissioned by Phoenix in partnership with An Indian Summer for this year's Indian Summer Festival.

Fri, 14 Jun 2013 - Fri, 21 Jun 2013
The Pleasure Centre
The Pleasure Centre

The Pleasure Centre:
Stuart Croft, Edward Thomasson & Michael Robinson

14 – 21 June
Cube gallery

Free Entry

The pursuit of pleasure is at the heart of this exhibition of films by three leading artists.

In Stuart Croft's Drive In a character delivers a monologue to her partner, telling the tale of a fantasy paradise that never reaches its destination.

Paradise of a different kind is sought in Michael Robinson's These Hammers Don't Hurt Us, a gaudy found footage mash-up featuring Cleopatra and the Kind of Pop.

Edward Thomason's Inside looks within for quieter, more tactile pleasures, weaving together three stories exploring what might be going on beneath the surface of the human mind and body.

Resulting from the Fine Art Practices group research at De Montfort University, this show forms part of a city wide exhibition and symposium addressing the theme of pleasure in modern and contemporary art.

The Pleasure Centre has been produced in association with De Montfort University and curated by Phoenix and Anna Lucas.

Tue, 11 Jun 2013
CAS Talks - Paul Brown
CAS Talks - Paul Brown

Tue 11 June 6.30pm

Phoenix Seminar Rooms

Free - call box office on 0116 242 2800 to reserve your place

Phoenix is pleased to present the first in a new series of talks in partnership with the Computer Arts Society for anyone interested in the history and future of digital art.

Artist and writer Paul Brown will be talking about his pioneering work, which has helped shape the world of art, design and technology since the 1970s.

Paul Brown is a leading figure in the development of digital art. He has exhibited internationally, including at major venues including the Tate and V&A. Paul continues to make prints, drawings, 'kinetic paintings' and large scale public artworks to this day.

Wed, 29 May 2013 - Sun, 02 Jun 2013
Sparking The Imagination 2013
Sparking The Imagination 2013

Sparking the Imagination

Wednesday 29 – Sunday 2 June 10am - 5pm

At Phoenix we'll be sparking children's imaginations with a programme packed full of amazing experiences, marvellous activities and family friendly films handpicked for the digital generation.

Book of Worlds
The Book of Worlds is no ordinary book. As you turn its pages, its tale comes to life around you with pictures, lights and sounds! This incredible interactive artwork takes children and their parents on a magical trip together into a world where imagination can become real.

See your own digital artworks appear before your eyes in this wonderful interactive installation. Graffit! lets you spray colours and shapes across a huge virtual canvas with highly realistic effects. All of the fun with nothing to clear up! Pick up a can and get painting...

Book of Worlds and Graffit! have been devised by digital artist Luke Woodbury and commissioned by Phoenix for The Spark Festival.

Boredbrands - The Digital Funfair
The Digital Funfair is coming to town with a trio of original, imaginative and very funny interactive artworks. Be a superstar DJ with the Beat Jigsaw, create awesome music and videos with the AV Arcade Table, and take a spin on the Pacbike to save the earth from Alien invaders!

Suitable for: 2+ years
Running Time: 10am - 5pm each day
Tickets: Free activities
Where: Cube gallery and around Phoenix

Fri, 12 Apr 2013 - Fri, 24 May 2013
Extinction Event by Dave Griffiths
Extinction Event by Dave Griffiths

12 April - 24th May

Cube gallery, cafebar and online

Free entry

After studying the distant cosmos with scientists at the University of Leicester, artist Dave Griffiths has been inspired to create Extinction Event, a new artwork commissioned specially for this exhibition at Phoenix.

Extinction Event draws on Dave's fascination with both film and astronomy, embedding a map of tiny film fragments on the windows of the Phoenix cafebar. Bring your magnifying glass and observe a history of cinema told through cue-dot bursts. Astronomy and cinema are also explored in the film Seer's Catalogue on the cafebar video-screens.

The exhibition continues in the cube gallery with Babel Fiche, a film that imagines what future generations might make of us from the moments we choose to capture and share. Babel Fiche was created from a crowd-sourced archive of videos distilled and compressed onto microfiche film, a selection of which will also be on display.

Dave Griffiths is an artist, filmaker and curator based in Manchester. His work has been shown internationally, from China to the first ever video-art show in Tripoli, Libya. In 2010 he co-curated the major exhibition UnSpooling - Artists and Cinema at Cornerhouse and this year he has been nominated for the Northern Art Prize.

Extinction Event has been commissioned by Phoenix and MIRIAD. Babel Fichewas commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella with support from North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University, co-produced by Castlefield Gallery and Film and Video Umbrella. Supported by Arts Council England.

Click here to see the Babel Fiche online project

Fri, 22 Mar 2013 - Sun, 24 Mar 2013
Code Control
Code Control

Phoenix is partnering with San Francisco software company Cycling '74 to host Code Control, its second international festival for artists and musicians to explore software which can be used to create unique sounds, stunning visuals and interactive digital art.

Running from 22-24 March at Phoenix, Code Control is the only forum outside the US which brings together users of Cycling' 74's popular visual programming software 'Max'. With its straightforward building-block approach to programming, Max – and related software MSP, Jitter and Max for Live – are all used widely by composers, performers, software designers and artists to create innovative recordings, performances and installations.

Alongside the festival, Phoenix and Cycling '74 are announcing two initiatives to inspire new digital artists. The Code Catalyst Award fund will give three artists the opportunity to develop and exhibit new work at the festival; and provide forty bursary tickets for students to attend the festival for free.

International speakers at the event will include senior executives from Cycling '74 including CEO and founder David Zicarelli, and developers Sam Tarakajian and Jeremy Bernstein. There will also be workshops as well as exhibitions open to the public. Full details of the event and the Code Catalyst Awards are at

Tickets are available at the Phoenix box office or by phone on 0116 242 2800. They cost £75 for the weekend and £40 for a single day. Concession prices are £60 and £30 respectively. For students interested in applying for the bursary tickets visit the website at Click here to buy tickets

About Cycling '74
Cycling '74 creates software for the specialised needs of artists, educators, and researchers working with audio, visual media, and physical computing. The company's visual programming tools Max, MSP, Jitter, and Gen serve as the creative engine behind thousands of innovative projects. The company was formed in 1997 by David Zicarelli and has approximately 25 employees and consultants worldwide. More at

About Max
Instead of writing lines of code, MAX users simply plug together a series of objects – visual boxes that contain tiny programmes – to create interactive software. As a result, musicians can create unique sound-making tools and instruments; artists can build installations which respond to viewer interaction; and exhibition designers can create educational exhibits which engage museum customers.

The software is developed and maintained by Cycling '74, and is also enhanced by a large community of programmers not affiliated with the company, who provide commercial and non-commercial extensions to the software.

Fri, 01 Mar 2013 - Thu, 21 Mar 2013
Sally Sheinman - What Makes You, You?
Sally Sheinman - What Makes You, You?

Location: Phoenix cafebar

Using a specially-designed website and Twitter, painter-turned-digital-artist Sally Sheinman wants your answers to this question.

Using an iPad - and your answers as inspiration - she'll create a unique painting every day, resulting in at least 200 new images over the course of this six month exhibition.

You can watch the project unfold at Phoenix through an exhibition in our cafebar and via Twitter #WhatMakesYouYou? The paintings will also be offered back to the public in a variety of ways – including free-to-download phone wallpaper and as signed prints.

As an artist, Sally is motivated by the infinite scope of the question 'What makes you, you? and the opportunity to capture what makes people different. She is fascinated by people: their similarities and differences genetically, culturally, socially and individually. Her images are a new type of portrait.

Wed, 13 Feb 2013
Visible Bits, Audible Bytes
Visible Bits, Audible Bytes

Visible Bits, Audible Bytes

Seminar: 3pm – 5pm
Concert & screening: 6.30pm - 8pm
Location: Phoenix seminar rooms and cinema
Tickets: £5 / £3 conc BUY NOW (seminar free entry)

Visible Bits, Audible Bytes presents a series of talks and a concert of experimental film and audio-visual works that champion the soundtrack and explore the relationship between sound and the moving image.

An afternoon seminar brings together three of the UK's leading practitioners to discuss their current work in restoring, creating and performing audio-visual works - Dr Joseph Hyde, Bath Spa University; Dr Mick Grierson, Goldsmiths College University of London; Dr Louise Harris, Kingston University.

This is followed by a concert screening of works, curated to demonstrate the historical legacy of sound and image practice, bringing contemporary works and those from the BFI archives together in a diverse and rich programme.

The concert screening will feature both live and fixed-media works from all three visiting practitioners and will also present the film In Absentia, by the Quay brothers, made to accompany the music of the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. The event has been curated by the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (De Montfort University), in partnership with Phoenix.

The afternoon talks are free and will take place in the Courtyard Rooms between 3-5pm. The concert screening will take place in Screen Two from 6.30pm.

Call the box office on 0116 242 2800 to reserve your free place on the afternoon seminar