World premiere of Beings by Universal Everything

World premiere of Beings by Universal Everything

Endless play abounds at ACMI this winter, as world premiere exhibition Beings comes alive on 22 May to 29 September2024. Comprised of 13 artworks drawn from the 20-year career of international art and design collective Universal Everything – including the premiere of four brand new artworks – Beings features an assortment of curious characters born from code.

Move, dance and play to bring captivating creatures to life on large-scale screens, then be hypnotised by vibrant projected artworks that experiment with movement, emotion and colour. Visitors can also learn about the creative process and innovative technology behind the artworks, with hand-drawn sketches on display for the first time.

Springing to life from a single drawn line into a crowd of fantastical creatures, Universal Everything artworks use emerging display technologies as their canvas. They produce vast digital artworks that subvert cinematic CGI, physics simulations and real-time gaming graphics – typically used by Hollywood studios and videogame makers – to craft new forms of moving image.

Created from ever-evolving algorithms, generative installations grow and change in real-time – responding differently to every visitor, every time they visit.

ACMI Director & CEO Seb Chan said: “This is technology with heart and soul. Innovative, interactive, and enriching, Universal Everything’s joyous creations bring warmth and a sense of humanity. Whether you have an eye for design, an interest in new tech or are simply looking for some fun, this family-friendly experience will leave you with a smile. ACMI is the home of endless play this winter – no two visits to Beings will be the same.”

Universal Everything Founder Matt Pyke said: “I relish this opportunity to push our studio practice even further, with some never-before-seen artworks created for Melbourne audiences. And as ever, I’m looking forward to being surprised by unexpected visitor responses to the show. We hope they have lots of fun.”   

Minister for Creative Industries, the Hon. Colin Brooks MP said: “ACMI continues to lead the way by bringing together art and technology to create immersive experiences for everyone to enjoy. We’re proud to back this world premiere exhibition which will be part of an action-packed winter season of creativity in Melbourne.”

Universal Everything was founded in 2004 by Creative Director Matt Pyke. Beginning in his garden studio in Sheffield, England, Universal Everything has grown into a global network of architects, engineers, designers, cinematographers, animators, musicians and developers.

The collective has exhibited their distinctive works around the world, from Seoul to New York, London and beyond. Their collaborations include generative audio-visual apps with Radiohead, interactive spaces with Zaha Hadid Architects and future R&D with Apple.

Beings includes the world premiere of four brand new artworks, including two interactive installations currently in development, and artworks created with choreographer Benjamin Millepied and the LA Dance Project.

Beings will be complemented by a suite of public programs over winter: late nights; a contemporary dance series featuring Melbourne choreographers, including Rebecca Jensen and Sarah Aiken; school holiday activities; and ACMI Preschoolers – interactive, movement and play-based sessions for children aged three to five years.

Schools can take advantage of this joyful experience to inspire creativity and innovation amongst students. Education resources will provide practical ideas for primary and secondary teachers to support a fun excursion, focusing on character design, imaginative writing, and playful creative arts activities.

Beings runs 22 May to 29 September in ACMI’s Gallery 4. Tickets go on sale to the general public on 19 April, with early access for ACMI Members and school groups. For further details visit

Machine Learning, Universal Everything, image courtesy of the artist