In memory of all the men and women who served in the First and Second World War and honouring Second World War code-breaker Alan Turing, laser beams mounted on the roof of the Lowry will beam morse code into the night sky above Salford Quays in a week-long exhibition which starts this Friday.
The majestic show, entitled “Thank You”, was created by curator Craig Morrison, who specialises in digital art. The laser display will run every night for a week, from 6:30 until 11pm.
According to Morrison, the Quays are the perfect location for the display. “Unlike a lot of other cities, everyone in Manchester seems to know about Turing. The city really adopted him as one of their own.
“I wanted to articulate Turing’s epitaph about wondrous lights and I think the display does that nicely while tying in with his life story.”
Morrison went on to say “He was an amazing figure and a genius who laid the foundations for modern computing but unfortunately his death often overshadows his life, I wanted to bring attention to what he achieved and lasers seemed a fitting way. I hope anyone who goes down to the Quays will look up at the display and spare a thought for Turing.”
For those of you who don’t know, Alan Turing was born in 1912 and was a mathematician and computer scientist who played a vital role at Bletchley Park, Britain’s code-breaking centre during the war.
His ideas were decades ahead of his time, and is well known as the person who broke the enigma code, a complex system of communications used by the Germans, he also wrote a renowned theoretical paper in 1934, which paved the way for the search engines that we use today, such as Google.
To many people’s distress, Turing was found dead in his home in 1954 as a result of cyanide poisoning, in what an inquest ruled as suicide. Most people believed his death to be suicide because 2 years earlier he was found guilty of having a homosexual relationship – illegal at the time in the UK – and as a punishment he was forced to undergo hormonal castration.