Joshua Light Show + Inherent Vice at the Ace, Shoreditch

A stunning, psychedelic installation at the London hotel that encourages visitors to zone out and dream


A kaleidoscope of swirling, colorful shapes move up, down and around the windows of The 100 Room at Shoreditch’s Ace Hotel. The shapes come together and float apart, creating bubbles and cascading color explosions that look like fungi and haemoglobin, fireworks and underwater flowers. All the while, a suggestive, dreamlike soundtrack sets the mood for the ever-changing color display designed by the Joshua Light Show, the CH favorites who we’ve previously visited in their studio.


For the next five days, the public can expect to have their mind blown by the installation at the seventh floor of the Ace Hotel, which is usually only open for private events. The Joshua Light Show, who have been creating psychedelic, analog light shows since 1967, bring their years of expertise to London for the artwork based on the Inherent Vice soundtrack by Radiohead musician and renowned composer Jonny Greenwood. Greenwood also created the soundtrack for two other Paul Thomas Anderson films, There Will Be Blood and The Master. His and Joshua Light Show’s installation is a fitting tribute to Anderson’s latest film, a stoned, hard-boiled surf noir set in the sun-dappled streets of early 1970s Los Angeles.


Together, the Inherent Vice soundtrack and the light show form a suggestive, beautiful piece of art that perfectly combines the two media. Joshua Light Show Musical Director Nick Hallett comments on the installation:


“We are Radiohead super-fans—a collaboration would be the light show’s dream—and we have followed Greenwood’s rise as a composer in his own right. Popcorn Superhet Receiver is one of the most interesting orchestral works of the 21st century, and Greenwood continues to flex all sorts of different musical muscles in his work with Inherent Vice. To my ears, it evokes Bernard Herrmann’s best scores for Hitchcock, full of classic mystery and intrigue, and in many ways helps remind the Inherent Vice audience that, behind the haze of marijuana smoke, we are essentially watching a film noir. The movie itself is gorgeous, and captures the period of early ’70s Los Angeles so well. It makes complete sense that Ace Hotel pegged us to create a more abstract work of art that ties into the aesthetics of the Inherent Vice world, and Greenwood’s music in particular.”


Joshua Light Show + Inherent Vice is open for viewing at the Ace until 25 January 2015, and is well worth a visit for those who want to dream themselves away from the winter gray streets of London for a little while to turn on, tune in and drop out.

Images courtesy of Sting Media