The FACT building was opened in 2003 as the UK’s flagship media art centre, arts service provider, exhibition and cinema space. It was funded by the National Lottery Capital Build Programme and is supported by the Arts Council and Liverpool City Council.
The “VIP Signature Pillar” is an architectural feature of the FACT building and an ad hoc document of some of the “VIP” visitors that are engaged with or by FACT in some way and have been through the building. These contributors are often engaged with the programme at FACT in some shape or form, often as contributors, artists, commissioners or supporters.
The visitors who have signed the pillar include film directors, artists, musicians and actors and the signatures on the pillar gives an indication of the breadth and scope of practice that goes on in the building. The signatures, also have a historical context in that they also indicate the activities of FACT over time. The first signature (Quentin Tarantino) appeared in 2007, but a number of the contributors have a longer history in relation to FACT.
The FACT building in a flexible, responsive space capable of adapting to the often complicated and demanding requirements artists and other leaders in their field have in presenting their work to the public. It contains a variety of spaces including cinema screens, a café, bar, working offices, hireable media spaces, and training facilities. It is also a production and equipment hires house. FACT attracts a regular number of high profile auteurs and tries to engage with these “VIPs” not only to ensure their events and presentations are done to the highest standard, but also on a personal level. This pillar is a way to document the passage of these guests and a fun and “punk” approach to the aesthetics of the building.
The building design was a collaboration between FACT’s Lead Artist at the time Clive Gillman and architects Austin-Smith: Lord.