Anyone looking to the sky in South London last weekend would have been treated to the sight of a 15-metre-long Nike shoe floating above the roof of Peckham Levels, projecting generative visuals shaped by the beats at the hyped event taking place at the Copeland Gallery next door.
Dubbed ‘The Pulse of London’, this was Nike’s maxxed out event for Air Max Day 2023—a celebration of the electric energy of London’s music and cultural scene, and the recently launched shoe—the Air Max Pulse—that was inspired by it.
Part of a wider drive by Nike connecting Air Max with the cream of the next generation—witness the smash hit of the recent Crtz collab; last week’s Nike x Nia archives x Homebass rave in East London; and myriad link-ups with emerging talent across the globe—the move to harness the power of the fixture in the cultural calendar that is Air Max Day allowed the brand to take things—literally—to the next level.
Guests included athletes—such as up’n’coming Spurs baller Lenna Gunning-Williams—the great and the good of London’s music and culture scenes, and those Nike SNKRS members who’d been fortunate enough to bag an exclusive invite through the app. Complex were also granted exclusive access throughout the event, which we captured in the film above—fronted by our host, and renowned DJ in her own right, Goldie Quaker—and images, above and below.
The Copeland Gallery—the main hub of the event, where all the guests were—was a multi-room affair, designed to showcase the next gen of London’s creative talent.
The Community Room played host to an exhibition by Film Abdi, a documentary photographer from South London who first picked up a camera in 2018 and is now making big waves with his emotive documentary style—here showing some pieces from his renowned ‘Summer is ours’ series.
This room also had panels on the wall with write-ups, museum style, of the 4 music collectives who were kicking off the first few hours of the event—Fam E Li, Keep Hush, Daytimers and Dankie Sounds. Plus there was a product-oriented room displaying big visuals of Jeshi and Nia Archives, the homegrown talent fronting the new Air Max Pulse campaign.
The music room was, unsurprisingly, the main room, and it was rammed and hyped pretty much from the jump. The 4 music collectives kicked things off and got the crowd going, before the headline B2B sets—OK Williams Vs Skee Mask, Amaliah Vs Joy Orbison, Ahadadream Vs Sherelle and more—took over and their electronic sounds, topped with a liberal dose of UK rap samples for good measure, upped the energy to ever higher levels until finally D Double showed up at the end and fully shelled the place down.
Their music and energy were taken by the VJ Daito Manabe (Rhyzomatics), who turned them live into generative visuals that were then transmitted onto the 15-metre Air Max Pulse on the roof of Peckham Levels, and out into the London skyline beyond.
Check out the new Nike Air Max Pulse on Nike.com.