The Lumen Prize

The Lumen Prize Art at the FCA evening yesterday was an opportunity to see some really interesting digital artworks.

Some are still images, such as Hyphae by Anders Hoff, or Fibonnaci Image by Marcus West.

Others are visualisation tools, such as the “Augmented Hand” installation, see video here.

And there were several generative videos, using algorithms to trace and develop patterns, such as Mutator 2, see video here, or Emerge by David Hoe, video here, or Particle Man, video here, or World of Water by Anne Spalter, video here.

particle man

Also the mesmerising Radiancescape by XCEED. Read the description before you watch the video, so you see it in a proper context.

And of course, Electric Sheep, which is a sort of crowd-sourced generative algorithm which grows as it is used, using an evolutionary algorithm. (Video here)

One interesting installation (see image) is ‘Man A’, which was partly two images in black on white paper, and partly an app.



My first thought was Fabio Lattanzi Antinori and electric paint, but as far as I can see the ink on paper acts simply as a kind of barcode, which is read by the app, and this is a switch to turn on a visualisation which is displayed on your phone or tablet. See video links here.

Two things that strike me:
1. I can post links to most of these works and you can see them immediately – almost the same as I did last night. (Well, no canapes, no wine, perhaps). These are not art works as objects of value to be treasured and curated away from us by experts: these are art works running free.
2. The enormous range of possibilities new media art open up. These works are the dreams that Bellini or Klimt might have had, but could never capture in boring old paint. These are visions and narratives and experiences brought to life.

Carla Rapoport and her team deserve huge credit for bringing these works together and giving artists encouragement and opportunity. Carla told me that, after a career in financial journalism, she had the idea for the Lumen Prize whilst at a David Hockney exhibition. She has put together an impressive team and soundĀ supporters and the result last night was an explosion of ideas, colour and shape in the ‘establishment’ surroundings of the Financial Conduct Authority lobby, at the heart of the City of London.

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