On 24 October at the Barbican Centre in London, the winners of the 2019 Lumen Prize will be announced from a shortlist announced at the beginning of September. The annual prize celebrates excellence in digital art, as judged by a panel which this year includes Louise Lawson (Tate), Irini Papadimitriou (Future Everything), Fei Jun (China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts), Foteini Aravani (Museum of London), Ben Vickers (Serpentine Galleries) and William Latham (Goldsmiths University).
Exceptional contributions to still and moving image, virtual and augmented reality, 3D art and interactive art are celebrated by the Prize, which also has categories celebrating outstanding work by women in art and tech and by students enrolled in still and moving image courses. There is also a People’s Choice Award, whose winner is chosen by the public.
We’re excited to say that a number of artists on the Sedition platform have been selected as part of the shortlist. Below is a run through of the shortlisted artists in each category highlighting the work of artists on Sedition.
The artworks shortlisted in the Still Image category are Referential Gaze by Bang Geul Han, Drawing Operations by Sougwen Chung, Phygital Palimpsest by Stefan Gant, The Seeker by Nye Thompson, London Knowledge by Max Colson and CS-4322 by Eric Fong.
Drawing Operations (Duet) by Sougwen Chung is a performance built around a long-term collaboration between the artist and two drawing robots - D.O.U.G._1 and D.O.U.G._2 (Drawing Operations Unit Generations 1 and 2). The collaboration has evolved over time, exploring motion and mark making, human and computer vision, and the formation of a collective human-machine memory. The project is organised into chapters, each exploring a particular robotic behaviour through the artist’s interactions with the two robots.
The works chosen in the Moving Image category are SIGNALS - FORECAST by Nicolas Sassoon & Rick Silva, Desire Line by Ruini Shi, Angels (Tribute to Giordano) by Patxi Araujo, Operation Jane Walk by Leonhard Müllner, Love Birds, Night Birds, Devil-Birds by Cassie McQuater, UNIVERSAL TONGUE by Anouk Kruithof, Ice-Time by Clea T. Waite and Melting Memories by Refik Anadol.
SIGNALS FORECAST is a digitally rendered oceanic panorama created by Nicolas Sassoon in collaboration with Rick Silva. Shown as a large-scale panoramic projection, the work combines a variety of source material including oceanographic surveys, climate studies and science-fiction to create a shifting seascape using computer imaging. A custom software plays different versions of the seascape based on the time of day; the digital ocean changes according to weather and light conditions throughout its cycle. The work is accompanied by a shifting soundtrack. SIGNALS FORECAST examines the terms ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ and looks at the relationship between order and chaos as it plays out in the ocean and in software, as well as the relationship between perception and reality. The piece looks at the processes and patterns of mutation and contamination, and speculates on future ecologies that merge the physical and digital.
Melting Memories by Refik Anadol is a series of data paintings, light projections and augmented data sculptures which creatively interpret motor movements in the human brain. The work invites visitors to immerse themselves in audiovisual renderings of EEG data collected from neural mechanisms of cognitive control. Light is used carefully by the artist to evoke the tensions at the boundaries of the actual and fictional, physical and virtual. The piece creates liminal spaces of experimentation which create questions about the nature of perception. It is intended as an alternative space in which visitors can lose themselves, explore alternate realities, and gain new perspectives on how memory is formed. In doing so the work creates space for reflection on the mechanism of psychological manipulation and control.
Trail of Angels by Kristina Buozyte
The following works were shortlisted in the XR category, which includes Virtual and Augmented Realty works: Relation • Ship by Zoey Lin, Trail of Angels by Kristina Buozyte and Imaginary Cities by Michael Takeo Magruder
Mosaic Virus by Anna Ridler
In the Artificial Intelligence category, the judges chose the following works: Correction of Rubens by Robbie Barrat, Mosaic Virus by Anna Ridler, Lichtsuchende by Dave Murray-Rust and Rocio von Jungenfeld, Dio by Ben Snell, and Alt-C by Michael Sedbon.
Currently showing in Artificial Creators at the Eden Project, Mosaic Virus is an AI-generated moving image work which draws comparisons between bitcoin and the tulip mania of the 17th Century Netherlands. Each frame of the work shows a tulip in the process of blooming. The appearance and behaviour of the tulip is determined by AI that responds to the fluctuating price of bitcoin. In botany, mosaic is a virus that causes striped tulip petals; these stripes contributed to the inflated price of tulips as it made the flowers more desirable. The stripes in Ridler’s work depend on the value of bitcoin. The work was made using a technique which echoes yet distinctly differs from the way datasets are typically processed. The work connects contemporary image-making with the traditional Dutch still life and the contemporary bitcoin boom with its botanical ancestor. Mosaic Virus also critically reflects on the way value and control are produced by human and machine.
The artists chosen for the 3D or Interactive Art shortlist are Halo by Kimchi and Chips, Displuvium by Fragmentin, Microbiocene by Baum & Leahy, The Great indecision Council by Romain Tardy, Moving from the Binary by Robert Andrew, PORTALS / VIDEO CULTURE by Sam Meech & Raz Ullah, Resurrecting the Sublime, 2019 by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Dr Christina Agapakis/Ginkgo Bioworks & Sissel Tolaas, Narciss by Christian Mio Loclair and We Are All Made Of Light by Maja Petric.
The Lumen Prize 2019 Awards Ceremony is in Cinema 2 at The Barbican Centre on 24 October. On 25 October several shortlisted artists will discuss their practice in a programme of Artist Talks at IBM Southbank, while from 30 October to 3 November the winning artworks will be exhibited in the Director’s Showcase at the Cello Factory, London in partnership with The London Group.
Top image: Melting Memories by Refik Anadol
Lumen Prize 2019 Venues
Barbican, London is at Silk St, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DS.
The Cello Factory is at 33-34 Cornwall Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8TJ.