Lumen Underground

Carla Rapoport

With less than 2 weeks to go until Lumen's 4th Call for Entries, plans are afoot for the last stop of the current global tour - London's magical Crypt Gallery under St Pancras Church, Euston. Once again, we'd delighted to be working with the MA Fine Art Digital students at Camberwell School of Art, who will assist with curating the show.

Our Digital Art Seminar on the first day of the show - May 14th - will feature talks by 2014 Lumen Prize winner Andy Lomas, Christine Hooper, winner of the 2014 Lumen Animate Award, as well as Donna Halford Lovell, Director of NeON, Scotland's largest digital art festival, as well as other academics and members of Lumen's Jury Panel. Straight after the seminar will be the opening party for the show, so please save the date. The show itself runs to the 22nd and will include all the 2014 works plus a few extra surprises!

Dutch Masters

Carla Rapoport

Every Lumen Prize Exhibition comes with a seminar or educational activity, involving academics and artists. In Amsterdam, among other speakers, we were lucky enough to have Katja Kwastek, a professor of modern and contemporary art at the VU University Amsterdam, with a research focus on digital art, media aesthetics, and the digital humanities. Previously, she taught at Ludwig-Maximilians-University (Munich) and Rhode Island School of Design in the US. She is also the author of “Aesthetics of Interaction in Digital Art” (MIT Press, 2013). This book is a must for anyone aiming to connect today's interactive digital art to the rich and storied history of contemporary art over the past 100 years.

[Katia] argues that the aesthetic experience enabled by digital art can, in fact, open up new perspectives for art historians.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, she writes in the book's introduction, artists have increasingly sought to involve the viewer and stretch the boundaries of the traditional concept of the artwork. Since the 1960's, this trend has been the object of much academic research. However, she points out, most art historians still have difficulty acknowledging  interactive digital art as a fully valid form of artistic expression. Instead, she argues that the aesthetic experience enabled by digital art can, in fact, open up new perspectives for art historians and not only as it connects to other digital art. In fact, she says, the fresh perspective gained from studying the aesthetics of interactive art might inspire art historians and art lovers alike to begin looking at other contemporary and historical art forms from new angles.

Inspiring words, indeed.

Happily Going Dutch

Carla Rapoport

Lumen Exhibition has been to a bookshop (Riga), art galleries (Shanghai, London and Hong Kong), a cathedral (Cardiff) and now it's on to a glamourous big-city hotel, Amsterdam's Art 'otel, one of a small chain of art hotels across Europe which feature artists such as Andy Warhol, Wolf Vostell, and Georg Baselitz. The Amsterdam Art 'otel, located in the heart of the city, has its own gallery - 5&33 - and what is claimed to be Europe's longest interactive curtain. We're thrilled to be invited to show this year's Lumen Prize show at this venue and are even more pleased that three of this year's artists have created bespoke work for the interactive curtain. The show - featuring this new work - runs from January 9th to 30th, coninciding with Amsterdam's Light Festival and Fashion Week.

Happily, there will also be a seminar and demonstration of digital art on January 17th from 3pm - 5pm, followed by a drinks reception and opening. Speakers at the seminar include Emmy and Lumen Prize winner Andy Lomas, Dr Nick Lambert of Birkbeck College and chair of the Computer Arts Society, as well as Laura Dekker, a Lumen Prize artist and Prof Katja Kwastek of VU AmsterdamArt history, author of Aesthetics of interaction in Digital Art.

Hope to see you there!

New York State of Mind

Carla Rapoport

Lumen's New York show was a real highlight of this year's global tour. We had the run of the Auditorium on Broadway, a space which included it's own escalator as well as a full-size cinema, green room and glass-fronted windows on Broadway! The show was put on in partnership with New York Institute of Technology's Fine Art Department, led by the energetic Ann Aptaker, adjuct NYIT professor and NY-based curator, whose new MA course in Exhibition and Design included the Lumen show in the term's course work. The students - no surprise - were brilliant at coming up with ideas on how to stage, set-up and mange the show, given all the various requirements of interactive, still and time-based work. It was great to work with them - with special thanks to Amanda Rodriquez, Hingchen Fan, Jie Han, Yu-Ta Shih, Nikita Tejwani and Angel Chan. And of course, a huge thank you to Lumen's champion at NYIT, the chair of Fine Arts, Terry Neuheim Goodman. Already looking forward to next year!