A.I. Portrait Scoops Gold

By Carla Rapoport September 20, 2018

Lumen isn’t all about winning. Longlisted artists and finalists become part of the Lumen family and are eligible for opportunities to show their work right alongside winners. But once a year, we are all about winning and, indeed, at Thursday’s Lumen Awards Ceremony we announced $11,000 for of prizes to 9 very happy winners.

The US$4k Gold Award winner, Mario Klingemann from Germany, scooped the top prize with his portrait, The Butcher’s Son, created using artificial intelligence tools. Klingemann entered the work in our Artificial Intelligence category, sponsored for the second year by the British Computer Society (BCS), Chartered Institute for IT. Brian Runciman, BCS’s head of content, commented on the work: “Francis Bacon as reimagined by AI.” Danielle Siembieda, Deputy Director of Leonardo/ISAST  and a member of Lumen’s International Selectors Committee, added: “It conveys the intense colour, stroke and composition quality of a portrait while adding to the mystery of the human body.”

From my side, you can’t help noting that there’s a lot of fear and worry today about how A.I. will affect our lives. At the same time, you can see the very same tools creates real joy when in the hands of artists. Each year, Lumen Prize winners break barriers in the art world, and 2018 provides another brilliant example.

Other winners this year include a VR experience which transforms the viewer into a majestic rainforest tree, bio-digital fungus that can tweet (@hellofungus) and a work which incorporates 40 speakers playing the sounds from the artist’s heartbeat. To enjoy them all, please click here.

You’ll notice a new award, the Rapoport Award for Women in Digital Art, which went to Felicity Hammond for her work In Defence of Industry.

I’ll be taking a more in-depth look at each of these winners over the next few weeks so please stay tuned.

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