The cross-culture nature of Lumen artists, it seems, grows stronger every year. This year, our longlist includes a Danish artist, Tine Bech, whose studio is based in the UK. And keeping with our cross-border theme, her selected work, We Believe, links her two homes in an explosion of light, colour and cross-culture communication.
Tine’s story is a good one.
She finished art school in Aarhus, Denmark, her hometown in 1995. Soon, she had a gallery exhibition under her belt and had completed her first public art commission. But Aarhus (pop: 336,000) felt too small.
So she moved to London to study art, completing an MA in sculpture. “It was love that started the journey, but that love became a love for London. The city is a vibrant, multicultural place of art, music and fashion to me,” she says
Today, her connection to Denmark remains strong. She goes home often and calls both Denmark and London home. No surprise then, that the work she entered to Lumen linked the two locations..
Entered in this year’s 3D/Interactive Category, Tine’s We Believe is a three-site project that explores how art, technology and audience participation can intersect to shape cities. It was originally developed for the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017 – connecting Aarhus City Hall Tower in Denmark and the Embassy of Denmark in London via a game control room placed on a rooftop in the city of Aarhus.
From the control room, members of the public in Aarhus were able to ‘play’ with the controls, changing the colours that illuminated the architecture of two iconic Arne Jacobsen buildings, one in Denmark and one in London, transforming them into a playable, interactive communication system. “Both buildings are power structures and the aesthetics of the control room, as well as access to it, were essential to the project,” explains Tine. The conceptual creation of the control room – with its access to visitors of all ages – exemplified the project’s theme of democracy and creative participation.
The tech behind the project was based on bespoke system linking the three sites, which allowed participants to control outdoor LED lights placed on the Aarhus City Hall Tower and the Royal Danish Embassy in London simultaneously. As people participated in Aarhus, the Royal Danish Embassy in London mirrored the interaction, in a dance of light and colour, becoming a beacon to visualise the importance of European dialogue and culture. The We Believe project was one of the most popular projects during the European Capital of Culture, Aarhus 2017 – it was seen from afar by over 150,000 people.
As the UK faces it’s withdraw from the EU, its message couldn’t be more vital and it’s up to artists like Tine to keep those vital lines of communication open.
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