Not another art competition, you say. I won't win, you say. The organisers probably have yachts in the Caribbean, you say. Yep, possibly and no way. It's true we can't guarantee you'll win, but we can guarantee that 100% of your entry fee goes to running the contest and building audiences for artists who engage with technology. Lumen is an independent, not-for-profit organisation aimed at fostering a conversation between contemporary art, culture and technology. So, no yachts, just complete commitment to the energy created by the intersection of art and technology, creating benefits for anyone who makes this kind of art. There, we said it.
And if you do win a Lumen award, good things will happen. It's not all rainbows and unicorns but it does mean greater visibility for your practice, opportunities for commissions and more chances to show your to work. But don't take our word for it. Please find the views of some past winners and finalists below.
2014 Gold Award
"The prize was an important enabler, allowing me to take by art practice to a higher level"
Winning the Lumen Prize in 2014 had a big effect on my artwork practice. It’s the award that keeps on giving: from the events and exhibitions organised by the Lumen Prize together with related organisations. I believe that rather than restricting what computer art is with preconceived definitions, the Lumen Prize celebrates the diversity of possibilities that computers enable artists to explore.
The prize was an important enabler, allowing me to take my art practice to a higher level, and allowing me to give a much greater focus on my work. In the few years since I was fortunate enough to win the prize, my art practice has really taken off, from work exhibited at the Pompidou Centre, the V&A and the Royal Society, to work in the permanent collections including the V&A and the Computer Arts Society. I also now have the pleasure of working as a lecturer in Creative Computing at Goldsmiths University, and I’m about to go to Australia to spend time at the SensiLab, Monash University, and their work on the use of computers as a creative medium.
2016 Still Image Finalist
"Lumen gave me confidence in my practice and has led on to me exhibiting in large venues"
The world of technology (and technology and art) is very biased towards men. What was so refreshing about working with the Lumen Prize, after being involved in the tech industry for decades, is that they didn’t treat you differently because of your gender. Generally, I believe women’s work using technology is different to men’s – we’re responding to different issues and concerns - and Lumen embraced this difference which many organisations don’t. This gave me confidence in my practice and working with them has led on to me exhibiting in larger venues like the Barbican, Whitechapel and V&A last year. In 2019 I’ll be showing in the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Vienna Biannual and doing my first public sculpture commission in London.
2018 Gold Award
"The impact of acknowledgement fuels you to do more."
The impact of acknowledgement fuels you to do more. Winning The Lumen Prize in 2017 helped me as an upcoming/emerging artist to gain some more confidence in making art and showing me that combining digital art with social and environmental awareness in art pieces is a path that is not something I love doing but also making the impact I hope to make with my work.
I have had the chance to showcase and commissioned new work in China through The Lumen Prize show, organised by their partner, Here Your Art, at the Today Art museum in Beijing. This has not only opened the Chinese market for me, it also showed that the theme of ocean plastic is not solely something we in our Western corner relate to.
I think winning a prize like this creates some momentum and I’m very proud that the work I love the most right now was commissioned via Lumen last year, The Voice of Nature is a work that otherwise would have not been made and would not have existed. It was fuelled my current obsession with nature's data networks, a perfect mix of art, science and technology.
Genetic Moo (Nicola Schauerman & Tim Pickup
2013 Founder's Prize
"Through Lumen, we got our first gallery-based exhibition abroad and our longest show."
The 2013 Founder's Prize came at an important moment for us. We had just run our first Microworld, a digital ecosystem project where the emphasis is on experimentation, collaboration and creating rich user engagement. To be awarded a prize in recognition of our "outreach and interaction with audiences" gave us a terrific confidence boost and encouraged us to continue developing our project and exploring ways to involve the public. Our large-scale experimental installations now have added creative coding workshops in to the mix.
Through Lumen, we got our first gallery-based exhibition abroad; in Hong Kong, and our longest show; seven months at Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Halifax. Since winning, we have been commissioned to work on a number of ambitious events, are currently digital artists in residence at Dreamland, Margate and are continuing to work with Lumen on new and exciting projects.
2018 Moving Image Finalist
"Lumen is passionate about keeping up with the artists beyond the prize and establishing a community."
The Lumen family have been outstanding in promoting and showcasing my artwork since I was selected a finalist. They’re passionate and caring about the artists and the works selected, keeping up with the artists beyond the prize and establishing a community. Through Lumen I’ve had my work professionally exhibited, been invited to events and been put forward for opportunities with top art institutions. Thank you Lumen!