May 2015

Lumen Prize Exhibition London

Tristan Williams and I did the curatorial statement for the Lumen Prize Exhibition in London 2015. The Lumen Prize is one of the worlds pre-eminent Digital Art Prizes. Link to The Lumen Prize website

– Cecilie Waagner Falkenstrøm –

 


 

The Lumen Prize Exhibition, London

Statement from the curators

 

Who are we as humans in a digital age?

 

As an annual prize the Lumen allows us to go on a journey into the burgeoning field of digital art forcing us to ask ourselves: What is digital art? The works in the exhibition widen our perspective on this question. Some works use digital technology as their medium for expression, others utilize technology in the process of creation and yet others respond to our digitally mediated everyday lives using more traditional approaches.

However, while attempting to find a common ground, it seems that digital art is elusive. It constantly escapes our attempts to define or reduce it to easy taxonomies. Does its slippery nature tell us something about what digital art is? Does the very speed at which our culture moves now make attempts at classification an act of futility? In the face of instant online communication and the constant consumption of media does “meaning” begin to disintegrate?

By having a touring exhibition in conjunction with an online gallery, seminars and a symposium the Lumen is able to encourage conversation and debate around these sorts of questions. Something that is both valuable and necessary when attempting to delineate the distinctive characteristics of digital art.

The Lumen Prize does not solely provide a space for explorations of what digital art is – It further enables us to think about what it means to be human in a digital age and how the digital, by it’s very nature, changes our human conditions and possibilities. The Lumen prize and the works exhibited widen our horizon and force us to ask the basic question: Who are we as humans in a digital age? 

While exploring the art works we suggest that you do not lose yourself in fascination with technology. Instead, immerse yourself in the work’s elusiveness – wander around the exhibition exploring how these works mirror and engage our contemporary life.

 

By Trystan Williams and Cecilie Waagner Falkenstrøm

May 2015

 

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Reflections about digital art

The idea of trying to grasp the essence of what digital art is to me seems to contradict the fluid, fast moving feeling of the digital. So I think it is more interesting to explore what the digital tells about us as humans than to try to grasp the digital in itself.

Historically artists have always commented on the era, culture and context they live in by expressing themselves through the media specific to their time. Today, we live in a digital era – a world hugely mediated by digital technology – and artists make works that respond to our time by using digital

To me digital is something different in itself – but when we talk about the digital in relation to art practice and art artefacts we easily loose ourselves in the “newness” of the technology – but often the pieces do not show us a new gaze on ourselves or our world. So in relation to art I think the paradox of the digital is that it adds something new i.e. digitally created or mediated art BUT at the same time the art is exactly the same as it has always been, just in a new media. So it is different and still the same.

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