The Lumen Prize, which is the world’s first prize for digital fine art, recently announced this year’s winner, Greek artist Katerina Athanasopoulou for her piece ‘Apodemy’. Athanasopoulou, who is currently based in London, is to receive 3,000 dollars of prize money. ‘Apodemy’ is an eerily beautiful 5-minute animation clip that combines a digitally created urban landscape of roads winding roads that appear to float in the sky, with the overlay of classical music. The subtle movements of the video display a real elegance that makes it a correct choice for the winner of a prize of ‘digital fine art’. The title ‘digital fine art’ suggests the establishment of qualitative boundary between ‘popular’ digital art pieces and what we might think of as ‘fine art’ in digital format. But is it too soon in the development of digital art for us to wish to define the characteristics of ‘digital fine art’? Surely the term ‘fine art’ itself is subject to personal taste and interpretations of our perception of ‘high quality’ and ‘low quality’ artwork. Perhaps one of the innovative aspects of digital art could be not to fall into the trap of dividing artwork into the unstable categories of ‘fine art’ and ‘just art’, (as the traditional art world has done so many times in the past).
The people’s choice award went to Ginevra Boni, also based in the UK. Her work was selected as the best piece by the public, through a digital gallery online. Entries by the best 50 artists to the 2013 Lumen Prize will go on exhibition at the Queen’s Arcade in Cardiff before going on an exhibition tour to New York, Hong Kong and London. With art entries in digital format from over 40 different countries, this truly is an international digital art competition, with artwork featured ranging from iPad and mobile phone creations to PC software design programmes. The eagerness of Cardiff Council to host the project’s exhibition this year shows the new association of prestige with digital art, as the Head of Economic Development of the council indicated the importance of the Lumen Prize in creating an image and reputation of Cardiff as a cultural centre.
Watch the winning piece, ‘Apodemy’, on Vimeo: vimeo.com/54038054
Lumen Prize website: http://lumenprize.com
(Photos: ‘Apodemy’ by Katerina Athanasopoulou, ‘Wilderness’ by Ginevra Boni and Bonjour Interactive Lab’s ‘Passage’. From lumenprize.com. (c) Lumen Prize 2013)