In Between Present and Future: LUX

In Between Present and Future: LUX

Curated by Jiyoon Lee, of the SUUM Project and Fact Mag, and sponsored by LG, LUX: New Wave of Contemporary Art brings together 12 of the world’s leading digital artists, creatives and collectives, featuring the works of Es Devlin, Refik Anadol, Universal Everything, Carsten Nicolai, Random International, Hito Steyerl, Julianknxx, iart, a’strict, Je Baak, Cecilia Bengolea and Cao Yuxi.

The exhibition presents immersive displays and multi-sensory artworks from the prominent digital artists of their generation, created through the use of a broad range of digital technologies including artificial intelligence, generative and interactive algorithms, 3D projection mapping, neural networks, quantum computing, open-source VFX software, and algorithmic audio visualization. The participant artists of LUX shape the space of 180 The Strand with light, sound, and movement, allowing viewers to experience and observe the changes that have taken place in new media.

This expertly curated selection of artworks shines a light on the artistic and conceptual changes that are occurring as result of developing technologies in new media, shaping the future of arts, and implicitly reflecting the spirit of the 2020s.

As the exhibition’s title refers to LUX, the SI unit of illuminance - also meaning light in Latin, many of the participant artists focus on their relationship with light, movement and space, allowing viewers to explore, experiment and play with their own perceptions.

 While presenting a broad representation of how artists are currently working with all kinds of technology as part of their practice, many of the works in the exhibition connects the present with the past, while also reflecting on future. It documents a present-day section of history while embodying this era’s relationship with nature, highlighting our ever increasing longing for nature.

a'strict, Starry Beach, 2020, Courtesy of the artist and Kukje Gallery 

In this sense, Starry Beach is one of the unique works in the exhibition that alters the interior space sonically and visually. It takes the viewers to a luminous place surrounded by blue waves, accompanied by the sound of crashing waves. The multi-sensory installation, created by a’strict, aims to transform the interior space into an open-air space, a starry beach that is absolute midnight blue.

Hito Steyerl, This is The Future, 2019

Artist and filmmaker Hito Steyerl’s video work titled This is The Future offers an optimistic vision of the future. The film presents a narrative of a future in which a woman attempts to find a garden that she had previously obliged to hide in order to protect it. It is inspired by the idea of a ruderal garden: an ensemble of plants that grow on waste ground or among rubbish. The 16 minutes of video installation, soundtracked by Kojey Radical and Susumu Yokota, comments on the future while reminding viewers that the moment is always in the present.

Steyerl's work in the exhibition, originally conceived for the artist’s project at Serpentine Galleries, also includes a multi-channel installation titled Power Plants that features digital flowers generated by neural networks.

As part of the exhibition, Refik Anadol presents the UK Premiere of Renaissance Generative Dreams, using over a million historical artworks created during the Renaissance and processing them into an algorithm, he creates a data driven digital sculpture that provides a glimpse of the beauty of Renaissance visuals that leaves viewer with the feeling of leafing through a Renaissance art book.

Refik Anadol, Renaissance Generative Dreams, 2021, AI Data Painting, Courtesy of the artist © Refik Anadol Studio

Refik Anadol, Renaissance Generative Dreams, 2021, AI Data Painting, Courtesy of the artist © Refik Anadol Studio

Black Corporeal(Breathe), created by Julianknxx, is a captivating audio visual work. Projected on to 7 screens, the work does not as such explore the ability to breathe as it it does the ability of our bodies to inhale air - the essence to living together. A church choir repetative singing to “breath on”-resembles the repetitive, continuous act of breathing and reminds us of the comforting sensation of breathing.

Universal Everything’s iconic work Transfiguration (2020) revolves around movement and transformation, celebrating the journey of the walking figure undergoing a constant metaphormic change through different states, produced in 2011 presented here representing progress and continual transformation.Universal Everything, Transfiguration (2020)

Shan Shui Paintings by AI takes viewers to a flow of the future. In this 8k film, Cao Yuxi uses an artificial intelligence style deep learning algorithm to learn tens of thousands of pixel data points from thousands of oriental freehand ink paintings that are created on the internet. An AI robot is then programmed to automatically draw landscape paintings in numerous variations resulting in in one large abstract work of visual works of the flow and change of particles in one screen.

Cao Yuxi, Shan Shui Paintings By AI | 人工智能山水图, 2020

Lux also features Flower Meadow; a new kinetic media sculpture created by Swiss studio for media architecture, iart. The work, commissioned by LG, is made using OLED - an organic version of LED, a material that is lighter, thinner and uses less energy than LED, which is mainly used in digital display screens. In the making of Flower Meadow, iart uses this material as a tool in their new media sculpture consisting of a non-fungible species of flowers that are nourished by AI and which is renewed every day.

Further into the exhibition and you can also view Es Devlin’s ethereal BLUESKYWHITE, along with Carsten Nicolai's unicolour, Je Baak’s Universe, Cecilia Bengolea’s Favourite Positions and Random International's new work Algorithmic Swarm Study (Triptych).

Es Devlin, BLUESKYWHITE, 2021

Carsten Nicolai, unicolor, 2014

Lux is an intermediate state of present and future, natural and artificial. It is on view at 180 The Strand until the 18th of December.

Mentioned artists
Refik Anadol
Refik Anadol
Followers 304
Artworks 5
Universal Everything
Universal Everything
Followers 2783
Artworks 15