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  • Writer's pictureMariaRado

Art Visits - Exhibition LUX:New Wave of Contemporary Art

The exhibition demonstrates how artists can combine technology and art, a topic that many of us find intriguing. I'm just a mere mortal with a brush and a 2D canvas, but the concept fascinates me. All of the new possibilities for using technology in art intrigue me. I don't want to enter that field; I'm content with my 2D reality, which provides me with limitless creative opportunities. It's exciting because I'm hoping for something mind- blowing and totally new to emerge, an exceptional discovery about how artists can communicate their ideas. The exhibition only partially delivered in this department for me. There were works that revealed a completely new point of view to me, as well as works that were simply visual candy experimenting with the novelty of the medium. The exhibition's mix of very different types of artworks did not contribute to a smooth flowing experience. But don't get me wrong: it's impressive and interesting. The scale and beauty of the artworks alone are reason enough to visit. 180 The Strand features the work of 12 of the world's most exciting new digital artists.

Three pieces of art particularly impressed me. They made me think while also being visually stunning.

Power Plants by Hito Steyerl is a video installation that attempts to predict the future with the help of artificial intelligence. Algorithms forecast the next frame of video. The artist is using Artificial Intelligence to create 'predicted' plants that are 0.04 seconds in the future. That's quite intriguing! Are the predictions correct? Is it possible for a machine to predict the future? 0.04 seconds isn't much time, but am I seeing something that hasn't happened yet? Viewing the installation has left me with questions and a desire to learn more. That is priceless.

Renaissance Generative Dreams by Refik Anadol is a video installation that incorporates a large number of Renaissance art images. The images are fed into an algorithm, which generates its own artwork, which constantly evolves into a new visual. The artwork reminded me of the vast amount of art produced by humanity throughout history, not just during the Renaissance. How will this massive body of work be preserved, reproduced, and displayed for future generations? Do we learn from that art? Do we still like it? Do we forget easily, or do we simply go with the flow of the day when it comes to the subject of our art? How are we doing as guardians of historical art? Is it possible a machine to know more about art than a human?

Cao Yuxi's AI Shan Shui Paintings Is another piece of artwork that makes use of artificial intelligence to generate images. What fascinates me is that images of traditional Shan Shui drawings are being used to create landscapes once more by a machine and the end result is both natural and artistic. The images are soft and balanced, and they do, in some ways, evoke the feel of a landscape, similar to aerial photography. The installation itself is immersive thanks to it’s size and sound. ‘Shan Shui’ literally means “mountain and water” and is a Chinese traditional art depicting scenery or natural landscapes with ink.

Transfiguration by Universal Everything. I love that walking entity. It is mesmerising to watch. The artwork sums up progress, movement and continual transformation. It is an iconic digital artwork created back in 2011. At LUX:New Wave of Contemporary Art in London I had the chance to see the new version (2020) It is still fresh, sometimes funny, sometimes scary and makes you think.

Starry Beach by a'strict is the exhibition's crowd pleaser. Who wouldn't want to be on a picture-perfect star-studded beach? You can tell it’s a popular artwork by the impressive for and art exhibition number of toddlers crawling in the digital waves. It is an Instagram-worthy digital artwork that is constantly photographed. I took a video too.

Overall I think the exhibition worth a visit from anyone interested in digital art. if you expect to see amazing and clever artwork merging technology and art - you will find few. If you are a mother who wants to entertain the kids with moving images while viewing some art - the exhibition is suitable for that too.

It’s worth noting that the space at 180 The Strand is a former underground garage. It's a large, dark space with a dungeon/secret feel to it. This makes it perfect for exhibiting digital art, performances and screenings. LUX:New Wave of Contemporary Art is curated by SUUM in collaboration with Fact and runs from October 2021 to February 2022 at 180 The Strand, London


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