Spectacular virtual city painting crashes forth at Lumen Prize

By Kitty Knowles 29 September 2016

This year's Lumen Prize winner? An artwork that combines virtual reality and painting.

A sweeping cityscape has been painted in glorious expressive strokes.

Now imagine that coming to life, in a new virtual world.

That’s exactly what Italian artists Fabio Giampietro and Alessio De Vecchi have done in their VR masterpiece Hyperplanes of Simultaneity.

So immersive is the imposing experience that it’s been awarded this year’s Lumen Prize for digital art.

Hyperplanes of Simultaneity

Fabio Giampietro and Alessio De Vecchi (Italy)

Hyperplanes of Simultaneity uses virtual reality to completely remove the distance between viewer and painting, creating a new imposing and physical-feeling world.

“Using a VR headset to view a painting, for example, is a first for Lumen – and perhaps for any art prize,” said Carla Rapoport, Director and Founder of The Lumen Prize of the work.

Other Lumen Prize honourees include a year-long Augmented Reality portrait project, 50 algorithmically grown plants and a pioneering take on Google Street view.

They’re the best of the best of digital art pieces from around the world.

Check them out below…

Founder’s Prize: The Selfie Drawings Book

Carla Gannis (US)

A collection of 52 digital drawings, shared on social media channels over 52 weeks, Selfie Drawings highlights the performative nature of the selfie.

What makes the piece even more intriguing is that Gannis has produced an augmented reality ‘book’ that viewers can manipulate into life themselves using Blippar AR technology.

3D Sculpture Award: Flown

Esther Rolinson & Sean Clark (UK)

This marshmallow cloud structure is made of hand-folded acrylic parts that can be remixed to fit any room.

Its controlled lighting system illuminates the geometric form with waves of light that amaze and mystify.

Moving Image Award: AfterGlow

boredomresearch (UK)

Art embraces science in AfterGlow to show malaria infection transmission from the perspective of mosquitoes.

Watch on as flight trails and foraging macaque monkeys become glowing shapes and glorious patterns.

Interactive Award: Laser Light Synths

Seb Lee-Delisle (UK)

Laser Light Synths is a vast interactive installation that allows passers-by to impact their environment through music.

It’s made up of 4 LED-lined synths, and powerful lasers, that respond to sound to cover any building with shimmering lights.

Mixed Reality Award: Nature Abstraction

Matteo Zamagni (UK)

An almost meditation-like experience, Nature Abstraction uses musical scores and never-ending fractal patterns to create a relaxed state of mind as viewers move between three planets: Birth, Communion and Aether.

“The audience is guided to explore these planets and dive into their vast complexities,” Zamagni told The Memo when we met him last year.

Read more: VR Art: meet a new wave of mind-bending creatives

Evolved plant form based on the BP logo, part of the the Fifty Sisters series

Still Image Award: Fifty Sisters

Jon McCormack (AUS)

Contrary to what you might think, Fifty Sisters isn’t one image at all – it’s comprised of fifty 1m x 1m images of computer synthesised plant-forms.

What’s more, these have been algorithmically “grown” from computer code, with each form developed from the graphic elements of oil company logos.

Web-based Award: Farm Tableaux

Sylvia Grace Borda (Canada)

This groundbreaking series in collaboration with John M Lynch marks the first known and ongoing artwork created for Google Street View.

Farm Tableaux illustrates the realities of food culture in Finnish farming and food production – from field labour to food processing.

Dinstinction Award for Games: Eddy Melody

Wengu Hu (US)

A student of New York’s School of Visual Art, Wengu Hu has created a video game that highlights the power of music through its narrative and its design.

In a world where every creature has its own pitch, the story follows a group of musicians as they travel the world.

See the winners showcase at Caerphilly Castle, Wales, from 23-28 November. More info on the Global Tour here

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