A Longlist Close-up: Stills

A Longlist Close-up: Stills

Carla Rapoport

In the very first Lumen Prize longlist, back in 2012, the majority of the works were still images, shown as prints or, in some cases, on iPads or smartphones. Today, the majority of the works are anything but still, but the still category continues to command attention. These works are no longer created via photomanipulation - as was popular in the early years of the prize - or via software drawing programmes. 

Lumen's 2017 longlist has 11 still images, accounting for about 12% of the total, and we remain very keen to keep this ratio from falling as artists continue to move toward more interactive, VR/AR, web-based and other technologies. And in protecting the important place that still works play in the Lumen Prize longlist, one only need to look at the new ways these stills are being produced to see why their place in Lumen remains so key. 

For example, take a look at Eric Corriel's Enter The Machine. As the artist explains: "Imagine you could shrink yourself down, swim around your hard drive, and meet your files face to face—what would they look like?" Enter The Machine aims to provide a new way of seeing digital files, one that does justice to their uniqueness, the diversity of the data they contain, and the complexity by which they are structured, the New York-based artist continues. 

Other still works this year show similar complexity, such as Digital Combine - Accumulation 01 by Pietro Catarinella of Italy. Unlike a straigh-forward photomanipulation, Pietro uses a process of continuous manipulation of images which are intersected, mixed and fused together through the use of software, digital technologies and manual intervention. These and the other 9 in the Longlist underscore the strong development of still image in the digital art category and one we continue to watch with rapt attention.