Lumen Prize presents Microworld Brecon

// May-Jun 2018 //

It’s been a while since we showed in Wales, so we jumped at the opportunity to show in Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon for a month.

The show has been organised by Carla Rapoport from the Lumen Prize and Punch Maughan, Visual Arts Coordinator for  The Andrew Lamont Gallery at Theatr Brycheiniog and generously supported by The Usk Valley Trust. We’re also very grateful to have the support of Karsten Stanitzke, a computing student at Merthyr College. who assisted the workshops and is invigilating Microworld.

Microworld Brecon is on show daily till Sun 24th Jun in The Andrew Lamont Gallery, situated on the top floor of this popular Theatre. It’s a huge and challenging space, beautifully situated overlooking a canal. We have used blue and green coloured gels on the windows both to darken the space and bring some of that watery feeling in from outside and as usual we have brought a selection of digital creatures to join in, including Multiple and It’s Alive! Maggots adding some interactivity to the show.

During the May half-term holidays we invited the local community to get involved. We ran a week of coding workshops and drop-ins in the gallery and helped people of all ages (6yrs-75yrs) to make their own digital artworks to be incorporated into the show. These were great fun and over 60 locals used Processing to generate creative coding animations, and built artificial life forms in our creature building Animat program. Each workshop produced different geometries and motions and the Animats had a selection of new muscles and springs to bring them to life. We then stitched these together into 5 large scale projections which we spread around the gallery creating a huge ever changing Microworld.

On top of the participants contributions we added some small scale microorganisms of our own; water-fleas, cockroaches, coral and the like. With hundreds of moving parts we started to think of this piece as a single entity which we are now calling Superorganism.

The focus for this month-long show is on contemplative, generative art. There is a much more ambient feel to this Microworld and the addition of bean bags allow the audience to sit back and contemplate the huge variety of activity going on. We spent hours just watching this huge new living landscape unfurl.

After a big effort to get all these elements together, the opening event at the end of the week was a charming night with real interest from the Brecon crowd. The show runs for the month and there has already been a lot of interest with the workshop participants coming back to see how their creations were incorporated. We’re delighted the show is proving popular and encouraging interest in digital art in Brecon.

Links to our Microworld Brecon Flickr albumTheatr Brycheiniog and Lumen Prize