Expanded Canvases: Samsung’s Art+ Competition in the UK

on February 10, 2012
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When you think about “art,” you probably envision the Sistine Chapel or the Mona Lisa right?  Maybe you’ve got a more modern take and Salvador Dali or Andy Warhol come to mind?

Samsung knows that the artists of the future are going to depend more and more on technology.  So, what better way to uncover some of today’s hottest contemporary artists than an art competition with the caveat that the piece must feature some kind of technological inspiration?  Samsung did just that by sponsoring Samsung Art+ Prize, and it turns out it’s the UK’s first digital media art competition.


Pieces were showcased at the BFI (British Film Institute) Southbank space, and competition was fierce – after the field was narrowed to the top 10, judging took place and prizes were awarded: £10,000 went to first place, £5,000 went to the second place winner, and the public also got to vote for their top artist in the Samsung Art+ audience award on the website.

So, are you curious to see the winners’ works?

The Prize Winners

Semiconductor took home the big prize –£10,000 and first place of the Samsung Art+ competition.   Semiconductor is a collaboration between UK artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt, who’ve been working together for over a decade, making innovative moving image works and creating animations that pursue a quest to translate the lexicons of science into aesthetic experiences. Their winning piece captures magnetic fields on film, and it is truly captivating to look at how wild and almost magical these fields can become. Recent solo exhibitions include Worlds in the Making, FACT, Liverpool (closed September 2011) and their work was included in the group exhibition Watch Me Move: The Animation Show, Barbican, London (closed September 2011).



Lucky PDF was the winner of the second place £5,000 award.  Lucky PDF are an artist collective immersed in social media who make use of the fast-changing array of technologies at their disposal. Their practice is multifaceted, embracing their social network (both online and in their physical neighbourhood) and the arts ecology of London. LuckyPDF recently completed a project at Frieze Art Fair in London (October 2011).



Doug Fishbone won the Samsung Art+ audience award, selected by the public to recieve a 46” SamsungSeries 8 Smart TV for his trailer for the movie “Elmira.”  Elmira is a film set in Ghana and follows the life and trials of a local villager.  The film touches on issues of family, love, and marriage, but also on larger issues of corporate greed and corruption.



The £5,000 lifetime achievement award has been presented by the judges to David Hall for the outstanding contribution he has made to the UK new media art scene. Hall was a prominent sculptor of the ‘new generation’ school in the 1960s who later turned his attention to photography, film and video. Hall’s pioneering work Interruptions from 1971 is widely acknowledged as the first artist intervention to be broadcast on British television and he has been attributed with helping video gain acceptance as a recognised art form. Hall will be presenting a major solo exhibition of his work entitled End Piece… at Ambika P3 in London from 16 March – 19 April 2012.


The future of digital art is ever evolving and expanding, and Samsung’s technological innovations act as the palette for tomorrow’s art superstars.  Samsung’s Art+ competition is surely just the beginning of the newest art era.


“Our main ambition in creating the Samsung Art+ Prize is to raise awareness of this exciting new art genre, and in doing so, inspire future generations of artists. It’s been a great experience working with leading industry figures on this project and I have been hugely impressed with the exceptional standard of works from our shortlisted artists. On behalf of everyone at Samsung, I’d like to congratulate the winners, Semiconductor for their inspirational piece.”<br /><br />
- Andy Griffiths, Managing Director of Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland<br /><br />
“The whole concept of 'new media art' remains open, but it has been fascinating process to explore this concept creatively with my fellow judges.  We are delighted that all of the shortlisted artists have given us the opportunity to celebrate works that are not only about technological innovation but also focus on artists that use technology as a medium of artistic intervention and to engage audiences. The first Samsung Art + Prize has been a great adventure and we hope that the future will present even more thrilling and intriguing new media art work.”<br /><br />
- Jiyoon Lee, Director of SUUM and member of the Samsung Art+ Prize judging panel“With the first and second prize for the Samsung Art+ Award, the jury is pleased to honor two collectives who highlight the decisive and quickly shifting impact of technological media on recent cultural practice.”<br /><br />
- Stuart Comer, Curator of Film at Tate Modern, on behalf of the Samsung Art+ Prize judging panel



Jan Dalley, Arts Editor, The Financial Times

Sooja Kim, Artist, New York, USA

Peter Weibel, Chairman and CEO, ZKM Centre for Art and Media, Germany

Jiyoon Lee, SUUM Project, Korea/UK

View the other nominees, including the following artists, here.

Neil Cummings

Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard

Torsten Lauschmann

Aura Satz

Hiraki Sawa

Erika Tan

Thomson and Craighead

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