King's College London

03/15/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/15/2024 08:34

GLOW: Illuminating Innovation opens across London's Strand Aldwych

GLOW: Illuminating Innovation seeks to capture and celebrate groundbreaking - and all too overlooked - advancements in digital creativity by women in technology. This multi-sited exhibition presents first of their kind historical works from artists including Nonny de la Peña, Tamiko Thiel, Rebecca Allen and Peggy Weil, alongside original experimentations in virtual reality hardware, four new digital art commissions by Yarli Allison; Violeta Ayala; Lisa Jamhoury and Rebecca Smith (Urban Projections) and a free programme of AR and VR experiences.

To mark the official opening of GLOW,Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts & Humanities Professor Marion Thain, King's Culture's Executive Director Beatrice Pembroke, and Professor Sarah Atkinson spoke about the incredible innovation, research, artist engagement and cross-university collaboration that has enabled the creation and presentation of the exhibition across London's Strand Aldwych.

Peggy Weil, whose interactive animated portraits LIPSYNC/SCAN/LOOK (1981) feature in the exhibition, closed the event by sharing the significance of presenting and elevating the awareness of women's outstanding work in digital creativity from over the past five decades.

Digital artist Peggy Weil. Photograph by Richard Eaton.

The evolution of GLOW

GLOW is one of the many outcomes to emerge from Professor Sarah Atkinson's GLoW3 research, undertaken with funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council. The concept for the exhibition emerged after six years and 140 interviews with women, non-binary and trans individuals working at the vanguard of digital creativity from over 17 countries. The interviews form the basis of Professor Sarah Atkinson's book 'Mixed Realities: Gender & Emergent Media,' co-authored with Vicki Callahan from the University of Southern California, (to be published in Spring 2025). Some of those trailblazing interviewees are represented in the exhibition.

Professor Sarah Atkinson. Photograph by Richard Eaton.

What these individuals had in common was their position at the cutting-edges of innovation and experimentation, and most importantly always blazing a trail for others to follow. Sadly, the brilliance of these individuals has often been hidden; obscured, unrecognised, and uncelebrated. Many of their contributions to invention, innovation, and creativity have been overlooked, their guiding light completely obscured. And these are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many, many more contributions like these that are yet to be uncovered and I hope the exhibition will inspire others to seek them out. I was inspired by the incredible courage, resilience, and ingenuity of my interviewees, particularly in the face of such lack of acknowledgement and often in the absence of investment, funding, or reward. It was their contributions to the fields of creativity and technological innovation that I sought to capture, celebrate, and advance through this exhibition.

Professor Sarah Atkinson

GLOW: Illuminating Innovation will run until 20 April 2024 on London's Strand Aldwych (King's Strand Campus, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS). Find out more about the programme.

GLOW: Illuminating Innovation is presented by King's Culture with support from King's Digital Lab and the Virtual & Immersive Production Studio at the University of Nottingham. The exhibition is funded by an Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Development & Engagement Fellowship, King's Culture, Faculty of Arts & Humanities, King's Together, King's Climate & Sustainability, Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy, King's Institute for Artificial Intelligence, AHRC Impact Accelerator and the Virtual & Immersive Production Studio at the University of Nottingham.