LCD and art

03 Apr 2019

When we think of modern art, we think of Pollock, Picasso, or Warhol. They used a variety of mediums and techniques to develop their craft and produce innovative, fascinating pieces. Some present day artists and gallery owners are thinking along the same lines, but using the very latest in modern technology.

LCD screens have been used to great effect to both create and display the very best in contemporary artwork. In this post, we take a look at LCD’s impact on the art world.

As art itself

The most famous use of LCD screens as part of an artwork has to be Engine of Engines, a magnificent piece of work by Daniel Howe and Bill Seaman. Made up of 16 LCD screens, arranged in a fascinating geometric order, Engine of Engines was first introduced at the City University of Hong Kong. It is described in detail on Bill Seaman’s blog pages:

“The 'Engine of Engines' is a generative sound & video installation that responds in real-time to network traffic in the local environment. In the Hong Kong debut (see video), sixteen self-contained nodes, each comprised of a screen, processing-unit, audio output, and flash memory, are suspended in space by connective wire. Together these nodes react dynamically to the nearly one thousand computers in the School of Creative Media's labs, offices, and classrooms.”

However, Engine of Engines isn’t the only LCD-based art piece to inspire the art world. Using a technique that involves putting pressure on cracked LCD screens, artists can produce interesting effects. Writing for the Technabob blog, Paul Strauss explains:

“LCD Bending” involves pressing one’s fingers across a cracked LCD screen while it’s powered on. The results are pretty wild. Watching the crystallized goo inside the display move around while electrified and illuminated creates some really cool fractal-like visuals.”

Use as screening

LCDs are also indubitably useful for displaying art, as well as a medium for it. A good example of the need for LCD screens is to display graffiti art, or street art. In such cases, where the art often cannot be moved, a high quality photograph can be displayed on an LCD screen. For larger pieces, a larger screen can be procured, to try and display it at the size the artist originally intended.

Art gallery owners everywhere are discovering ways of advertising upcoming exhibitions and increasing visitor numbers the same way store owners can. They can be used as a delivery system for existing marketing materials, or as a preview for either the current or future exhibition.

The art world has always been quick to try new things, so it should come as no surprise that LCD screens increasingly have a role to play in art galleries. In the past, a screen might not have been able to accurately capture the complexity of a piece of art, but modern screens make light work of displaying the contrast and colours required to do an artwork justice.

If you’re an art gallery owner or artist interested in learning more about what role LCD screens can play, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.

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