Lumen are one of the most interesting new media organisations in the UK, and their annual conference and performance programme, EVOLUTION, stands head and shoulders above most of the flash-fests that call themselves ‘cutting-edge’. EVOLUTION is different for two reasons – it specialises in representing seminal historical work from artists that have been hugely influential, but neglected by the mainstream; and it is programmed by two people – Dennis Hopkins and Will Rose – who have an incredible knowledge and passion about this area, so manage to curate programmes with depth, texture and real insight.

This year’s programme has many higlights, including presentations and exhibitions by Kevin McCoy, a walk around Leeds by the Survellance Camera Players, and the ‘commodore 64 video graffiti’ of Cory Arcangel and BEIGE. Historically, there’s a presentation by Dan Graham, videos by Nam June Paik, and Woody & Steina Vasulka talking about 30 years at The Kitchen, the seminal NY media organisation and venue. Best of all is ‘Liquid Modernity’, a conversation between radical sociologist Zygmunt Bauman and entropy artist Gustav Metzger. Bauman’s writing on globalisation, post-modernity and sociology proposes real solutions rather than pat observations, and Metzger’s artistic career has continually challenged the commodity fetishes of the art world. In conversation, they will be a heady mix. Book those train tickets for Leeds now…

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