“Sylvia”, a Virtual Influencer designed by the Brown Institute’s Creative Technologist Ziv Schneider, has won the 2021 Lumen Prize for Art and Technology in the Still Image category.
The Lumen Prize celebrates the very best art created with technology through a global competition. Since its launch in 2012, it has given away more than US$80,000 in prize money and created opportunities worldwide for the artists who have been longlisted, shortlisted or won Lumen Awards.
The Lumen Prize and Lumen Arts Projects were founded in rural Wales by Carla Rapoport in 2012 and 2018 respectively. A former financial journalist, Carla’s goal is to widen the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of art created with technology while widening the opportunities for artists working in this field globally.
Schneider’s “Sylvia” is a Virtual Influencer — a computer-generated character created for social media. “Sylvia” has an Instagram feed full of images of her on the beach, jogging or at home relaxing with a cup of coffee. But while most Virtual Influencers are forever twenty-somethings, “Sylvia” is the first to age, and at an accelerated pace — in July of 2020 she was 30, and over the next five months her Instagram followers saw her reach 80.
The Lumen Prize acknowledged the importance of Schneider’s “Sylvia” by including it in their “Shortlist”. The Lumen Prize is administered in two phases. First, a longlist of projects was chosen from this year’s 1,200 entries. Then, a shortlist of finalists and winners is selected from this group. “Sylvia” was one of the 4 projects selected for the Shortlist in the Still Image category of the Lumen Prize.
*update: this post was updated to reflect the Winning status and was previously posted about the Longlist and Shortlist