Star Wars vs. digital art. On the first floor of South Place Hotel are a series of pictures of stormtrooper helmet prints designed by different artists. There are pieces by Jake and Dinos Chapman, Ben Moore, Yinka Shonibare and Inkie, amongst others.
In this small, dimly-lit corridor the series is placed on the walls. The showcase importantly incorporates the app eKo Art (available for iOS and Android) created by Erin Ko. Eko-art is an interactive experience for artwork. It allows the user to place their smartphone over the art and it jumps into a three dimensional image.
Trooper Rod by Inkies. Photo by Madeline White
The user is able to spin the stormtrooper helmet around at their leisure. The use of interactive digital art and Star Wars is the ultimate experience.
So, is it a bit of a gimmick? Yes of course, it doesn’t add anything to the art but it does seem like a bonus. It is fun to mess around with the art, and being a massive Star Wars fan definitely helped the experience. The collaboration of interactive motion graphics makes it unique and fun.
Digital art is becoming huge. There is an increasing market for it and with the seventh episode The Force Awakens premiering last December; it makes sense to promote it – it creates another realm for the user to explore.
The interactive element is definitely the highlight of the exhibition, as it isn’t expected. It is interesting how technology has become able to recognise the art and make this possible, but it doesn’t seem as though it is specific to the exhibition. It is just technology that has been exploited because it could be.
The fact that the art is a helmet brings a higher concept since it is as if a face has been brought into another dimension. The idea reflects the novelty of Star Wars as a franchise and the hype that surrounded the new film. The pictures are reminiscent of pop-art and the type of quirky prints that could be a feature piece.
All the prints in the series were well designed with a continuous theme. Using a contemporary idea like Star Wars to create equally contemporary prints is current and, seeing the franchise’s long-running success, definitely adds to the exhibition’s popularity.
Stop Wars by D*Face. Photo courtesy of Madeline White.
It is, overall, a fun exhibition and the digital element definitely will spike interest not only with Star Wars fans but also a mass audience as it is something accessible, interactive and away from the current art standard.
Art Wars is definitely not what one would consider a traditional exhibition, taking place in a corridor of a private members club. But if you think you’ll enjoy a quirky pop-up with a surprise digital twist then this is the exhibition for you.
Art Wars runs at the London South Place Hotel until February 28th 2016. For information on the exhibition visit the official Art Wars website. For more information on the app used in Art Wars visit the designer Erin Ko’s website.