Created by digital studio Tekja and supported by Visit County Durham Ltd, Tree of Hope will be the first -ever digital artwork commissioned by the festival to be hosted online. The crowd-sourced installation will give audiences across the UK and the world a chance to be part of the Lumiere magic, without being physically present at the festival, and will continue to live online long after the festival has finished.
Two renderings of Tree of Hope by Tekja, as part of Lumiere 2021
The digital artwork will add new digital dimension to Lumiere, which is produced by Artichoke and commissioned by Durham County Council with additional support from Arts Council England and a raft of funders and supporters. Lumiere will take place in Durham 18 – 21 November and is instrumental to County Durham’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025.
Tree of Hope will confirm County Durham’s reputation as a destination at the forefront of innovative and creative cultural experiences with a strong connection to the natural environment. The interactive artwork was inspired by Durham’s history as a place of ‘big thinkers’ and by its stunning landscapes and dark skies. It will invite individuals to contribute their hopes for the future online, from wherever they are in the world. For the first time at Lumiere, audiences will be able to see their contribution create an artwork in real time, as a slender sapling grows into a fully-formed tree that blossoms and blooms with each hope expressed.
Helen Marriage, Director and CEO of Artichoke, said:
“Our hope is that Tree of Hope will give people who can’t visit Lumiere in person the chance to experience and interact with the festival from afar and become part of our global Lumiere community. With our programming of Lumiere we always want the audience to be moved emotionally in some way through experiencing artworks live, in person, together with other people. I’m thrilled that Tree of Hope crosses the bridge between a real life and digital experience, creating a beautiful monument to our collective hopes.”
Michelle Gorman, Managing Director of Visit County Durham adds:
“We are excited to be partnering with Artichoke on the first digital artwork for Lumiere. The festival is an incredible experience for those that visit, and now with Tree of Hope, we have the opportunity to reach out to new audiences and give the UK’s leading light festival life beyond the physical four day biennial event. Creative digital ways to discover a destination play a key role in engaging consumers who may not previously have considered a visit, which is why this partnership is an important part of our ongoing recovery marketing activity.”
Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “Lumiere has always been a showcase for talent, creativity and innovation. Over the last decade, the festival has celebrated County Durham’s rich heritage in new and imaginative ways, while utilising cutting edge technology to create awe inspiring experiences for residents and visitors.
“Tree of Hope is another example of Lumiere leading the way and providing exciting and meaningful ways for people to engage with art. It is why Lumiere is so important to County Durham’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2025, and why we are incredibly proud to commission it.”
The artwork will reveal key topics and themes in the millions of data entries being collected, with machine learning and natural language processing algorithms applied to find the most meaningful messages and cluster hopes by common themes and topics. Algorithms based on geometries found in nature are also used to generate the tree’s form into distinct branches, which represent the popular themes and topics contained within the data.
Tree of Hope aims to offer a moment of reflection upon what a bright and hopeful future might look like. It is dynamic and will continue to grow and collect hopes after Lumiere. The Tree of Hope platform will become a place of reflection, a collection of messages to inspire and affirm.
Notes to editors:
For further information please contact:
Sophie Reid, Flint Culture
North East PR:
Tekja is an award-winning data visualisation and analysis studio.
We transform data into knowledge.
Tekja is an award winning data visualisation studio based in London, founded in 2012 by Jacopo Hirschstein and Amanda Taylor.
We work with some of the world’s largest organisations, creating data driven web applications, installations, event experiences and media content.Our work combines cutting edge data analysis and visualisation technologies with standout contemporary designs and concepts. The studio has had the privilege to work on many groundbreaking data-driven projects and that have achieved acclaim in the national and international press.
There are some spectacular exceptions. … With “London Data Streams”, Tekja achieves the impressive feat of immersing viewers in data in the real world.
The collective Tekja’s installation Awake (2019) is emblematic: blizzards of live social media messages relating to sleep and sleeplessness projected onto screens, punctuated with prolonged pauses of meditative digital mandalas
Producers of extraordinary live events, Artichoke is one of the country’s leading creative companies and is a registered charity, funded by Arts Council England. At Artichoke, we use art to undermine the mundane and disrupt the everyday to create a new kind of world that we’d all like to live in.
Our most recent project, PROCESSIONS, commissioned by 14-18 NOW, was a mass participation artwork that brought tens of thousands of women onto the streets in June 2018 to celebrate 100 years of votes for women. Previous projects include Royal de Luxe’s The Sultan’s Elephant (London in 2006); La Machine’s 50-foot high mechanical spider for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations (2008); Antony Gormley’s One & Other commission for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square (2009); Deborah Warner’s Peace Camp commission for the London 2012 Festival with Fiona Shaw; Temple by David Best in Derry~Londonderry (2015); and London’s Burning, a festival commissioned by the City of London Corporation to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London (2016). Artichoke creates and produces Lumiere, the UK’s largest light festival, which has been staged in Durham every two years since 2009; in Derry~Londonderry in Northern Ireland as part of the celebrations for City of Culture 2013, and in London 2016 and 2018.
artichoke.uk.com | Social Media: @artichoketrust | #LumiereDurham
About Visit County Durham:
- Visit County Durham is supported by a private, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, with a board of directors – Visit County Durham Ltd.
- Visit County Durham is the destination management organisation (DMO) for County Durham working on behalf of businesses and public agencies, we came into being on 1 April 2006.
- Our purpose is to provide strategic added value, coordination and leadership for tourism activity and the visitor economy in the county, working in partnership with public agencies, private sector, and tourism businesses. We deliver Durham County Council’s destination management, destination marketing and place marketing functions.
- Visit County Durham assists the county to fulfil its potential as one of North East England’s lead destinations, attracting visitors to the region from across the UK and from target overseas markets. Our objective is to ensure that the tourism sector performs to its maximum potential and brings economic benefits to the county in the form of wealth and job creation. Our broad aims are to attract people to the county by raising its profile and appeal, and to provide visitors with the best possible experience.
About Durham County Council (DCC)
Durham County Council is one of the largest unitary authorities in the country. The council is committed to culture-led regeneration and is proud to commission Lumiere, the leading light festivals in the UK. Alongside Lumiere the authority supports a year-round culture, heritage and tourism programme for economic, community and creative benefit.
About Arts Council England
The Arts Council is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.
Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of several bodies administering the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and unprecedented support package of £1.57 billion for the culture and heritage sector. Find out more at www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19
Lumiere 2021 Supporters