Building a strong arts and technology economy in Armenia through Livings Arts
The Luys Foundation has taken the first steps in transforming the deep-rooted artistic culture and tradition of Gyumri into a modern-day economy through new technologies programmed by artificial intelligence. This cutting-edge field is called Living Art, and it is sometimes also referred to as Living Design or Responsive Environment. Using embedded algorithms, Living Art allows the environment to interact with the individual. The interactions are regulated and triggered by each of the observer’s movements, facial expressions, and point of observation. Living Jewelry, an offshoot of Living Art, is a new field of decorative applied arts that brings together various high-level skills, including jewelry making and design, as well as the fields of microelectronics and high technologies.
Luys Living Jewelry comes to life in Gyumri
Artists, jewelers, programmers, technologists, and modelers in Gyumri came together to produce the following five Living Jewelry prototypes: Weight of Lightness, a dancing ballerina constructed as an earring; Breath of the Stone, a necklace made of ordinary stones with a pendant in the center; Harmony, a large, square pendant consisting of silver, glass and a TFT screen; Meeting of Souls, a bracelet in the form of a labyrinth inscribed with a landscape representing routes through a city; and Taking Flight, a large, asymmetric necklace made with brass. Each prototype reacts in different ways, producing movement, sound and light, in accordance with the external environment. See the Living Design prototypes in action in the video below.
Supporting a mapping of resources to forge collaboration
Luys has carried out a thorough assessment to identify local resources and bring together necessary outside resources, ensuring that the project takes off and continues to grow and thrive. In realizing its vision to transform Gyumri into a Living Art hub, Luys is currently developing a platform for artists, craftsmen, IT specialists, and project managers to collaborate in designing communication tools that both reach the masses and are customized to the individual. It will be the first platform of its kind in Armenia to connect artists and specialists from various sectors with the purpose of establishing a Living Art movement.
Recruiting artists and technologists to take part in a new movement & securing valuable collaborations
The Luys Foundation is working in collaboration with Florent Aziosmanoff, author, researcher and producer of Living-Art and of Living-Art-Labs, whose seminal work drives the field of Living Art. Mr. Aziosmanoff and Luys’ Executive Director Jacqueline Karaaslanian have collaborated on cutting edge technologies while working together at MIT Media Lab. Luys invited Mr. Aziosmanoff to spearhead this project in Gyumri and help kick start this new industry in this artistic and historically rich city. The Luys team and Mr. Aziosmanoff met with representatives in Gyumri in June to spearhead this new industry in the tech savvy city. During this time, they met with a number of artists and creative technologists who specialized in jewelry making, clothing design, carpet making, painting, ceramics, illustration, graphic art, web development, programming, engineering, and robotics. The team visited studios of artists and technologists to view their work, engage with them on a personal level, and recruit talented individuals for an upcoming master class on Living Art. In addition to meeting talented individuals, the Luys team also met with important stakeholders in the fields of arts and technology.
Organizing Living Art master classes to take place regularly in Gyumri
The team selected seventeen of the brightest minds, five artists, five jewelers, five technologists, and two 3D modelers to take part in the first master class at the Gyumri Art Academy from July 11th-20st. To kick off the first in a series of master classes, Mr. Aziosmanoff teamed up with renowned scenographer, set designer, and visual artist Paul Olory to introduce the concept of Living Jewelry to the participants. Artists and technologists paired up over the course of ten days to create prototypes of Living Jewelry. Within the framework of the Develop Armenia Together program, Luys scholars, using their skills in photography, videography, and translation, supported the master class initiative.
Luys presents the Living Jewelry prototypes in Gyumri
On July 20th artists and technologists gathered at the Technopark in Gyumri to present five Living Jewelry prototypes to the US Ambassador to Armenia H.E. John A. Heffern, the representatives of other diplomatic missions, and the local community. The audience was amazed at the innovative pieces of Living Jewelry, and the event was a great success. You can read more about Luys Living Design, the master class participants, and the prototypes here.
Next steps to ensure the sustainability of Living Art in Gyumri
Over the course of one year, Luys envisions conducting continual master classes and training individuals, who will create products to drive the industry. Former master class participants will be trained to lead future sessions using a training of trainers format, thus ensuring the sustainability of the project. In the long-term, Luys would like to establish a branch of the Living Art/Design School in Gyumri affiliated with France. Prototypes that are selected during the master classes have been introduced to a select jury consisting of representatives from government, embassies, and the business world, as well as artists. Ultimately, the team will seek partnerships to market and promote products for the regional as well as the global market.
The Living Art movement has the potential to drive the economic development of Gyumri
The Living Art digital industry has taken the world by storm, and there is a great demand worldwide to experience knowledge and information in a new, responsive way. Gyumri, the arts capital of Armenia, already has the necessary human resources to embrace the Living Art industry. It has a number of artists, IT specialists, and creators capable of developing this innovative economy and willing to establish collaborations with one another. Through Luys Living Art, Gyumri has the potential to be transformed into a vibrant center for creating and manufacturing products for the world market. In utilizing the co-creative capacity of the community, Gyumri can put itself on the map and greatly contribute to its economic development, ultimately reinventing itself as the new economy capital of the Caucasus region.
Luys Foundation is a non-profit educational organization supported by individual and corporate donations. Its mission is to create and unite a generation of critical, creative thinkers in Armenia by increasing the number of Armenian students attending the world’s leading universities, as well as building an infrastructure that harvests the knowledge, experience, and connections of Luys students to support the transition from academic to real-world achievement for Armenia’s benefit. To contribute to the Luys Foundation, fill out the secure form at the following link: www.luys.am/en/contribute.