Inaugural Concord Prize win for Goldsmiths artist

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A Goldsmiths, University of London academic’s audio-visual installation, created in response to the showtune My Favorite Things, has been awarded a new £10,000 art prize.

An image from THEN I DON'T FEEL © Jacob Love

Jacob Love’s multi-channel video and sculptural work, THEN I DON’T FEEL, was selected by a judging panel for the inaugural Concord Art Prize – a national award to encourage visual art inspired by music.  

Over 700 submissions were made for the Prize, which required artists to create work in response to one of ten songs, from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1959 Sound of Music classic to Pink Floyd’s Great Gig in the Sky or Krept and Konan’s Broski. 

Finalists were chosen by a panel which included British artist Mat Collishaw, representatives from the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins and Hiscox, Julie Lomax (CEO of a-n The Artists Information Company), Robert Yates of The Observer, and songwriters Mark Ronson and Joan Armatrading CBE.

Love received the prize on Thursday 9 September at a private viewing of finalists’ work hosted by Concord Music Publishing on the Strand, central London. 

Jacob Love is an artist working in photography, video, film, installation and dance. He completed his masters at Goldsmiths in 2009 and for the past twelve years has taught photography to undergraduate students studying BA Media and Communications.

The Concord Prize-winning work explores themes of trauma, the autonomic nervous system, human agency, and the sublime. 

The installation draws on Love’s ongoing research into visceral video content and his experience of human behaviour therapies such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) – which requires patients to briefly focus on their trauma memory while experiencing eye movements, with the intention of reducing the vividness of the memory.  

Love is interested in the way platforms such as YouTube and Tiktok interact with our psychological and physiological selves to provoke certain reactions, in particular autonomic arousal, be that cathartic, traumatic or both.  

Describing his work, Jacob Love said: “Now that we can choose exactly what we want to watch whenever we want, screen time becomes an easy way to disassociate. In the new media ecology, we no longer need to use our imagination to indulge in ‘a few of our favourite things’, content farms are serving them up to us on demand. 

“The lyrics of [My Favourite Things] have also informed the content of the work. Listening to the words I realised that the list of ‘favourite things’ describes specific and fleeting moments of sensual intensity as much as it does physical objects. The line: ‘brown paper packages tied up with string’, made me think of the now ubiquitous unboxing video and the strange seductive draw of this type of content. More generally the list in the song could be a scene-by-scene description of the images in any one of the literally thousands of ‘oddly satisfying’ videos that have become increasingly popular.”  

Ali Hillman, curator of art consultancy Friday Trampoline said: “We were delighted with all of the finalists’ work and felt their contribution to the inaugural Prize was exceptional. We will continue to follow their careers going forward. Jacob’s work proved subversive, thought provoking and timely. For us it stood out as a relevant and contemporary interpretation of this iconic piece of music.”

View the full winning work, THEN I DON’T FEEL