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The Lost Horizon by Cornford & Cross

Launch: Wednesday 28 May, 6-8pm at LSE, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE
Open to the public: Thursday 29 May - Friday 27 June, 10am-7.30pm daily, admission free

'The Lost Horizon' is a fantasy mountain landscape generated from financial data. It will change daily over one year, and be distributed as a prototype screensaver to around 2,000 computers in LSE from Wednesday 28 May.

An exhibition at LSE explains how artists Cornford & Cross developed the idea for the screensaver as artists in residence at the School, as part of the Arts Council's millennium Year of the Artist scheme.

Matthew Cornford said: 'We took the title 'Lost Horizon' from James Hilton's fantasy of adventure and discovery in a remote continent during the last years of the British Empire. In today's age of global trade and technology, being 'lost' has different connotations: our movements can be tracked in the remotest parts of the world, while the vanishing wilderness is becoming commodified.'

David Cross said: 'The everyday language and imagery of business is rich with metaphoric references to mountain landscapes. Yet these references carry double-edged meanings. Also, the concepts of risk and security in commerce are often visualised in images of climbers scaling the heights of an unspoilt wilderness, while mountaineering as a leisure pursuit has become an aspirational lifestyle statement.'

American Express Financial Services Europe Ltd has worked with the artists and LSE staff to prepare and deliver electronic data from the FTSE100 to be processed at LSE using software which creates fantasy landscapes. As well as LSE itself, the project has been generously supported by American Express, The London Institute, The University of Wolverhampton, and Arts Council England.

Anthony Giddens, LSE Director, said: 'Art at LSE is a new venture for the School, and a path-breaking project for us. This screensaver has highlighted how artists with a different perspective on the social sciences can produce highly original and thought-provoking ideas about something the financial world works with every day. We hope this project, along with other Art at LSE work, will enrich both the LSE environment and the way our students think about art, culture and the social sciences.'


For more details and an image, contact:

Email: cornfordandcross@hotmail.com| 
Judith Higgin, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7582 or j.a.higgin@lse.ac.uk| 
Emma Wosskow, Blue Rubicon PR, on 020 7730 5575

13 May 2003