As mentioned previously in the interview with Genoveva Rückert, curator at the OK Center for Contemporary Art, the CyberArts Exhibition is traditionally one of the centerpieces of the Ars Electronica Festival. The accent is definitely on innovations and change at this year’s festival; all the same, the CyberArts exhibition remains the featured showcase of excellence in the media arts.
No fewer than 2.703 projects were submitted for the Prix Ars Electronica 2014, one of the most popular awards for media art. In early May, an international jury evaluated the projects from 77 countries in six categories. In short statements jury members are talking about the projects of their respective categories. A lot of these works are presented at CyberArts 2014.
Entries in this category include installations, performances and network projects. The jury focuses on the artistic quality of the work’s interaction, and looks for eloquent dialog between the content on one hand and the interaction principles and interfaces on the other. Of particular interest is the sociopolitical relevance of the interaction.
Works from the Interactive Art category in this year’s CyberArts show are Balance From Within by Jacob Tonski (US), There is the sun by Ief Spincemaille (BE), Captives by Quayola (IT/UK), Loophole for All by Paolo Cirio (IT/US), Disarming Corruptor by Matthew Plummer-Fernandez (UK), Das Vergerät by Boris Petrovsky (DE), Transfigurations by Agi Haines (UK), The Machine to Be Another by BeAnotherLab, Sports Time Machine by Ryoko Ando (JP) & Hiroshi Inukai (JP), Avena+ Test Bed – Agricultural Printing and Altered Landscapes by Benedikt Groß (DE), Peace Can Be Realized Even Without Order by teamLab (JP, CN, ROC), Epiphyte Chamber by Philip Beesley (CA), Sound of Honda / Ayrton Senna 1989 by Kaoru Sugano (JP), Sotaro Yasumochi (JP), Yu Orai (JP), Nadya Kirillova (RU/JP), Kyoko Yonezawa (JP), Kosai Sekine (JP), Taeji Sawai (JP) & Daito Manabe (JP), Clouds by James George (US) & Jonathan Minard (US), and Swarm by James Coupe (UK).
This category honors innovative forms of social coexistence—projects and initiatives that bring communities together, generate social capital, and nurture social innovation as well as cultural and ecological sustainability. Digital Communities are also committed to reconfiguring the relationships of power between the general populace and political parties, elected officials, government agencies and corporate interests by supporting citizens’ activism and thereby nurturing a healthy, functional democracy.
CyberArts 2014 spotlights Project Fumbaro Eastern Japan, Freemuse and Goteo.
The Computer Animation / Film / VFX category has been a Prix Ars Electronica mainstay since 1987. It honors excellent independent artistic and scientific works as well as high-end commercial productions in the film, advertising and entertainment industries.
In this category, artistic originality counts just as much as technical mastery. The 2014 CyberArts show is screening “Walking City” by Universal Everything (GB).
[the next idea] voestalpine Art and Technology Grant
Ars Electronica and voestalpine annually award a grant, the aim of which is to honor an inspiring, extraordinary, new idea with great future promise, and to help the person who came up with it to develop it further. This could be an artistic or social innovation; technological and scientific approaches have excellent chances.
CyberArts presents BlindMaps, a project by Markus Schmeiduch (AT), Andrew Spitz (FR) and Ruben van der Vleuten (NL).
u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD
This Prix Ars Electronica category is designed to enable young people in Austria under 19 years of age to develop and present their concepts and ideas for the world of tomorrow. The 2014 Golden Nica grand prize recipient is Sarah Oos (AT), whose video entitled “Femme Chanel – Emma Fenchel” will be screened at CyberArts.
Visionary Pioneers of Media Art
This category made its debut in 2014. It differs from all the others in two main respects. For one thing, it isn’t awarded on the basis of a single outstanding project but rather to recognize an artist’s lifework and impact on the international media art scene. For another, the jury that decides who the prizewinner will be is made up solely of those artists who have themselves been recipients of a Golden Nica since the Prix Ars Electronica’s inception in 1987.
The first Visionary Pioneer of Media Art to be honored with a Golden Nica is Roy Ascott. The British artist, theoretician and visionary thinker has been active since the 1960s, and his numerous publications and works have exerted a major influence on the global digital art community. Ascott has exhibited his works at such venues as the Venice Biennale, the Shanghai Biennale, the Milan Triennale, the Ars Electronica Festival, the Plymouth Arts Centre and the Incheon International Arts Festival in South Korea.
In 1980 and thus even before the birth of the internet, Ascott presented one of the world’s first online art projects on the ARPANET for universities. In 1983 in the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, Ascott exhibited “MuLa Plissure du Texte” (A Planetary Fairy Tale), a telematic project with artists in Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Bristol, Sydney, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Toronto, San Francisco, Honolulu and Alma.
In 1989, Roy Ascott appeared at the Ars Electronica Festival, where he presented “Aspects of Gaia: digital pathways across the whole earth,” a computer network project in the form of an interactive installation. Roy Ascott is celebrating his 80th birthday this year, which makes it a perfect occasion to invite him to Linz and honor him with a Golden Nica.
Winner Visionary Pioneer of Media Art Roy Ascott
CyberArts is, as always, at the OK Center for Contemporary Art. Complementing the show on Saturday, September 6, 2014 is a series of chats with featured artists moderated by Prix jurors.
OK Center for Contemporary Art
Thursday to Monday, September 4-8, 10 AM-9 PM; Saturday: 10 AM-11 PM
Opening: Thursday, September 4, 2014, 6 PM