Golden Nicas for artists from Japan, the USA, Taiwan, Colombia and Austria

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(Linz, June 20, 2022) 2338 artistic projects from 88 countries were submitted to the Prix Ars Electronica 2022. The “Interactive Art +” category received the most submissions with 928 projects, followed by the “Computer Animation” category with 657 works. In the “Digital Communities” category, 395 projects were submitted. The “u19-create your world” category, which is open to entries throughout Austria, received 358 submissions. The Prix Ars Electronica’s international jury, which is as distinguished as ever, this time includes Isabelle Arvers (FR), Peter Burr (US), Daito Manabe (JP), Rebecca Merlic (HR/AT), Helen Starr (TT), Rashmi Dhanwai (ID), Thomas Gegenhuber (AT), Sarah Kriesche (AT), Farah Salka (LB), Simon Weckert (DE), Jussi Ängeslevä (FI), DooEun Choi (KR), Rashin Fahandej (US), José-Carlos Mariátegui (PE/UK), Irini Papadimitriou (GR/UK), Sirikit Amann (AT), Reni Hofmüller (AT), Martin Hollinetz (AT), Conny Lee (AT) and Martin Retschitzegger (AT). The 2022 Golden Nicas go to Ory Yoshifuji and Ory Lab (JP) for “Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN ver.β,” Rashaad Newsome (US) for “Being,” Jung Hsu (TW) and Natalia Rivera (CO) for “ Resist like bacteria,” and Mary Mayrhofer (AT) for “The Black Blanket.” The winners of the Golden Nica will receive 10.000 Euro, the Golden Nica in the category “u19-create your world” will get 3.000 Euro. We will also be honoring the US artist Laurie Anderson as a “Visionary Pioneer of Media Art.”

This year, the second “Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity” was announced in parallel with the Prix Ars Electronica. The award, which was initiated in 2021, is once again made possible by the Ministry of European and International Affairs. The prize showcases projects that aim at a fundamental rethinking of the way we deal with technology. In 2022, the “Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity” will go to Sarah Newman (US), Kasia Chmielinksi (US) and Matthew Taylor (US) for their “Data Nutrition Project.” The winners will receive 10.000 Euro.

The prizewinners of the Prix Ars Electronica 2022

Award of Distinction
Absence / Marc Hericher (FR)
“In a stunning display of technical prowess and stylish aesthetics, this film leaves us pondering the relationship between journalism, politics, and information exchange in a grotesque display of human absence.” (Excerpt from the jury statement)

The French expression “marronnier journalistique” (evergreen content) refers to a news item that appears at the same time year after year, then disappears again. For example, the topic of homelessness as soon as winter temperatures drop below 0 degrees Celsius for the first time.
With “Absence,” Marc Hericher asks: How are we supposed to come to grips with a problem that worsens from year to year, but is only treated cyclically in public discourse? In his animation, a homeless old man collapses on the street while all the other people just keep walking past him. But then the media appear on the scene and turn everything upside down: a grotesque, absurd media event takes its course with the homeless man at the center…

Award of Distinction
Anxious Body / Yoriko Mizushiri (JP)
“(…) the spectators can feel ‘viscerally’ this tactile and sensuous animation.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

“Anxious Body” is a surreal video about transforming bodies, different surfaces and textures touching and detaching from each other in slow motion. All of this is carefully lit and done in muted shades of pink and gray. The hand-drawn animation by Yoriko Mizushiri picks up on tiny gestures and moments of our daily lives and lets us look deep into the abysses of our unconscious.

Golden Nica
Being / Rashaad Newsome (US)
“Rashaad Newsome’s dark, hallowed halls are a witness to acts of psycho-geographical poiesis. A deeply thoughtful masterwork of un-worlding.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury).

“Being” is founded on a complex interplay of machine learning models, game engines, 3D animation and scripted responses. The technological project is visualized by means of a CG avatar that is “trans” in every sense of the word. “Being” was first presented as part of Rashaad Newsome’s 2019 solo exhibition “Be Real” at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, which explored human agency, “blackness,” and the radical futurity of new identities. “Being” functioned not merely as an interactive exhibit, but as a tour guide. It used breaks to do fresh, happy dances to the 1977 queer anthem “Be Real” or to recite texts by Paulo Freire, bell hooks or Michel Foucault.

Three years have passed since then and “Being” has long since left the role of tour guide behind. Today, “Being” is active as an artist and teacher. Its primary goal is to help people to critically question their lives. As part of Rashaad Newsom’s current interdisciplinary project, “Assembly,” at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, “Being” leads workshops around decolonization three times a day, or writes and performs poetry inspired by the work of queer poet Dazié Rustin Grego-Sykes.

Award of Distinction
The Eternal Return, pre-Hispanic interactions / Cristhian Avila (PE)

“The participatory installation serves as a gigantic musical instrument, whose air sounds bring connections from other times to our everyday life, becoming a library of expressions from the past (…).” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

The sound installation acoustically revives the era of pre-Hispanic Peru. Ancient musical instruments such as pipes or flutes, which were discovered during archaeological excavations or borrowed from various collections around the world, were scanned and made from clay-like material using 3D printing. Sensors are used to determine various wind parameters, while Arduino is used to control pneumatic systems whose valves open or close accordingly. The result is unique soundscapes that bear witness to days long gone.

Award of Distinction
Perfect Sleep / Tega Brain (AU), Sam Lavigne (US)
“The artwork converts abstract numbers into direct human experience and serves as a provocation against the learned helplessness in the face of global challenges.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

The work “Perfect Sleep” explores sleep deprivation and climate crisis as products of one and the same capitalist system in which regeneration counts for nothing. “Perfect Sleep” comprises an installation and a smartphone app. The former invites you to sleep and dream; participants can make themselves comfortable on custom-made couches, and acoustic sleep aids help them to fall asleep. Along the way, they also learn all kinds of interesting facts about the ecological and social potential of sleep. The app, in turn, is designed to help users find their individual sleep rhythm and slowly increase the average duration of their sleep over the course of three years. Until they finally reach the stage of “total sleep,” which lasts a full 24 hours at a stretch. Underlying the “Perfect Sleep” project is a body of research that links our average sleep duration to GDP, and GDP to our carbon emissions.

Golden Nica Resist like bacteria / Jung Hsu (TW), Natalia Rivera (CO)
“(…) reflects the younger generation’s courageous hope and drive for change, highlighting how the world is interconnected, from the microscopic bio world to the vast globe we live in.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

In late 2019 and early 2020, border closures and lockdowns brought protest movements around the globe to an abrupt end. In many places, the pandemic-related restrictions therefore triggered the development of alternative and creative forms of civil resistance; “” is a best-practice example. The initiative is inspired by bacteria and their amazing ability to communicate with each other, to react quickly and flexibly to changing circumstances and to act in a self-organized way. “” adapts the yellow umbrella — a symbol of the Hong Kong movement — into a parabolic WiFi antenna. Henceforth, such an umbrella not only protects from rain, but also serves primarily to communicate with others. The umbrella functions as an antenna for a mini-server, repeater or router and at the same time builds up a nomadic network that accompanies demonstrators moving through the streets. On the way, this network organically connects and disconnects. All participants of a demonstration can join the virtual Bi0film to chat with each other, exchange files and save them. The goal of “” is to facilitate the connection to alternative networks while emphasizing the importance of our autonomy in matters of communication technologies — especially where authoritarian regimes use internet censorship as a tool for the oppression of people.

Award of Distinction of the Prix Ars Electronica 2022
Strong Hair / Yatreda (ET)
“The project shows how with the use of NFTs, blockchain technology can potentially help to preserve cultural heritage and identity while empowering local communities.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

In Ethiopia, the way one wears one’s hair is often much more than a mere question of style. Over thousands of years, hairstyles have evolved to express very specific things: they indicate tribal affiliations or social status. However, in the midst of a digital and global world, this cultural distinctiveness of Ethiopia is increasingly beginning to erode. With their project “Strong Hair,” the artists’ collective Yatreda wants to draw attention to the tradition and its imminent disappearance. The artists have created a collection of 100 portraits that highlight the diversity and expressiveness of Ethiopian hair styles. Each person was captured with a homemade 360-degree rotating camera and then “minted” as a non-fungible token on the Ethereum blockchain. Via NFTs, the goal is to ensure that this Ethiopian cultural tradition is preserved and — hopefully — revived beyond traditional physical media.

Award of Distinction of the Prix Ars Electronica 2022
Families For Freedom / Amina Khoulani (SY)
“They deserve our respect, support, and admiration.” (Excerpt from the satement of the jury)

“Families for Freedom” is a women-led movement working for the release of all Syrians who have been arbitrarily detained. “Families for Freedom” has 250 members in Syria, the United Kingdom, Germany, Turkey and Lebanon. In meetings with high-ranking decision-makers of the UN and leading politicians, its representatives stand up for justice. In digital campaigns, the movement opposes the forcible abduction and illegal detention of people by the Syrian regime. With all their activities, the Families for Freedom want to mobilize the broadest possible public and thus put pressure on those responsible to comply with their demands: Torture and ill-treatment must cease immediately, a list of all detainees including their current location and status must be published, and representatives of human rights groups must be granted immediate access to detention facilities.

Golden Nica of the Prix Ars Electronica 2022
Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN ver.β / Ory Yoshifuji / Ory Lab (JP)
“(…) the ‘Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN ver.β’ is an outstanding project and from the jury’s point of view a prime example of what a digital community can do and achieve”. (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

Visitors to the “Avatar Robot Café” are served remotely. Through the personnel agency “Avatar Guild,” users can apply as waiters and waitresses and then serve their customers by means of robots such as “OriHime” and “OriHime-D” without being on site. In an innovative way, the “Dawn Avatar Robot Café” wants to explore and show what technological aids are needed so that people who have limited mobility due to mental or physical illnesses or impairments can better participate in working or social life.

u19-create your world / YOUNG CREATIVES
u10 main prize
Bright Future / Emilio Deutsch (AT)

“This project covers several important research areas at once: the reduction of light pollution, climate protection and the use of alternative energies.” (Excerpt from the satement of the jury)

Emilio Deutsch’s “Shining Future” project relies on energy-saving light sources of a special kind: In the houses of his handcrafted city, he uses glow sticks filled with the fluorescent mycelium of the Hallimasch mushroom. This saves energy and protects the environment.

u19-create your world / YOUNG CREATIVES
u12 main prize
Druzeiplo / Benjamin Hölzl (AT)

“This project surprises with a variety of construction ideas and Lego prototypes.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

In his Lego print shop, Benjamin Hölzl combines art and technology. Using Lego Mindstorms, LEGO Technic and specially written programs, he has created a multifunctional tool that plays remarkable parts: A drawing machine designs flower patterns; the paper required for this is then cut to the right size with a saw before a hole punch ensures that the sheets can also be fixed in the drawing machine.

u19-create your world / YOUNG CREATIVES
u14 main prize
Orphea and Eurydice / Elena Schöppl (AT), Carla Schöppl (AT), Rosina Umgeher (AT)

“(…) an old story with an imaginative twist is retold with high professionalism and enigmatic wit.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

A Blackmagic camera for filming, Premiere Pro for editing, royalty-free sounds from the Internet and characters from Greek mythology who post info about their newfound love on Instagram and are electrocuted rather than bitten by a snake: In their short film, sisters Elena and Clara Schöppl and their cousin Rosina Umgeher transfer the story of Orpheus and Eurydice to the present day.

u19- create your world / YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
Award of Distinction
171 / Fabian Wenzelhumer (AT)
“(…) touches us not only thematically, but also through its well-conceived and exceptional realization.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

The stop-motion film “171” celebrates the combination of image and sound with a total of 746 graphics. 621 of the images were scratched into a mezzotint sheet, while the remaining 125 were drawn with pencil, ink and opaque white. The film is also a critique of human hubris and aims to draw attention to modern problems such as environmental pollution, exploitation of raw materials and to the unresolved question of future energy supply. The film shows a reactor accident brought about by recklessness. The story ultimately turns out to be the visual interpretation of a young man listening to a rhythm. The title refers, on the one hand, to the number of 5/4 beats per minute — there are 171 — and, on the other hand, to paragraph §171 of the Austrian Criminal Code, which states that deliberate endangerment by nuclear energy or ionizing radiation is a criminal offense.

u19-create your world / YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
Award of Distinction
/_ holofear / Jolanda Abasolo, Julian Köppl, Xaver Haiden, Leonhard Schönstein

“(…) conveys this nevertheless very abstract emotional state in an installation that can be experienced physically and interactively.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

The fear of missing out on something determines the everyday life of many young people. The interactive installation “/_ holofear” addresses this fear by means of a hologram that shows scenes of an obviously great party. The closer one gets to the installation, the more boring the party becomes. As soon as the viewers move away from the hologram again, the atmosphere returns.

u19-create your world / YOUNG PROFESSIONALS
Golden Nica of the Prix Ars Electronica 2022
The Black Blanket / Mary Mayrhofer (AT)
“(…) not only a depressing work, but it also gives hope, because it shows how art can be used to express feelings and thoughts in such a way that they become understandable even to complete strangers.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

Mary Mayrhofer’s “the Black Blanket,” a stiffened textile object, is meant to symbolize the characteristics of depression so that those not affected can grasp them — both physically and mentally. Based on factors such as writing or color, depression is shown as a jet-black shell that cuts people off from the enjoyment of life. For her work, Mary Mayrhofer used a cotton blanket imprinted with a poem she wrote, which was created at an emotional low point for the artist. Under the blanket, there appears to be a human being whose outline has been formed with the help of a grid.
Had some things gone differently, the following poem would likely have been attached to a suicide note and never become part of the artistic project that is now being honored with a Golden Nica. “Today I am not only happy but also extremely proud to still be here, to transform my pain into something morbidly beautiful and, in the best case, to make art that reaches and touches people,” says Mary Mayerhofer.

The Black Blanket

The black blanket envelops a person,
But the person is no longer there.
The fabric has become solid,
Has stiffened and solidified,
When existence dissolved into mist.
The person is already gone,
Perhaps escaped from their thoughts,
Or exploring the bottom of the Danube.

The black blanket has already absorbed tears
And listened to prayers.
It has muffled screams
And adorned itself with blood stains.
The black blanket
Like the final resting place of a mummy,
Like a coffin for those who are still alive.
As a final reminder to all,
Who were too tired
Just to lie down again
At the end of the day.

Goldene Nica
Laurie Anderson

In Laurie Anderson, an artist based in New York, Ars Electronica this year honors a “Visionary Pioneer of Media Art” whose wide-ranging work always revolves around the relationship between people and technology and is characterized by a high degree of socio-political commitment.

A musician, composer, filmmaker, author and media artist with an unusual ability to traverse and combine various genres, she has become an influential and style-defining icon of avant-garde media art.
Born on June 5, 1947 in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, she began playing the violin as a child and played violin concertos with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. In the mid-1960s she went to New York, where she studied at Barnard College and then specialized in fine arts at Columbia University. Her first performance art piece — a symphony played on car horns — was performed in 1969. Beginning in the 1970s, she established herself as a performance artist, created her first media installations, and began to develop her very own style of performative storytelling. In 1977, her first songs appeared on record, and with “Oh Superman” and her first album “Big Science” she became suddenly famous in 1981/82, reaching number two in the British charts.

From the analog electronics of her early interfaces and instruments to the first digital synthesizers and samplers, she was never content with the existing possibilities of the devices; instead, she developed and built her own personal instruments as a pioneer of electronic music.

Her use of the vocoder, with which she transposes her voice into the electronic sound world and generates the absolutely unmistakable signature sound that is her artistic trademark, is style-defining.
The tour for the 2001 album “Life On A String” stopped at New York’s Town Hall a few days after the attacks on the World Trade Center. Laurie Anderson decided to let the concert take place despite the dramatic events and incorporated some of her older songs. “I’ve often written about loss, betrayal, death, technology, anger and angels. I felt like I wrote the songs just yesterday … And now all of a sudden I’m singing about the absolute present.”

She has a special affection for dogs. In 2010 she played the first concert exclusively for four-legged friends at the Sydney Opera House. In 2015, under the title “Heart Of A Dog,” she released an album and another film, which was selected at the Venice Film Festival, among others.

Laurie Anderson has published several films and books in addition to her career as a musician and singer, and her visual work has been featured in major museums around the world. In recent years she has designed VR installations and composed orchestral music.

In 2021, she was named the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University.

The Data Nutrition Project / Sarah Newman (US), Kasia Chmielinksi (US), Matthew Taylor (US).
“This simple, plausible, serious, and concrete solution won over the jury.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)

As AI systems become more prevalent, their “decisions” and “recommendations” naturally have an increasing impact on people’s lives. Often, this has unintended but detrimental consequences — especially for groups of people who are already marginalized, underrepresented and underserved. One reason is the data used to train AI systems. Whether because of incomplete or otherwise skewed data sets, the trained algorithms inevitably reflect societal imbalances and biases.

The Data Nutrition Project is an initiative of technologists, artists, scientists, and practitioners that aims to enable faster and better assessment of datasets: the “Dataset Nutrition Label” awarded is comparable to the nutrition label for food and contains essential information about the dataset at hand. In addition to developing digital labels and an engine to create them, the team is also working on educational initiatives, a children’s book, and a podcast. All of these initiatives are intended to create awareness of existing problems in AI systems and contribute to solving them.

Honorary Mention
Digital Research Travelogues through European Archives /Marina Gržinić, Jovita Pristovšek, Sophie Uitz (INT)
“(…) project is of importance because its enlightening, critical, historical look into the past also raises awareness of the present dismal situation in and around Ukraine.” (Excerpt from the statement of the jury)
“Digital Research Travelogues through European Archives” creates an interdisciplinary platform for art and science to examine the current politics of forgetting in relation to three traumatic events of the 20th century: Belgium’s colonialism in the Congo, anti-Semitism in Austria during World War II and the postwar period, and Turbonationalism and the Srebrenica genocide in the former Yugoslavia.

COMPUTER ANIMATION / Honorary Mentions

Ad Hominem / Alex Verhaest (BE)

Cangjie’s Poetry /Weidi Zhang (CN), Donghao Ren (CN)

It was a Roadside Picnic / Beyond Black Orientalism
The World as a futuristic re-imagination, existing in Time and Zones that Spring from and Move in Breath.

Promesa / Julián Palacios (IT)

Radicalization Pipeline / Theo Triantafyllidis (GR)

Samsara / Hsin-Chien Huang (TW)

Tartarus / Mariano Fernández Russo (AR)

The Crow / Glenn Marshall (GB)

Unless / Deborah Joyce Holman (CH/GB), Yara Dulac Gisler (CH)

Very, Very, Tremendously / Guangli LIU (CN)

When fox and rabbit say goodnight. / Finn Stevenhagen (NL/GB)

Wisdoms for Love 3.0 / Keiken w/ Obso1337, Ryan Vautier and Sakeema Crook (GB)

INTERACTIVE ART + / Honorary Mentions

Another Moon / Kimchi and Chips (KR)

Behind Shirley / Ibiye Camp (GB)

Brave New Commons / Masaki Fujihata (JP)


Chroma / Yunchul Kim (KR)

How to Make an Ocean / Kasia Molga (GB)

morphecore / Daito Manabe + Shingo Oono + MIKIKO

NoSearchBar / Erik Anton Reinhardt (DE)

Siempre se tienen 19 años en un rincón del corazón / Gabriela Munguía (MX), Germán Pérez (AR)

Technologies of Hope & Fear: 100 Pandemic Technologies / Marek Tuszynski (PL), Stephanie Hankey (GB)

The Zizi Show / Jake Elwes (GB)

Voz Pública / Dora Bartilotti (MX)


All the Stars We Cannot See / Gao Yujie (CN), Megan Smith (CA)

Alsaha Archive / Akhbar ElSaha (INT)

Atomfa (and other stories) / Joanna Wright (GB)

Blank Noise / Jasmeen Patheja (IN)

Center for Political Beauty

Commons Cargobikes / wielebenwir e.V. (DE), Commons Cargobike Initiatives (INT)


Internet Freedom Foundation / Ashlesh Balaji Biradar (IN)

Salvage Garden: Computers Against Covid

Sisyphus / Kachi Chan (HK)

Total Refusal – pseudo-marxist media guerilla

Twisted Gravity – Inspired By A Sustainable Future For Clean Water / Lynn Hershman Leeson in collaboration with Dr. Thomas Huber and Richard Novak/The Weiss Institute Harvard

u19–create your world


BONGOS / Sabrina Koller, Martina Janjic, Barbara Mendez Mendez, Johanna Stefanic

Cyberfish /Mika Weinmayr, Felix Mrak

Humanity = Nature / Frida Tabi Tataw, Frederik Lorenzoni, Harald Müller, Lino Müller

Lost / Workshopteilnehmer*innen Medien Kultur Haus Wels

not in public / Emil Klostermann

Radikalisierung im Netz. Wie Extremisten das Internet für ihre Zwecke missbrauchen / Johanna Westreicher, Magdalena Juen, Sophie Juen, Anna Zangerl, Leonie Jäger

Reinigung / Barbara Nina Rettig

Saudade / Jasmin Pemmer

Unity / Michael Zaminer

Waste-Bin-GO / Maximilian Zaglmayr, Manuel Obermayr

YOUNG CREATIVES u14 Award of Distinction

Chaos in Wien / Schüler*innen der RGORG 23 antonkriegergasse

Driving into the Future / Schüler*innen der 3. Klassen der MS Frohnleiten

YOUNG CREATIVES u12 Award of Distinction

SNELL – Die Wahrheit kommt heraus / Gloria Riedmann, Viktor Flatz und Matteo Di Cesare

Young Creatives u12 Honorary Mention

ISS MIR RIM SSI / Dominik Pichler, Immanuel Fröhlich, Lennard Fellner

Young Creatives u10 Award of Distinction

Save the monkeys, save the rainforest / Sarah Hölzl

Young Creatives u10 Honorary Mentions

Bärlauch / Levi Pittermann, Arthur Fortin, Thabo Juric-Grubner, Jakob Daburon, Kaan Colak
Ferngesteuerter Roboter / Leopold Kastler

Being / Rashaad Newsome / Foto: Rashaad Newsome / Printversion

Photo: Resist like bacteria / Jung Hsu (TW), Natalia Rivera (CO) / Foto: Jung Hsu / Printversion

Avatar Robot Cafe DAWN ver.β / Ory Yoshifuji / Ory Lab (JP) / Foto: MIYOGRAPHY / Printversion

Die Schwarze Decke / Mary Mayrhofer (AT) / Foto: Mary Mayrhofer / Printversion

Laurie Anderson (US) / Foto: Martin Hieslmair / Printversion