(Linz, June 17, 2024) 2950 entries from 95 countries were submitted to the Prix Ars Electronica between January 12 and March 11, 2024. At the end of April, the international jury met in Linz and decided who could look forward to a total of four Golden Nicas, 12 Awards of Distinction, 38 Honorary Mentions, an Award for Digital Humanity, three main prizes and a total of 46,600 euros this year:

The Golden Nica in the “New Animation Art” category (1160 submissions) goes to Beatie Wolfe (GB). Her haunting visualization Smoke and Mirrors addresses the increasing methane concentration in the earth’s atmosphere and the lies of the oil industry.

The Golden Nica in the “Interactive Art +” category (1428 submissions) goes to Diane Cescutti (FR), whose installation Nosukaay combines traditional West African weaving art, mathematics, and computers and traces ancient technology concepts that understood man and machine as a unit.

There were 362 submissions in the Austria-wide category “u19–create your world”. 17-year-old Jakob Gruber received the Golden Nica for his remarkable animation Fluten der Freiheit (Floods of freedom) about the deadly escape routes across the Mediterranean.

The “AI in ART Award” initiated this year goes to Paul Trillo (US), who created the first officially commissioned music video with Open AI’s Sora, Washed Out “The Hardest Part”. The film makes it clear that AI can enhance human creativity rather than replace it.

This year, the “Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity”, made possible by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, goes to the group De Toneelmakerij (NL). With Patchwork Girl, Paulien Geerlings (NL), Jantine Jongebloed (NL), Eva Knibbe (NL), Noelía Martin-Montalvo (ES), and Nina Van Tongeren (NL) have created a lecture performance about sexting, slut-shaming, empowerment, dealing with one’s own sexuality, and the (lack of) ethics on the Internet.

These and other award-winning projects can be seen as part of the Ars Electronica Festival from September 4 – 8 in the Prix Ars Electronica exhibition at Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz. The show opens on Tuesday, September 3, 2024, at 5:30 p.m. The Golden Nicas will be officially presented on Thursday, September 5, 2024, from 7:30 p.m. during the Prix Ars Electronica Award Ceremony at Design Center Linz.

This time the Prix Ars Electronica jury included:

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – New Animation Art
Golden Nica

Smoke and Mirrors / Beatie Wolfe (GB)

Smoke and Mirrors* exemplifies how data can be wielded not just to inform but to disrupt narratives, urging viewers to reconsider their perspectives on urgent societal issues.”

Excerpt from the jury statement

Smoke and Mirrors poignantly contrasts the oil industry’s marketing campaigns with the alarming rise in methane levels in the atmosphere. A four and a half minute animation shows the rapid growth since 1970 and misleading slogans such as “Lies they tell our children” (Mobil, 1984), “Unsettled science” (ExxonMobil, 2000), “Oil Pumps Life” (American Petroleum Institute, 2017) or “Net-Zero” (Shell, 2023), with which oil companies around the world are fueling doubts about science and its measurements.

Beatie Wolfe’s visualization is based on the iconic “Blue Marble” photo of the Apollo 17 crew from 1972. The climate data comes from the Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA and the European Environment Agency. The animated globe is accompanied by “Oh My Heart” – the first record made from sustainable bioplastics, which Beatie Wolfe produced together with musician Michael Stipe and Brian Eno’s “EarthPercent”. The title Smoke and Mirrors alludes to the depiction of methane emissions, but also to our careless treatment of nature itself.

Beatie Wolfe receives a Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Smoke and Mirrors.

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – New Animation Art
Award of Distinction

I’m Feeling Lucky / Timothy Thomasson (CA)

With the real-time animation I’m Feeling Lucky, Timothy Thomasson fascinatingly questions the relationships between image, geography, virtual space, media technology, and data collection. He creates a surreal 3D landscape without a clear historical or geographical reference. Rivers, forests, and tall tumbleweeds merge into a cinematic narrative populated by thousands of stationary 3D figures randomly extracted from Google Street View footage.

Timothy Thomasson addresses the mass archiving and use of photographic material from our everyday lives—the real role models are neither aware that they have been captured by Google nor that their images can appear in a completely new context. Inspired by the immersive panoramic paintings of the 19th century that depicted natural landscapes, warlike scenes, religious events or cityscapes, I’m Feeling Lucky creates a limitless experience without a fixed framework. A virtual camera glides endlessly and leisurely over the surreal scenery, free of hectic movements or rapid cuts.

Credits
Timothy Thomasson
Sound design & composition: Tatum Wilson
With support from: Canada Council for the Arts, Société des arts technologiques (SAT) Residency Program, Canadian Cultural Center Paris

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – New Animation Art
Award of Distinction

Stained / Jeremy Kamal (US)

With fascinating 3D animations, Stained creates an alternative vision of the future: In the fictional world “Mojo,” Black cultures have had a lasting impact on the American landscape. Protagonist Demetrius is a member of the “Crimson Needles” gang, who mark their territory with red-colored plants. In a flashback, he remembers how his fascination with a blue plant once led to him being ostracized—displays of this kind are taboo in the gang. Intimate moments reveal Demetrius’ inner conflict as he struggles to cope emotionally.

In Stained, Jeremy Kamal creates a new type of symbiosis: gang culture becomes a landscape phenomenon, its members transform into environmentalists and tea producers. People, technologies, nature, and fiction merge into an alternative way of life that tries to overcome real divides. Jeremy Kamal encourages us to look at landscapes from new perspectives and to see their design as a collaborative project with diverse possibilities. His animated vision combines climate activism, environmental protection, and ecology with the reality of Black Americans’ lives. The fictional place Mojo serves him as a projection surface for novel rituals, mythologies and landscape visions that go beyond common ideas of nature.

Credits
Created by Jeremy Kamal
Music: Nathan Buttel & Jeremy Kamal
AI creative direction: Case Miller
Additional AI work: Jonathan Penvose

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – Interactive Art +
Golden Nica

Nosukaay / Diane Cescutti (FR)

“The loom could be envisioned as a programmable machine that encodes knowledge into fabric, serving as a means of preserving and transmitting culture; while the computer processes data, the loom preserves stories and traditions. […] Nosukaay as a textile-computer hybrid allows us to rethink the concept of the “computer” through a rich tapestry of shared understanding that interweaves craft with computational practices.”

Excerpt from the jury statement

Diane Cescutti’s multi-layered art combines different media—such as weaving, sculpture, installation, video and 3D visualization—and seeks to rethink our relationship with technology and textiles as carriers of knowledge, data, traditions and spirituality.

In the interactive installation Nosukaay she tells an alternative history of computer technology. The focus is on connections between computers, mathematics, and the traditional weaving knowledge of the Manjak people in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. A Manjak loom merges with a computer to form a “textile machine,” while a hand-woven loincloth serves as a keyboard to control a filmic narrative. By touching the keyboard, the viewers themselves become part of the system—depending on the type and location of the interaction, the course of action and thus their own experience changes. Anyone who ignores traditional, spiritually charged knowledge is “thrown out” of history—an indication that imparting knowledge requires trust and respect.

With Nosukaay (meaning “computer” in Wolof), Cescutti traces ancient technology concepts that saw man and machine as a unit. At the same time, it refutes the misconception that African cultures have not contributed to technological progress and that African languages ​​do not have the terminology for technology and science.

Diane Cescutti receives a Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Nosukaay.

Credits
Video: Sarah Maupin
Photos: Blanche Lafargue
Woven Manjak loincloth: Edimar Rosa  
With support from: École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon (ENSBA Lyon); Post-diplôme Art, Centre d’art image/imatge

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – Interactive Art +
Award of Distinction

If You Have Starry Skies in Your Eyes / Rib (JP)

People with disabilities often feel “invisible” and removed from society—this is what the Japanese artist Rib reports from her own experience. With her project If You Have Starry Skies in Your Eyes she counters this and confidently brings her difference to the fore.

Until she was 12, Rib was a frequent victim of domestic violence, which, among other things, led to her becoming blind in her right eye. Instead of hiding this limitation with a prosthesis that is as lifelike as possible, she now wears a self-developed, glowing eye prosthesis. This consists of an integrated magnetic sensor, an LED light, and a battery encapsulated in medical acrylic resin. For Rib, being different is part of her history and her individuality—not a limitation, but an opportunity to express herself. If You Have Starry Skies in Your Eyes celebrates the charm and potential of physical differences and calls for them not to be hidden, but rather to be proudly displayed.

Credits
Artist: Rib
Videos, Shooting: Shiki Sakai
With support from: Sam Murai

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – Interactive Art +
Award of Distinction

Third World: The Bottom Dimension / Gabriel Massan (BR)

Third World: The Bottom Dimension is a visionary single-player PC game by Gabriel Massan. In collaboration with artists, researchers, and sound designers, he creates a virtual world—the Third World—that explores the experiences of Black Brazilians in the context of colonialism and challenges the systems and behaviors on which our social realities are built.

His sources of inspiration are the simulation mechanisms of The Sims, Saidiya Hartman’s method of critical fabulation and her stories of omissions in archives, as well as the theories of “consciousness raising” of the Brazilian educator Paolo Freire.

In each level of the game, new ideas and approaches flow into the mythology across two interconnected levels that are of particular importance to the people involved. The immersive exploration of the game world increasingly sensitizes to competing forms of consciousness: on the one hand, the colonial consciousness imposed by the virtual “headquarters” and its understanding of “exploration,” “nature,” and “knowledge,” and on the other hand, alternative forms that open up new possibilities for navigation in the world.

Credits
Lead artist, Creative director, 3D sculptor, concept: Gabriel Massan
Featured artists: Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, Novíssimo Edgar, LYZZA
Sound design: LYZZA
Unreal development: Alexandre Pina, Marchino Manga, Ralph McCoy
Capture mode development & Unreal consultant: Iraj Montasham
Animation, cinematography, film VFX: Carlos Minozzi
Additional cinematography: Alexandre Pina
Graphic, UI design: Masako Hirano
Writing, narrative design support: Sweet Baby Inc
Translator: Adriana Francisco
Translation support: Manuela Cochat
Mastering Engineer: Rainy Miller
QA Testing: Keiran Cooper
Curator: Tamar Clarke-Brown
Producer: Róisín McVeigh
Commissioned and produced by Serpentine Arts Technologies
Powered by Tezos 
Game commissioned in association with the Julia Stoschek Collection

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – u19–create your world
Golden Nica

Fluten der Freiheit / Jakob Gruber (AT)

“Jakob Gruber effectively portrays the ongoing tragedy of Mediterranean crossings with a few compelling images. […] His animation leaves a lasting impression, reminding us that art has the power to distill complex societal issues and motivate us to take action.”

Excerpt from the jury statement

Fluten der Freiheit (Floods of freedom) is a 3D animation project by 17-year-old Salzburg native Jakob Gruber. The focus is on the dangerous escape routes across the Mediterranean. You can see an orange life jacket that inflates in a matter of seconds and then bursts into its smallest pieces. A closer look reveals that the life jacket is formed from the words democracy, peace and security—European values ​​that symbolize everything that people on the run hope for and why they dare to make the dangerous crossing across the Mediterranean. Many of these crossings end in death. Many of these crossings end in death. Jakob Gruber conveys the danger of drowning with a special sound design—underwater sounds and waves mix with human breathing and heartbeat.

Fluten der Freiheit transforms abstract knowledge about the human tragedies that take place every day at the gates of Europe into a very emotional and personal narrative. Jakob Gruber emphasizes that humanitarian commitment and global solidarity are essential.

He received the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for his animation.

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – u19–create your world
Award of Distinction

Last / Anna Bubenicek, Flora Kirnbauer

Last is a stop-motion animation by students Anna Bubenicek and Flora Kirnbauer from HTL Spengergasse in Vienna, who tell a fictional story using self-made puppets.

The clip is about a protagonist who seeks to escape his loneliness and isolation by building a friend out of a treasure he has found. When he doesn’t succeed, he is extremely disappointed and trashes his house. In the end, however, he thinks about his precious stone, which makes his anger go away.

Anna Bubenicek and Flora Kirnbauer built the stage set for their story themselves. Numerous finds from forests and beaches gradually came together to form an entire world in miniature format. Last was filmed partly in the school’s own studio and partly in a garden shed; Anna Bubenicek and Flora Kirnbauer are also responsible for the post-production and recording of the specially selected film music.

Credits
Dank an Mia Schmit, HTL Spengergasse

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – u19–create your world
Award of Distinction

to the friends i’ll never meet / Selma Yassin

to the friends i’ll never meet deals with social bonds that only exist online and therefore create a dependency on digital space. In addition, it is about the question of how young people who have long communicated with others primarily via social media can also establish relationships offline again. The project includes a sculpture, a video of its creation process and its digital processing as a 3D scan. In the video you can see a young woman who repeatedly stretches cords around herself in her private living room—until she is completely separated from her surroundings. The cords symbolize online friendships that connect you with countless other users, but which often lead to loneliness in the physical world. In addition, Selma Yassin shows chat messages that show the beginning or the leveling off of relationships.

The different levels of work reflect the complexity of interpersonal relationships and call for a careful approach to relationships in the digital world.

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – u19–create your world
YC u14 Prize

WarpCity / Class 2a, BRG Pichelmayergasse, Vienna

WarpCity is a multimedia, interactive sculpture that was created by students of  BRG Pichelmayergasse in Vienna and promotes the examination of the effects of climate change in urban living spaces. To do this, animations created with the eponymous tool “TurboWarp” are projected onto a utopian city model and supplemented with sound recordings. A whole range of current topics such as rapidly changing weather conditions and surface sealing become visible and audible. Depending on the sounds of the viewer, the projections change and thus express our individual and social fluctuations between confidence and pessimism.

Credits
WarpCity was realized as part of the Cultural Collisions project at TU Wien in cooperation with the Technical Museum and MUMOK.

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – u19–create your world
YC u12 Prize

betterTogether / Antonia Hofstadler, Moritz Fink, Marc Umile, GRG15 – Auf der Schmelz

If the students of GRG15 – Auf der Schmelz have their way, their app betterTogether will be used to prevent bullying in schools in the future. The digital application is an information platform that gives students the opportunity to anonymously report bullying incidents in their class and get help. Programming the app was or is a collaborative process: A prototype is currently being tested, which will be evaluated and improved based on feedback from school colleagues in their school’s “Swift Coding Club”. The goal is to develop a mood barometer for the class.

With support from: Oliver Predl, Moritz Steiner

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – u19–create your world
u10 Prize

Na2r_3lumen / Nea Geršak

Although most people love flowers, give them to each other, and depict them in songs, books, stories, or films, flower meadows are increasingly disappearing from the landscape. Seven-year-old Nea Geršak from Klagenfurt knows the reasons for this: sealed concrete surfaces, environmental pollution, and extreme weather. In her video work Na2r_3lumen, a real bouquet of flowers is gradually replaced by self-painted “3lumen”. A new world is being created called Na2r, where there will always be 3lumen.

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – AI in ART
Golden Nica

Washed Out “The Hardest Part” / Paul Trillo (US)

“The breathtaking advancements in text-to-video systems represent one of the most significant and impactful developments in contemporary AI, particularly within the artistic realm. Paul Trillo, an esteemed and visionary artist and experimental filmmaker, is being honored with the Golden Nica for his early and innovative artistic exploration of generative AI systems and the possibilities it opens up for artists.”

Excerpt from the jury statement

Washed Out “The Hardest Part” by American filmmaker Paul Trillo is the first official music video created using OpenAI’s Sora text-to-video model. The result is a haunting video about loss and memory, grief and happiness, past and future. Paul Trillo portrays the fictional memories of a young woman who falls in love in middle school in the early 1980s, grows older with her partner, has a child and ultimately loses her partner. As she moves on with her life, she keeps dreaming about him. Like all memories, hers are subjective and a distorted reflection of reality.

Paul Trillo uses Sora’s hallucinatory, dream-like qualities to create an alienating space and unique imagery. He creates a journey through time through surreal environments and experiences that merge into one another. Artificial intelligence serves as the perfect tool to create an uncanny reflection of our reality that makes us believe something that never happened.

For Paul Trillo, the use of AI offers new opportunities for filmmakers, but he sees it as a complement to human creativity rather than a replacement. For him, transparency and ethics are the prerequisites for the sustainable use of this technology.

Paul Trillo receives a Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Washed Out “The Hardest Part”.

Credits
Written, directed, edited: Paul Trillo
Music: Washed Out
With support from: SubPop

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – AI in ART
Award of Distinction

REPETAE / Sasha Stiles (US)

REPETAE is a hybrid language arts series that fuses algorithms and poetry and shows how constant repetition affirms and produces meaning. Sasha Stiles uses generative elements such as AI-powered language, code-based images, and digitally looped and layered words to show how our emotions and perception are shaped by predetermined patterns. But it also shows that we can break and reverse these patterns. With REPETAE, Sasha Stiles demonstrates that repetition is not just reproduction, but a reinterpretation of the familiar that opens up endless new possibilities.

Credits
Works from REPETAE have been featured by: Kunstmuseum Bern, Gucci Art Program, Christie’s, Venus Over Manhattan, NYC, Tribute to Herbert W. Franke, Right Click Save: The New Digital Art Community (Vetro Editions, 2024), Decentralization, Please Save Culture (New Society, 2023), Outland, This is Paper.

Prix Ars Electronica 2024 – AI in ART
Award of Distinction

Intelligent Instruments in Citizen Science : Understanding Contemporary AI through Creative Practice / Thor Magnusson (IS), Intelligent Instruments Lab (IS)

Artificial intelligence is increasingly becoming a tool for creative people—and music production is no exception. The Intelligent Instruments Lab explores this new connection between AI, people, services, and products. It asks the question of how creative AI changes our view of art, culture, and society and what new forms of dialogue can emerge between humans and technology.

The motto “New instruments for new music” highlights how we deal with creative AI. New ideas and an understanding of the current discourse arise with the option of active participation.

Credits
The Intelligent Instruments project is being conducted by: Thor Magnusson (IS), Jack Armitage (UK), Halla Steinunn Stefansdottir (IS), Victor Shepardson (US), Nicola Privato (IT), Miguel Angel Rozzoli (AR), Halldor Ulfarsson (IS), Sean O’Brien (US), Marco Donnarumma (IT), Sophie Skach (AT), and Giacomo Lepri (IT).

The Intelligent Instruments project (INTENT) is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (Grant agreement No. 101001848). The project is hosted by the University of Iceland in collaboration with the Iceland University of the Arts.

Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity
by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs

Patchwork Girl / De Toneelmakerij (NL) – Paulien Geerlings (NL), Jantine Jongebloed (NL), Eva Knibbe (NL), Noelía Martin-Montalvo (ES), Nina Van Tongeren (NL)

Patchwork Girl is a lecture performance about sexting, exposing, slut-shaming, empowerment, owning your sexuality, and the (lack of) ethics on the Internet. These topics become tangible in the personal stories and biographical experiences of young women, who are being heard for the first time.

Jantine was 16 years old when her nude photos and a fake interview were published on the Dutch website GeenStijl. Today she is in her mid-30s and is on stage with five teenage girls; together they re-enact the events of that time and shed light on the perpetrators and victims. In the voiceover you can hear Cyrina speaking, who also experienced massive social ostracism as a 13-year-old after a private, suggestive video of her was spread online.

The “Patchwork Girl”, an AI-generated avatar that was created based on Jantine’s nude photos, draws from all of these worlds of experience. The avatar is infiltrated into online forums and porn sites, where it becomes active and conducts a dialogue with the users of these platforms and advocates for the women affected. In the performance, the avatar becomes an active figure by being seen on a screen above the actresses.

The “Patchwork Girl” represents all women who have been victims of violence, speaks out herself, rejects external attributions—and is fully “dressed” again in the finale of the performance. The performance advocates solidarity and sisterhood.

Patchwork Girl will be honored with the Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity, initiated by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.

Credits
Patchwork Girl is produced by the Theatre Company de Toneelmakerij
Concept: Paulien Geerlings, Eva Knibbe
Idea & direction: Eva Knibbe
Story: Jantine Jongebloed
Creation and text: Paulien Geerlings, Jantine Jongebloed, Eva Knibbe, Nina van Tongeren
AI artist: Noelía Martin-Montalvo
Performers: Anna Antonoglou, Silke Ensel, Chiara Fleischmann, Jantine Jongebloed, Noelía Martin-Montalvo, Amber Schouten, Nora Smidt
With special thanks to: Cyrina, Waag Future Lab and Iris Keuven
Head of Education & Participation: Martien Langman

Theatre Company de Toneelmakerij is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Culture and by the City of Amsterdam.

Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity
Honorary Mention

AI and the Art of Historical Reinterpretation – Filling Gender Bias Gaps / Claudia Larcher (AT)

The output of AI models is increasingly influencing our future, but is largely fed by historical data sets that must be viewed in the context of their respective times. The focus on gender roles in particular makes this clear and is therefore the focus of the project AI and the Art of Historical Reinterpretation – Filling Gender Bias Gaps. Claudia Larcher asks how gender bias can be eliminated in historical data sets and suggests filling historical gaps with AI-generated “historical images”. She wants to use this intentional distortion of large data sets to influence future AI decisions. As part of her project, the Austrian artist is creating an ever-growing fictional image archive of history that reinterprets the past in the spirit of inclusion and diversity. This collection will be distributed across digital platforms to inform and train future AI models, either actively or passively.

Credits 
Claudia Larcher 
VALIE EXPORT Center 
With support from: VALIE EXPORT Scholarship for artists and artistic researchers 

STATEMENTS

“Lobbies whose billion-dollar marketing campaigns raise doubts about scientific measurement results on climate change, technology concepts that focus on us as humans, our traditions, and our knowledge, and the fate of people who have to flee their homes—this year’s winners of the Prix Ars Electronica address central issues of our time. They make it clear that our cooperation has never been as important as it is today and show how solidarity can work across borders.”

Klaus Luger, Mayor of the City of Linz and Owner Representative of Ars Electronica

“The Prix Ars Electronica offers a variety of artistic positions that reflect the international discourse of media art. In 2024, almost 3,000 projects from 95 countries were submitted. Four of them received a Golden Nica. I am very pleased that we are able to present a selection of these high-quality media art projects at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz in September. There is also a special premiere coming up this year with the Prix Ars Electronica exhibition at Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz.”

Doris Lang-Mayerhofer, City Councilor for Culture and Chair of Ars Electronica’s Supervisory Board

Smoke and Mirrors / Beatie Wolfe (GB)

Photo: Hanno Dall

Nosukaay / Diane Cescutti (FR)

Photo: Blanche Lafargue

Fluten der Freiheit (Floods of freedom) / Jakob Gruber (AT)

Photo: Courtesy of the artist / Jakob Gruber

Washed Out “The Hardest Part” / Paul Trillo (US)

Photo: Courtesy of the artist / Paul Trillo