The Prix Ars Electronica is the world’s most time-honored media arts competition. Grand Prize Winners are awarded the coveted Golden Nica statuette, prize money ranging up to € 10,000 per category and an opportunity to showcase their talents at the famed Ars Electronica Festival in Linz.

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NicaThe Prix Ars Electronica was launched in 1987 by Ars Electronica co-founder Hannes Leopoldseder. The categories at the outset were Computer Graphics, Computer Animation and Computer Music. In 1990, Interactive Art enhanced the array. A category especially for kids and young people was introduced in 1998. A prize for Digital Communities and [the next idea] voestalpine Art and Technology Grant premiered in 2004, followed by Hybrid Art in 2007 and Artificial Intelligence & Life Art in 2019. The Prix Ars Electronica’s most recent innovations came in 2014 with the introduction of a Golden Nica honoring the Visionary Pioneers of Media Art, and the reconfiguration of two pairs of categories—Artificial Intelligence & Life Art and Digital Musics & Sound Art; Interactive Art and Digital Communities—which now alternate in a biennial rhythm. The Prix’s highly diversified dramatis personae has included internationally renowned artists (Karlheinz Stockhausen, Roy Ascott, Lynn Hershman, Toshio Iwai / Ryuichi Sakamoto, Chris Cunningham / Aphex Twin), Oscar winners (John Lasseter, Chris Landreth) and creative young trailblazers (Graffiti Research Lab).

Categories and Prizes

Computer Animation 1 Golden Nica, 10.000 Euro 2 Awards of Distinctions up to 12 Honorary Mentions
Interactive Art +* 1 Golden Nica, 10.000 Euro 2 Awards of Distinctions up to 12 Honorary Mentions
Digital Communities* 1 Golden Nica, 10.000 Euro 2 Awards of Distinctions up to 12 Honorary Mentions
Digital Musics & Sound Art* 1 Golden Nica, 10.000 Euro 2 Awards of Distinctions up to 12 Honorary Mentions
Artificial Intelligence & Life Art* 1 Golden Nica, 10.000 Euro 2 Awards of Distinctions up to 12 Honorary Mentions
u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD 1 Golden Nica, 3.000 Euro Young Creatives (0-14 Years): 10 Awards of Distinctions and prizes up to 2.000 Euro
Young Professionals (14-19 Years): 14 Awards of Distinctions and prizes up to 2.000 Euro
Visionary Pioneers of Media Art 1 Golden Nica

Events of the Prix Ars Electronica during the Ars Electronica Festival

During the Ars Electronica Festival in September, the Golden Nicas, Awards of Distinction and Honorary Mentions are awarded with pomp at the Ars Electronica Gala. The winners of the Golden Nicas and Awards of Distinction are also invited to present their projects at the Prix Ars Electronica Forums which are held over a number of days. The Ars Electronica Festival presents the CyberArts Exhibition annually as one of its main shows. It showcases a selection of winning projects of the latest Prix Ars Electronica. Formatted specially for the Festival, the award-winning works from the category “Computer Animation” are shown at the Ars Electronica Animation Festival with the Electronic Theatre. The “Digital Musics & Sound Art” winners present their works in the form of concerts conceived as part of the programme of Ars Electronica Nightlines.

The Golden Nica

The statuette is based on the winged goddess Nike of Samothrace and was chosen as the trophy of the electronic and digital arts in 1986/1987 by Hannes Leopoldseder and Christine Schöpf together with graphic artist Johann Schorn. The last syllable of “Ars Electronica” – NICA – and the name of the goddess of victory – NIKE – add the finishing touches to the Golden Nica. The 39-centimeter statuette itself was initially made of steel; in the meantime, each individual trophy is hand-carved from wood by artist Michael Lauss. The base is engraved and the statue is covered with gold paint.

Credits

The Prix Ars Electronica, organized by Ars Electronica Linz GmbH & CoKG, is made possible by support from the City of Linz. Special Thanks for additional support go to Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, TOMITA information Hub, Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and OeAD.

The Golden Nica statuettes are presented to each year’s winners at the Ars Electronica Festival in early September. The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the world’s premier awards honoring creativity and innovativeness in the use of digital media.

Idea: Hannes Leopoldseder,
Concept: Christine Schöpf and Gerfried Stocker,
Managing Director: Martin Honzik,
Head of Prix Ars Electronica: Emiko Ogawa prix@ars.electronica.art, 0043-732-7272-781