I’ve been following the New Media curating email list since I went to a conference series in tate britian and got introduced to crumb: http://www.crumbweb.org, for those involved in curating, exhibiting, archiving or interpreting new media art (including net.art, interactive installations, digital video etc).
This weeks discussion has revolved around a new media art prize : ” The shortlist for the inaugural Samsung Art+ Prize was announced today. Neil Cummings, Doug Fishbone, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, Torsten Lauschmann, Lucky PDF, Aura Satz, Hiraki Sawa, Semiconductor, Erika Tan, and Thomson and Craighead are all in the race to bag the £10,000 ($15,569) prize, which will be awarded during a ceremony at London’s British Film Institute on January 25, 2012.” more
And the discussion around it has been really interesting:
From Gary Thomas
Enough with the ‘vague’!!!
I was one of the nominators..I think there were ten of us, asked to nominate and justify three artists, and propose an artist for the ‘lifetime’ award. It’s organised by the London office Suum – a Korean art agency, and Mark Waugh (ex A Foundation) works with them, so it’s credible (as if I’d associate myself with anything that wasn’t!).
I was, in a sense, pretty conservative in my own nominations, at least in that they are artists who have been working in media, and interrogating things formally, throughout their practice. But other nominators don’t have my background, and it was exciting to do a bit of re-thinking. I think the shortlist is provocative and inspiring. It’s not comfortable. And that’s good.
So I’d say it’s an eclectic, rather than a vague list. It gives artists a chunk of money and aims to increase ‘profile’, and I think that’s good. I am pretty sure the marketing budget is some way short of 150k. The article questions why the BFI Southbank, but it seems to me getting a high profile space in London, with huge footfall, is a win.
Meanwhile..Animate Projects’ Digitalis project goes out into the real world tonight with a screening and panel at BFI Southbank (where else?!) http://animateprojects.org/events/events_2011/digitalis_commissions_launch_night_at_bfi_southank
We’ve published a newspaper with information about the films and artists, and some short essays, by Ele Carpenter, Rosemary Heather, Nick Bradshaw, Emma Geliot, Tim Shore and Max Hattler. They’re not available online yet, but the newspaper will be available from the animateprojects.org shop very soon, at a price you wouldn’t notice you’d spent.
From Andreas Broeckmann
sarah, thanks for forwarding this.
is there any indication (or does somebody know) who nominated the
artists who are on the shortlist? the jury that will select the
winner is named, but how and why was that shortlist put together like
i think it is important to maintain that a GBP 10.000 prize (that
will go to one artist/group) can in no way alleviate cuts in cultural
budgets that are set to destroy entire institutions. – and if one of
the film artists should win, that would be another nail in the coffin
of “new media art” as a field of cultural practice that deserves
special attention. the shortlist as it is further dilutes the concept
of “new media art” – which in my eyes is consistent with what has
been happening in the last ten years: the normalisation of digital
media as cultural technique and as artistic medium, and thus a
growing uncertainty outside the “self-certain media art scene” as to
what “new media art” might actually mean in particular, other than
(at the moment) a new set of smartphone apps that compete for app-art
From Sarah Cook
Hi Gary, Andreas, and CRUMB
thanks muchly for clarifying what is behind this initiative as it wasn’t clear from my web searching (though the jury is listed there Andreas).
I was not concurring with the reviewer that it was a ‘vague’ list, merely posing the question as to the criteria for what I agree is an eclectic list. I like the shortlist a lot and it is always good to have a chance to rethink how we might categorize works which challenge the rubric of art today. I agree Andreas that there has been an increasing “normalisation of digital media as cultural technique and as artistic medium” which is not a bad thing, and the crisis within the new media art field as to how to define itself has been there an awfully long time, which is why, perhaps, the funders have been able to be so ignorant in their decision making of late, which has created space for initiatives like this to spring up… perhaps…
I’d very much like to see the show (and wish it were up longer) and also to have a discussion – which hasn’t been had much here or elsewhere – about the current and future state of spaces and organisations which continue to try to support new media art… the Southbank gallery has gone quiet without word about its future programme, and other organisations have fallen with their loss of funding, (or should we hope they have ‘dispersed’ as indeed new media art has increasingly dispersed into other forms of contemporary cultural production?)
Might this Samsung initiative be sustained or is it another one-off?
Someone, sometime, needs to write a history of short-run new media art shows which have been ‘corporate hires’ as far as the exhibiting venue is concerned and not become part of longer institutional histories 😉
Meantime, if anyone can shed light on how to get a ticket for the announcement, and whether it is the 25th (as in this article) or 29th (as on the Samsung site) I’d be grateful.
(written before a cup of tea)
From Gary Thomas
Yes, Sarah, I know ‘vague’ wasn’t your accusation! And I think there is perhaps a lack of clarity in the announcement – because I had been thinking of it as a ‘media’ prize, rather than a ‘new media’ prize.
Andreas’ comments prompt me to think that none of those artists are really ‘experimental film’ people, but then, none of them are (exclusively) ‘new media’ artists either.
I do remember being a lot more confused by the Cap Gemini Digital Arts Prize more than ten years ago (I think it ran…twice..). The Jerwood Moving Image Award only ran once, but I know that’s because Jerwood staff changed and knew they needed to rethink their approach http://www.jerwoodmovingimage.org/
The BFI Gallery is closed – there is no future programme – http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/dec/16/bfi-cut-jobs-close-gallery
I think the announcement is on the 25th (29th is a Sunday).
|ps: image from http://digitalcritic.org/category/symposium/|