ARS Electronica - 2005 Prizewinners
Computer Animation/Visual Effects
Tomek Baginski/Platige Image (Poland):
What happens when the soldiers manning a lonely, forgotten military base in the middle of the Pacific collectively lose their minds? In "Fallen Art," the outcome is that the soldiers massacre one another. The sight of their bodies crashed and crumpled to the ground serves their commanding officer, General A, as a model for a photographic study of a very special sort.
A "very black comedy" is how Tomek Baginski characterizes his work "Fallen Art," an impressive film that, within a few minutes time, tells a very unusual story full of unexpected plot twists and turns but succeeds on its own terms as a superb and fully realized work of filmmaking. The soundtrack is provided by Fanfare Ciocarlia, a group that has appeared live in Linz.
"Akshaya" is one of the most ambitious development programs that has ever been launched to take advantage of information and communication technologies. Within a period of three years, "Akshaya" has established 6,000 Internet centers in the Indian State of Kerala, set up infrastructure for the local population and, in doing so, simultaneously created 50,000 new jobs.
The aim of the overall project is to impart basic knowledge about the Internet and computer technology to broad segments of the populace.
A fundamental precept in this category is that the prize money is to be used to finance the ongoing development of the project itself or of a successor project. The directors of "Akshaya" intend to use their € 10,000 cash award to expand their Internet platform in the areas of agricultural consulting, health and education.
Esther Polak, Ieva Auzina und RIXC – Riga Center for New Media Culture (Latvia):
Enabling us to catch a glimpse of the points of intersection where the paths of goods and people cross and material as well as immaterial transactions are consummated across the borders separating nations and cultures, and revealing thereby interconnections on a larger scale is the agenda of "*/MILKproject", the winner in Interactive Art. GPS technology makes it possible to trace the path of milk being shipped from Latvia to the Netherlands. Videos, sound recordings and photographs of the human beings involved are blended together into a one-of-a-kind installation that enables viewers to comprehend trade routes passing through various different cultural spheres.
But at the centerpiece of "*/MILKproject" are, above all, the stories of human beings. The path of a commercial product, milk, serves as the narrative thread that ties together the amazing variety of lifestyles and worlds of personal experience at the interface of Eastern Europe and Western Europe.
Amacher Maryanne (USA):
"TEO! A sonic sculpture"
Maryanne Amacher composes works of acoustic art and visualizations, and investigates the universes engendered by different forms of sound in different physical spaces. Preferred venues for the staging and performance of her works are grandiose, architecturally complex structures. As an artist who takes full advantage of all possibilities to physically customize the design of acoustic tones, she is simultaneously a philosopher and construction engineer of sounds.
The artist has been working with sound installations since 1967 and has achieved worldwide renown in this field. Her winning project, "TEO! a sonic sculpture," was conceived as a sound installation for the Esplanade des Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Many of her pioneering conceptions of spatial sound models and reciprocally influencing perceptions have been developing in the direction of acoustic installations that are now enjoying increasing popularity.
Benjamin Fry, Casey Reas (USA):
As an innovative, easily understood programming language, "Processing" enables students, artists, designers and architects to design and produce virtual prototypes. The program can be utilized as both a sort of virtual sketchbook as well as a professional graphics program.
"Processing" is an open project that was initiated by Casey Reas and Benjamin Fry. The program was developed jointly by a large group of artists working together on a voluntary basis, and is still constantly being revised and updated. This open-source software opens up completely new possibilities of doing artistic work on the computer.
u19 – freestyle computing
Markus Sucher (Austria):
With his method of scanning entire films from the monitor screen and utilizing this material to create images – quot;frozen time" as it were – Klagenfurt native Markus Sucher has come up with what amounts to a completely new artform.
And as if that weren’t enough, the 19-year-old has already begun to explore the possibilities afforded by this method. His willingness to experiment and the pleasure he derives from it have taken him from relatively uncomplicated "Simple Dot Movements" to "One Hour Photos," entire feature films that are scanned into memory and then fused into a single image. The Golden Nica goes to Sucher’s "Rennacs Studies," a work reminiscent of the motion studies of the late 19th century and thus one that carries on a rich tradition of moving pictures.