SCREENGRAB is now entering its seventh year with an international call out for the AU$10,000 Media Arts Prize and the companion exhibition to be held in December 2015 for short listed applicants.
SCREENGRAB is looking for challenging and provocative works by media arts practitioners and theorists working in screen based media on the theme of RESISTANCE. All interpretations of resistance will be considered: the politics of resistance, the physics of resistance, the messiness of resistance, the urgency of resistance – and all its private, political and social connotations, (see the theme abstract below).
All forms of screen based media are encouraged, including video art/essay/documentary, media assemblage, media installation, digital animation, interactive and generative media.
We are particularly interested in existing works completed post-December 2010 and those specifically designed for the award that address the theme of RESISTANCE. Only works that address the theme will be eligible for the AU$10,000 Media Arts award.
“Disrupt the information flow”
We live in contradictory times. Irrespective of our geography we are wedged between the hegemony of entrenched oppositional forces. In a sense, we are the collateral damage of their friction. Of the old rallying against the new, of bold invention and nostalgic yearning, of extreme science and conservative politics, of terror and anti-terror, of social inclusion and those who seek to divide and to conquer.
Art endures in between these kinetic forces, lurking at the edges of their chaotic and often destructive interplay. As Jacques Ranciere has observed, “to resist is to adopt the posture of someone who stands opposed to the order of things”. In this space, art – and its protagonists – demonstrate “a willing deference to established forms of domination and exploitation.”
Art can resist time, the object of art can persist long after the fight has been won or lost. We put up monuments of art to speak on our behalf when all else has seemingly failed. The act of its creation resists the forces that would seek to oppose its very existence. Such is the oppositional nature of politics, capital and culture.
SCREENGRAB7 seeks works that not only interrogate the status quo by resisting the doctrine of their inevitability but also demonstrate that these entrenched systems of control are themselves resistant to change. Resistance can be viewed as both a liberating force and an agent of destabilisation. Resistance can disrupt the flow of information, bend the circuitry, jam the signal and hack the network.
If art is a political act, then media art is a technologically enabled one. How can screen based media embody the notion of resistance? As Graham Harman notes, “As philosophers, we’re not supposed to be swept along with the Zeitgeist, we’re supposed to be resisting it.”
We resist political rhetoric by asking questions of language, of history and of context. We resist surveillance by pointing the camera back at the watchers. We resist the recurring bile of racism, sexism and bigotry by subverting stereotypes by creating new forms of beauty and a more interconnected sense of identity. We resist the predatory nature of capital and the upward linearity of growth and accumulation by challenging notions of value and currency with alternative definitions of wealth and new expressions of personal freedom.
For SCREENGRAB7 all forms of resistance will be considered: the politics of resistance, the physics of resistance, the messiness of resistance, and the urgency of resistance. Indeed as Adam Curtis has suggested, we must try to resist the fashionable ambiguity of art and instead tell stories that question history, that expose the embedded systems of control, that examine the unmentionable hypocrisies of our time. In this age of contradiction – and as Bruce Sterling has observed: of “favela chic and gothic high-tech” – it is the duality of our relationship to the forces of order and control that is under examination here.
Prize Money :: AU$10,000
Exhibition Opening & Award Announcement :: December 19 2015 18:30 AEST
Application Form :: http://interfaceculture.com/
This project is sponsored by Pinnacles Gallery, Townsville City Council and Arts & Creative Media, James Cook University, Australia.