Prix Ars Electronica


ORF Oberösterreich

The Golden Nica of Prix Ars Electronica 90 for Computer Animation has been awarded to Nicola Sani and Mario Sasso for their film "Footprint". The sequence is especially remarkable for the unity achieved with visual and acoustical means. "Footprint", the English title of the entry, does not fully cover the topic — it would have been more adequate to use "Traces" or "Time Marks".

The jury points out the flawless combination of various electronic methods of image generation and representation. The work is based upon satellite images of extraordinary graphic fascination. The network-like grids of the cities seen from high above — seemingly transitional states between a real photograph and cartographic drawings — through an excellent collage-like transition evolve into works of art that are closely associated to the contents of the satellite photographs.

One possible interpretation of these procedures might be a notion of the variability of landscapes, a continuous change, out of which the artistic work emerges quasi as time mark. The animation "Footprint" is an extraordinary example for an artistically concise expression that could not have been made other than with the use of electronic media.

One of the Distinctions of Prix Ars Electronica 90 for Computer Animation goes to the French artist Philippe Andrevon.

The jury awarded this prize to his sequence "Star Life" because he succeeded in realizing a sequence of scenes with the use of digital electronic technology that is extraordinary, amusing and always surprising. As his basic material, the artist used clips from old movies which he combined in a collage-like fashion. The results are — intentionally or unintentionally — strange interactions. According to the artist's own statement, it had been fun to him to create something unreal, something almost mystical from simple everyday behaviors. The quick sequence of scenes, the simultaneous appearance of artists is something of a quiz game for the spectator, too, for he may or not recognize the movie stars and sometimes even the movies the fragments were taken from.

Altogether, Philippe Andrevon sees his work as a kind of homage to the great stars of the moving pictures. According to the jury, with this technique he has foreseen representational methods of the future that will — and presumably on a much more commonplace level — digitally reanimate movie stars from the past and "hire" them for new productions.

Another Distinction of Prix Ars Electronica in Computer Animation was awarded to the sequence "Dirty Power" by Robert Lurye.

This entry ranks among those computer animated sequences that bring to life dead objects in a realistic setting. The jury chose this work for a Distinction, because it uses 3D modelling and rendering techniques in a concise way, free from any kitsch influence, to tell a story. Basically it is all about the love of two plugs and their respective wall outlet, to which the author added some critical afterthoughts as regards the sexual life of our time. The use of unanimated objects allows to represent the rites of getting acquainted, of courting and lastly of union quite openly, without the awkward side-effects such representations usually bring along. The setting as such is remarkable, the effects of light and sound induced by the movements of the plugs having an important role in the story.

"Dirty Power" proves that the animated short stories — already dominating on the hi-tech end of animations in the past years — are able to deal with serious problems both in an aesthetically convincing and in an original and witty manner.

© Ars Electronica Linz GmbH, info@aec.at