Prix Ars Electronica


ORF Oberösterreich

Statement of the Interactive Art Jury

The Interactive Art jury decided to award an Honorary Golden Nica to Tim Berners-Lee of the CERN for his original technical developments leading to the World Wide Web.

This year the directors of Prix Ars Electronica divided the field of interactive media into two categories, one for Interactive Art and one for the World Wide Web. The Interactive Art jury wanted to make special mention of the importance of the new artistic worth in interactive telecommunication made possible through the Web. This technical innovation has led to a veritable explosion of new kinds of art making in interactive telecommunication, and marks a new plateau in the development of Interactive Arts in general. The interactive Art jury decided to award three equal prizes for Interactive Art

to Michael Saup (D) for his work in interactive performance "Binary Ballistic Ballet",

to William Seaman (AUS) for his interactive videodisc installation "Passage Sets / One Pulls Pivots at the Tip of the Tongue" and to

to Michael Tolson (USA) for his interactive installation "Las Meninas" which involves an artificial life ecosystem.

These three Distinctions go to works from different tendencies, all of which are important directions for interactive art.

The jury also awarded 12 Honorary Mentions; several of these involve different kinds of virtual reality systems, such as Franz Fischnaller (I) with the work "Lautriv Chromagnon /Medusa", Peter d'Agostino (USA) with "VR/RV", Maurice Benayoun (F) with "Is God Flat / Is The Devil Curved?". It is expected that this category will continue to be developed by artists in the future.

Several works involved the use of artificial life and genetic algorithm software. These include (in addition to prize winner Tolson) Mogens Jacobsen (DK) with "The Entropy Machine", Ion McCormack (AUS) with "Turbulence", Peter Grucza (CDN) with "Garden in the Machine". Work involving artificial life software was recognised with a Nica last year, and this continues to be an active area of artistic exploration. Honorary Mentions were also given to Christian Möller (D) with "Electro Clips" and to Mihoko Kosugi and Yasuhiko Ando (I) for "Izutu" and to Lynn Hershman (USA) with "America's Finest". These artists created different kinds of interactive installations which represent a continuing line of artistic work which explores different interfaces and situations.

Two Honorary Mentions were given to work involving telepresence. These were given to Kirk Woolford (D) for "Aurora on the Line" and to Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (E) for "The Trace". Although many works of telepresence now make use of the World Wide Web, these works explored unusual ways to make remote presence felt.

Although many works in CDROM were submitted, only one by Webster Lewin (USA) entitled "Bar-Min-Ski" was given an Honorary Mention. Many CDROMs, which were commercial games, magazines or books, were not considered.

With the separation of the competition into categories for the World Wide Web and Interactive Art, a new definition of the Interactive Art category is needed for future years. The Jury was particulary interested in new works which explore the way in which virtual spaces and real space are connected together, with the way that intelligent interactive systems can be embedded in the environment and into architecture and installations providing fluid and flexible interfaces for single and multiple participants.

In general, the category of work in CDROM is often related more to work that is now found on-line, or to the field of artistic books. The jury did not feel that works which were primarily collections of multimedia material in CDROM were of primary importance in the Ars Electronica competition for Interactive Art.

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