Prix Ars Electronica


ORF Oberösterreich

The Golden Nica award of Prix Ars Electronica 88 has been awarded by the jury to John Lasseter, San Rafael (USA) for his computer animation "Red's Dream". In the decision of giving the award again to a work entered by Pixar Studios, the jury has considered the continuing tendency in what could be called the High-Tech-Area to link the technical development and experimentation of the new medium to other applications: computer animations are used - much in the same way as the traditional film had been used before - for telling stories. On the other hand, by this decision the jury acknowledges the outstanding quality of Pixar's animation "Red's Dream", that outdoes any other comparable entry.

The work surprises with a considerable amount of technical virtuosity that is nevertheless incorporated in a dramaturgically well set, unpretentious fiction story. All the effects and tricks used, the sensitive choice of colours, the well-designed lighting and numerous details full of fantasy characterize this artificially created world of animated objects and are condensed into a dream reality that could not be achieved by the use of any other medium.

Besides the Golden Nica the jury has awarded two Distinctions for Computer Animation. They go to Mario Canali (Milan) for "Gates" and to Peter Weibel (Vienna) for the introductory sequence of "Time as Code: Chronokratie".

With Mario Canali the jury honours again an artist who -with technical perfection in spite of relatively unpretentious technical equipment - is ever more convincing in presenting a creative computer-based further development of the experiments of film pioneers like Oskar Fischinger, Viking Eggeling and Hans Richter.

His animation "Gates" merges basic geometric shapes like triangles, squares, cylinders and spheres into a composition full of tensions, combining the floating and falling of the shapes, their immaterial penetrating, their separation and metamorphoses to form an abstract ballet. Intelligently applied repetitions, an economically designed temporal sequence and - last not least - the music by Riccardo Sinigaglia make "Gates" an outstanding work of its genre.

The computer animation "Time as Code: Chronokratie" has been welcomed by the jury as an encouraging example of today's artist's chance to reach interesting results even in the High-Tech-Area by a continuous research of the basical issues of computers adopting comparatively simple devices. Based upon experiences with Op Art and Minimal Art, Peter Weibel uses simple line structures, condensing them into bars, combining them into grid or network structures and achieving remarkable moiré and interference effects through a well-balanced mixture and overposition of colours. His visual essay that includes cinematographic effects like zooming and fading-in for connection purposes, thus achieves the qualify of an endless visual melody, provoking an enhancement of perception and visually inviting to meditation.

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